A mom is stirring controversy online after sharing the “secret” way she tracks her teenage daughter.
The unnamed parent described her tactic through a story posted in Reddit’s AITA (Am I The A******) forum. In the post, the mom, identified only by her username, u/mysteryparent, described what happened one night when she caught her 16-year-old daughter lying about her nighttime activities.
Her post, which has received more than 2,500 comments on the forum, begins by describing the “sensible rules” she has for the teen, including responding quickly to texts, allowing her phone to be tracked and answering calls from her parents. However, the mom also has a “backup plan” for keeping tabs on her daughter.
“I know teenagers can be sneaky, so I have a backup tracking plan that I keep secret from her. I have an extra older version iPhone on my family plan that I use as an emergency phone,” she wrote. “I hide this phone somewhere in the car that I let my daughter drive, kept on silent. It’s always charged so I can track it when my daughter is out.”
‘She told me everything was fine’
The mom goes on to describe a specific evening, during which her daughter borrowed the secretly tracked car to prepare for an academic competition at her friend Brett’s house.
“Curiously, her iphone’s location was at her friend’s house, but my secret iphone was clearly in downtown near all the bars and nightlife,” she wrote.
Suspecting her daughter had lied about where she was, the mom drove to the location of the tracker downtown, ultimately finding her daughter and Brett near an LGBTQ+ nightclub. She eventually learned from a bouncer that the pair had been rejected from the bar for using fake IDs.
“I was livid. I wandered the area and eventually found my daughter and Brett hanging out at a coffee house,” she wrote.
Her daughter ultimately explained that she’d decided to accompany Brett, who was still closeted about his sexuality, to the nightclub. The mom had already called Brett’s parents by then, and her daughter was extremely angry as she blamed her mother for outing Brett to his parents.
“She continues to think I am the biggest villain in her entire world but really, if I hadn’t installed an emergency phone in the car, I wouldn’t have known the shenanigans these two were up to under the guise of studying,” the mom wrote of her daughter’s reaction. “Sure, I violated her and Brett’s privacy, but I feel it’s justified.”
‘Quit stalking your child’
The story, which earned more “YTA (You’re The A******)” judgments than “NTA (Not The A******),” drew the ire of several comments, who felt the mom was “overbearing” and likely provoking her daughter to lash out further.
“Kids do this s*** because of parents like you. Quit f****** stalking your child,” one user wrote.
“This is some seriously out of line helicopter parenting. Yes, she’s wrong for lying, but you crossed come serious boundaries,” another added.
Others seemed more frustrated by the situation with Brett, who the mom unintentionally forced to reveal his sexuality.
‘You outed a gay kid to his family,” one user wrote. “I don’t see why you couldn’t have retrieved your daughter without ruining Brett’s life as well. you were cruel to him for the sake of being cruel.”
“Don’t expect your daughter to trust you anymore,” another commenter added. “You quite possibly ruined her friend’s life with your stalking.”
Some users were much more sympathetic, though, defending the mom’s parenting style and pointing out that her daughter had, in fact, lied and broken the law by using a fake ID.
“You are supposed to be parenting your daughter and teaching her right from wrong,” one wrote. “Breaking the law is wrong.”
“The world is a scary place. Your children have their rights to some privacy but I don’t think you were out of line at all,” another added.
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