Comments Split on Redditor's Choice to Hand Out Son's Halloween Candy to Teach Lesson

Even when celebrating holidays, many parents want their children to behave as they are typically expected. Reddit user halloweenthrowaway9 posted to the "Am I the A**hole" forum to ask if they were wrong for handing out their son's candy after he "had an attitude."

The post, which garnered almost 13,000 votes and more than 2,000 comments, explained that halloweenthrowaway9 took their 9-year-old son trick-or-treating, and the night was going smoothly until they reached one house. The Redditor wrote that a sign near a bowl of candy asked that trick-or-treaters take two pieces, but their son grabbed about six pieces.

"Of course I corrected him and made him put four of them back, explaining he needed to leave some for the others," halloweenthrowaway9 wrote. "From then on he had an attitude, and the last straw was when I told him to stop grabbing so much candy from people and he screamed 'no!'"

It was then that halloweenthrowaway9 decided to take their son home and dumped his candy into a bowl. The Redditor and their son then sat outside on the porch as other children took "handfuls" of candy from the bowl.

"He complained they were taking too much and I told him that he shouldn't have done the same then," halloweenthrowaway9 wrote.

When their husband came home from work, halloweenthrowaway9 told him what unfolded that night. Although their husband said it was "cruel" to have given away the candy, the Redditor stood by their decision.

"He said I was being a jerk and that I should cut some slack for the one holiday that kids get to pig out," halloweenthrowaway9 wrote. "I don't agree, although I figured I could've done this differently."

They noted that the entire bowl was not given away to children, and if it was, they would have bought candy for their son if he learned his lesson and apologized.

Halloween Candy
A comment section on a Reddit post is split after a parent wrote that they passed out some of their child's Halloween candy when he "had an attitude." Above, a bowl of candy for trick-or-treaters is pictured. Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Most commenters agreed that halloweenthrowaway9 was right to take their son home, but some said that they went too far by giving his candy away.

"You ruined a treasured childhood holiday over candy," a commenter wrote. "If you think your son is going to learn to be generous or kind after this [you're] being delusional."

Another Redditor wrote that while halloweenthrowaway9's son needed to be disciplined, the punishment was not appropriate for what he did.

A commenter also pointed out that their son watched other children grab handfuls of candy, which was what he was in trouble for doing.

"The punishment is entirely counterproductive because it paints a distorted picture of what is right and wrong," a Redditor wrote.

However, most commenters supported the parent's decision to give away some of their son's candy.

"The outbursts are what get me," one comment read. "It sounds to me like a test of boundaries, as if he knew perfectly well what was expected of him and purposefully crossed the line in order to see if his behavior would be corrected."

Others wrote that although halloweenthrowaway9's son is 9-years-old, he exhibited inappropriate behavior for that age.

"This is not a way a 9-year-old should be acting. I might expect this from a 3-year-old, but not a 9-year-old," one commenter wrote.

Another said that it was not cruel punishment, but "fine parenting."

"This is the consequences of his actions, and he shouldn't get to still get treats for that," they wrote. "He'll live without the precious trick or treating candy, and I bet he won't do it again next year."