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Apparently, I'm a Dick

My teenagers were extremely crappy last night for the first night of Hanukkah. Beyond crappy. Rude. Rude to their mother. Off the charts.

Acts and things said that would have gotten me the back of my mother’s hand. My dad would have punched me.

I walked off and thought. Then went to sleep. And dreamed.

So today, they were late to school because I had them take all the Hanukkah gifts back to the various stores. This including a much-coveted Playstation 5 that went back to WalMart that I somehow accidentally scored.

Everything. Things not yet given. They will box the mail-order stuff Sunday. It’s currently in the truck on my car. Includes a GeForce 3080 Videocard, if someone wants to make an offer.

I’m on the edge of turning their college funds into a beach house.

I made the kids stand in line, hand the item over, while crying, weeping, and gnashing teeth. The reason for return: the child is an ungrateful twit.

Apparently, this is bad.


Good for you!!! You are def not a dick. Kids are unreal these days.

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That’s not dickish, that’s good parenting. It will have a much better effect than punching them would have.

I would have bought the PS5, btw.

That can’t be easy. Me and the wife both grew up under some pretty difficult circumstances and kinda like giving our kid things we couldn’t have. The kiddo is happy, we’re happy, and in some small (or maybe not so small) way, some things that were wrong are righted.

The kid doesn’t need to completely understand or experience why. We’ve worked way too hard to prevent that.

Maybe a better lesson would be in order, like “You’ve had an easy ride until now, but it looks like it’s time to start earning it”.


I’d say it’s deserved. And damn! These gift are worth more than a thousand dollars. I hope it will be a lesson and not turned them even more spoiled.

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I wholeheartedly agree. My mum never hesitated to use force, and it didn’t feel like she was teaching a lesson- just venting frustration


Teenagers? Doesn’t matter what you do, you’re wrong. And they hate you.


I’m left wondering if writing this is the result of responses you got from store personnel while returning the gifts. If so, I’d say it makes it that much more likely that you have done EXACTLY the right thing. “I have given them Your word and the world has hated them; for they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” John 17:14 I know it’s probably weird to quote the gospel to you, but I believe it’s appropriate in this instance. Making a moral decision that seems to fly in the face of modern culture is quite difficult but oh, so worth it in the long run. I know this must have been a hard day for you, and I admire your dedication to your family.


What did your wife think about it?

She’s a peacemaker by nature. And also tends to take her children’s side, regardless. Has a tendency to want to be “liked” by her children, which, while being “liked” is nice, it’s down the priority list from “teaching right and wrong” for me. (She had an easier time being firm with the step daughters – both, I think because they were step and because they were never babies to her.)

She was on board at first. Then they came crying/texting. And now she wants to undo stuff.

She hasn’t raised teenage girls before. I have.


I’ve been struggling with something similar to this lately. I grew up pretty damn poor. Never went without food or housing, but extras and fun experiences and things were few and far between. My dad was also verbally and physically abusive, as well as a slave driver. I worked my first 18 hour day before I even turned twelve. I bought my first dirt bike at 10, paid 100% cash with money I 100% worked hard for. Stuff like that… all though there are millions of bad things I got out of that childhood, including mental issues that followed me into adulthood, I also got some good things. I grew up early and quick, moved out the day I turned 17 and have supported myself and a family from a very early age 100% myself. I can work harder and longer than most, I can tern on the adult mode when needed, and was generally light years ahead of my peers growing up.

So naturally I wanted my kids to have a better life. I’m not as tough on them, I buy them things, I let them “get away” with things that would have landed me a fist to the face etc…
But I am starting to see I’m doing them a disservice. I’m turning them into the kids that I was light years ahead of when I was growing up. I’m having a hard time finding that balance, a really hard time. I honestly think I have no idea how to be a good father. I don’t know how to prepare them for the real world without being someone who they hate.

To this day I hate my father. I see him somewhat regularly and have a distant weird relationship with him even though he lives 15 minutes away. But he did prepare me for the world, but he also gave me burdens I still carry and wounds that still ache.

Idk if your approach is right or wrong. But I commend you for doing what you think is best, even if it sucks.


You’re just an intelligent lawyer who had to play the father card.

They will never forget that experience.

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You guys do Hanukkah gifts? Wish my parents would’ve done the same for me growing up :laughing:.

Dibs, i’Ll TaKe ThAt… play some spider-man (not serious, I can’t afford a PS5)

I will say there is value is allowing for redemption and demonstrating forgiveness. That may be in the form of giving back the gifts or it might not.

The most important part is to make sure it comes off the back of showing some remorse and not because the crying / complaining became too emotionally inconvenient to deal with.


IMO never deprive your kids of things they need to thrive. But luxuries are a privilege that must either be earned or appreciated. If luxuries stop being appreciated, that means the kid has become spoiled.

In jewbaccas situation, I’d give the girls a chance to earn some of the gifts back through extra chores, cooking parents dinner, etc. Maybe they submit a plan of actions they must take (study hours, volunteer hours, extra club/sport/Hebrew class) and at the completion the get the gifts.

Gotta appreciate it, or gotta earn it. IMO.

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I applaud you. And guess what- pain in all it’s for a is a marvelous teacher.

Can you adopt me instead?

I got no problems with chores. Lol

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Do this, but downgrade the gifts they eventually receive. So a shabby old PS4 instead of a PS5.

It’s gone. Sold it to a kid in the IT department. Made a legit profit and wife picked out a Gucci purse in the trade.

I’m killing myself for not scalping the PS5. Apparently I could have doubled my cash.

Do you have any IT horror stories? the more incompetent the better. If you come up with any, feel free to spam my log. It’s for a project