December 3, 2022

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We’re not parenting good enough: Tyrus

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A Reddit poster has been getting lots of online support after refusing to skip college classes to watch seven siblings when the poster’s parents wanted to travel out of town for a getaway.

“I am 21 and am the oldest of 8 kids with the youngest being 11,” Reddit poster “scoopertrooper219” posted on the subreddit “Am I the A*****e” on November 4.

“My parents are both trauma surgeons and have always worked odd hours, so I essentially raised my siblings until I moved out for college,” the poster continued.

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The poster explained that he or she (gender not shared) is a senior in college — and moved off-campus to a three-bedroom house that is close to the family home.

“My siblings come over every weekend and my parents pay me to keep them,” the Reddit user wrote. “This is usually fine since I’m a homebody, and I love being around my siblings.”

The poster also noted that they are “very serious about school” — and that this weekend, the “third of five weekend labs of the semester” is the priority.

"My parents are trauma surgeons and have always worked odd hours, so I essentially raised my siblings until I moved out for college," a frustrated Reddit poster shared with others on the social media platform.

"My parents are trauma surgeons and have always worked odd hours, so I essentially raised my siblings until I moved out for college," a frustrated Reddit poster shared with others on the social media platform.
(iStock)

“Our labs are worth 30% of our final grade,” the poster said. “I told my parents that I wouldn’t be able to have them [the siblings] over this weekend, but it seems they completely disregarded it.”

The poster went on to say that over dinner on a recent Sunday, the parents said they planned “a non-refundable weekend trip” — and when the poster told them he (or she) could not watch the younger kids, the parents “got upset.”

“I don’t feel like my parents are valuing my education the way I do and that’s upsetting.”

“We went back and forth for a while and my mom said I was being selfish and asked me to miss my lab since it was ‘only 6% of my grade,’” the poster continued.

“I told her that I didn’t have eight kids and they’re not my responsibility.”

The poster said the mom “started crying, and my dad berated me for making her cry and asked me to leave.”

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The poster continued, “Neither of them will answer my texts or calls despite me apologizing, and I feel bad, but I just don’t feel like they’re seeing my side of things.”

The Reddit poster didn't want to miss a college lab class to babysit seven younger siblings so that the parents could have a "getaway," according to the post on Reddit.

The Reddit poster didn’t want to miss a college lab class to babysit seven younger siblings so that the parents could have a "getaway," according to the post on Reddit.
(Elina Shirazi)

The poster added, “I’ve attempted to tell them but they won’t even talk to me, and neither will my youngest siblings (14, 12, 11), and it’s really making me sad.”

The poster later added, “I feel like I could be wrong here because it [the college lab] is only 6% of my grade, but also I don’t feel like my parents are valuing my education the way I do, and that’s upsetting.”

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Fox News Digital reached out to scoopertrooper219 for comment.

One psychologist said that current research indicates that a “family of origin” should transition into a “family of choice” later in life.

“If you have not set clear boundaries, it is human nature to try to bend rules and adults are just as likely to push those boundaries as kids.”

“This means that you are no longer obligated to be around or abide by the rules of your childhood home once you become older,” Dr. David Helfand, a St. Johnsbury, Vermont, psychologist, told Fox News Digital in emailed comments.

“Of course, this has been made more complicated by the fact that young adults in their 20’s are consistently living at home longer than the generations before them,” Helfand also said.

“This new living arrangement has created more complicated rules.”

The Reddit poster's parents said the parents planned "a non-refundable weekend trip" — and when the poster told them they could not watch the other kids, the parents "got upset," according to the post.

The Reddit poster’s parents said the parents planned "a non-refundable weekend trip" — and when the poster told them they could not watch the other kids, the parents "got upset," according to the post.
(iStock)

He continued, “My advice for situations like the one mentioned by skoopertrooper219 is to make sure you are setting clear boundaries.”

He added, “If your parents are paying you to babysit, then it should be treated as a job with a clear job description including compensation, hours of operation, and overtime options.”

He also said, “If you take care of your siblings for free, then you should still establish clear expectations about the rest of the arrangement.”

“It’s time to start cutting the strings. You shouldn’t have been doing child care when you’re in college …”

Helfand called it “reasonable” for a young person to be upset with parents if clear boundaries have been set.

“If you have not set clear boundaries,” he noted, “then it is human nature to try to bend rules — and adults are just as likely to push those boundaries as kids.”

Helfand offers helpful information and a blog covering marriage and family dynamics on his practice’s website, Lifewisevt.com.

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Other Reddit users weighed in on the issue, too.

One advised the poster, “It’s time to start cutting the strings. You shouldn’t have been doing child care when you’re in college but now is the time to start removing yourself from the situation.”

"If your parents are paying you to babysit, then it should be treated as a job with a clear job description including compensation, hours of operation, and overtime options," said Vermont psychologist David Helfand.

"If your parents are paying you to babysit, then it should be treated as a job with a clear job description including compensation, hours of operation, and overtime options," said Vermont psychologist David Helfand.
(iStock)

“Once you graduate, there’s no reason you should still be the de facto parent,” this commenter continued.

“You need the time and space to grow up and discover yourself. Stick to your guns, and cut down on the times that you do babysitting.”

“It’s time for your parents to actually be parents,” this person added.

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Others responded that they had similar experiences during their own childhoods.

“That was me as a kid,” a Reddit user responded. “There were 6 of us, but I was the oldest girl. From my 10th to 18th year, until I moved out, I was the babysitter, homework coach, cook and housekeeper.”

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She continued, “None of my siblings did any housework. My 4 brothers split taking out the trash. My sister dried the dishes after dinner.”

She added, “If any of us got in trouble, I got blamed,” she said.

“I never had a childhood. My mother didn’t either, but she should have done better — she knew what a theft it was. I didn’t hang this on my kids.”

Share your own thoughts on this situation in the comments section below.