Dad sparks debate after learning his ex-wife is ‘bribing’ their son

A divorced dad is stirring plenty of controversy after revealing the “crazy” parenting decision he discovered his ex-wife had made.

The father, posting under the username u/stinkyson68, shared his dilemma on Reddit’s AITA (Am I The A******) forum. In his post, he detailed a recent argument that stemmed from a conversation with his 13-year-old son.

According to the post, the teen has a “hygiene problem” and dislikes showering — an issue his dad attempted to solve by insisting that he shower at least every other day. Those attempts were stifled, however, when the father found out his ex-wife had been “bribing” their son into cleaning himself.

“I noticed he was coming back from my ex wife’s place fully showered,” the dad wrote. “My ex recently let me in on a little secret which is that she’d been paying him $10 to shower.”

That realization spawned a massive argument within the family, as well as plenty of criticism from commenters on Reddit.

‘It sounds nuts’

The dad was angered to learn that his son was getting money just for showering, but he originally caved and followed suit. Things got more complicated, though, when the 13-year-old decided to “charge” both his parents more.

“It sounds nuts, but I couldn’t stand the stench anymore so I paid him $10 to shower and sure enough he showered,” the father wrote. “This continued for a few weeks. Then my son told me he would no longer be showering for $10. He said the price has gone up to $15.”

The Redditor’s ex-wife apparently went along with the up-charge, while he stood his ground, suggesting his son might keep “jacking up the price indefinitely.” That’s when he decided to confront the teen’s mother.

“I told my son I would no longer be paying him to shower at all if he keeps this up. He said he would continue to shower at my ex-wife’s and not shower in my house,” he wrote. “I realized the only way to get around this was to prevent my ex-wife from continuing to be blackmailed so I told her to please cease any and all payments to him for showering.”

‘I can’t tell her how to raise her child’

The man told his ex-wife that their son’s “extortion” had gone “too far,” but she refused to stop paying him.

“She told me that she understands my concern but she will still pay him to shower because I can’t tell her how to raise her child, especially when it’s something I’ve been doing until recently,” he wrote.

Reddit users commented on the post hundreds of times, with some criticizing the wife’s “crazy” and “gross” decision to keep paying their son.

“How is this even possible. I’m the biggest pushover mom, but if I say shower, my son showers. If I say I load the dishwasher, it gets done. Etc etc. How is there not even mutual respect in your home,” one commenter wrote.

However, majority of users were equally critical of both parents, saying both the father and his ex-wife were to blame for the situation.

“You let a 13 year old physically threaten and strong arm you. Everyone sucks and failed. Parent him. Y’all are all gross and neglectful,” one user wrote.

“If it’s come to this point, you should probably look into therapy or something,” another added.

Others were even more concerned, arguing that the situation could have long-term effects on their child’s development.

“Please realize you are encouraging manipulative behavior and are raising your son to be a monster,” one user wrote.

If you liked this story, check out the latest from Group Chat, In The Know’s new advice column.

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