‘Fed-up’ stepdad won’t allow 10-year-old to use his shampoo and body wash: ‘They’re called boundaries’

A frustrated stepdad is refusing to let his bonus son use his toiletries at bath time — but his wife doesn’t see the big deal.

Posted to the subreddit r/AmItheA**hole (AITA), the dad’s query quickly gained over 1,000 upvotes and 230 comments.

According to the poster, his 10-year-old stepson prefers taking baths and has developed the “bad habit” of wasting shampoo and body soap in the bathtub.

“Many times containers of the stuff will be ruined because he just lets it drop in the tub and let everything get watered down. He also will drop some soaps in acting like he is taking a bubble bath,” the dad wrote.

In response, the poster and his wife have sat their son down to talk to him about it and encourage him to use the shower instead. “He refuses and will still waste whatever body cleaning supplies are around,” the poster explained.

“At first, I just moved [my toiletries] from the tub cubby to another spot in the bathroom. He would still find a way to bring my stuff into the tub to use. And it would once again be filled with bath water leaving me with nothing to clean myself with.”

Now, the dad says he’s gotten “fed up.” When he’s done showering, he brings his shampoo and body wash to the bedroom, which seems to have solved the issue of waste.

But now his wife is annoyed with the situation, saying that if it’s that big of a deal, she’ll simply replenish whatever toiletries her son wastes.

The poster later followed up to clarify that his wife has told the little boy multiple times not to use his stepdad’s shampoo and soap but that he ignores her. “He will often say ‘he forgot’ and just act like that response suffices,” he wrote.

He also clarified that his stepson does have his own shampoo and body wash but continues to grab “whatever” and “uses it and wastes his stuff as well.”

‘He’s a kid who needs guidance and coaching…’

Hundreds of redditors weighed in in the comments.

“Nta [not the a**hole]. They’re called boundaries,” commented one user.

“NTA. He’s a kid who needs guidance and coaching from adults. It’s time to teach him … how to wash himself in the shower or bathtub with proper amount of products,” wrote another.

“NTA. I don’t understand why your wife is annoyed that’s he’s no longer wasting products? Like he’s 10, he doesn’t need to be entertained in the bath,” one user wrote.

However, another user gently disagreed with this comment and suggested a different remedy. “I’m 38 and I still need to be entertained in the bath. They should just get him some cheap bubble stuff,” they wrote.

“You could probably solve 80% of your issues by just getting him some cheap bubble bath,” suggested another user.

“NTA and it’s really not good for the skin, and especially young skin, to be immersed in products that aren’t designed for you to immerse yourself in them! Get him some bubble bath if he wants to sit in bubbles, but he shouldn’t be sitting in shampoo/body wash for long periods,” one user wrote.

The poster followed up to say he hadn’t considered bubble bath as a solution and would give that a try. Hopefully the family finds a happy medium for everyone, while still keeping bath time fun!

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