Dad Applauded for Reading Teen Daughter's Texts: 'I Was Shocked'

The internet has defended a single father for reading his teen daughter's text messages in a new post going viral on social media.

Published to Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole forum, a man under the username u/Old-Concept-7207 shared his story in order to get the opinions of the "AITA" followers. The viral post has over 6,000 upvotes and 1,000 comments.

The Redditor began his post by saying that he is a single father of three kids, his oldest being his 16-year-old daughter.

He wrote that the family has been having trouble with their Apple iCloud account and how it's been sending their text messages to each other's phones. Sometimes, he would get his younger son's texts to his one and the OP (original poster)'s texts would show up on his daughter's phone.

"Now I'm usually a trusting dad and I delete these threads without reading them as soon as I notice they're there, but this time it was different," he started, "my daughter is planning on attending a certain music fest this weekend with some friends. She has a job and bought her ticket on her own. I originally had no issue, she's usually responsible. I saw an interesting message in a thread with her friend that showed up in my phone. The message read 'we should be able to sneak it in if we hide it well' so... I snooped."

Father backed, reading through daughter's texts
In a post going viral on Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole forum, the internet has backed a man for reading through his daughter's text messages. Jupiterimages/Pixland / Getty Images Plus

I opened the thread and read it. I was shocked at what I saw. She was talking about alcohol. Her and her friends are planning on sneaking in alcohol, marijuana, and something I have personally never heard of called 'molly.' I legitimately don't know what that is so as you can assume by this point I'm freaking out. I scroll up to find the outfits daughter plans on wearing as well. When I say 'outfits' that's me being very generous because to me it looks like just underwear, not an outfit," he continued.

Thinking he could check her bag and have her change her outfit before she left for the festival, he ultimately decided not to let her go. He thought that she would be able to find other ways to get drugs.

The OP and his daughter haven't been speaking. She wants him to reimburse her the $300 she spent on the ticket and said it was wrong for taking something away that she spent her own money on. He told her that it wasn't about the concert, it was what she was going to do at the concert.

He reiterated that he had enough money to provide for his family, but not enough to give his daughter $300 out of pocket for the ticket.

"2 of the other girls' parents are also not letting them go [to the festival]," u/Old-Concept-7207 wrote in a comment to Newsweek. "It doesn't seem like anybody is mad at my daughter. Thank god. Her one friend's parents are particularly upset and she is looking at a long grounding. That sucks but I believe I did the right thing. As for my daughter, I'm planning on talking to her more about being safe at these events when she's cooled off a bit. I'll also give her money for the ticket."

When is it okay to read through your child's text messages? According to commonsensemedia.org, checking in on what your child is sending to their friends is a part of responsible parenting. Most children and teens view their phones as private and it really helps with their independence.

If you want to look through your child's phone, it's good to be honest with your kids and keep their trust in order to maintain a positive relationship in the future. When discussing why you want to check in on what your child is doing on their phone, explain to them that it's for their safety and it helps you know that they are maintaining healthy relationships with those they are texting with.

The Reddit community was quick to comment in defense of the OP's actions.

"[Not the a**hole]. She may think you are, but you're protecting your child and enforcing totally reasonable rules. I would also give the other parents a heads up about what's being planned, they should have the opportunity to decide if they want their children in that situation," u/incogspeedo said, receiving the top comment of over 11,000 upvotes.

U/peithecelt wrote, "[Not the a**hole] - she's underage, even if pot and booze are legal, they're not for a 16 year old.. and molly is not legal... It's 'unfortunate' for her party plans that you saw her posts, but it is ABSOLUTELY best for her safety and health... Reimbursing her tickets would be kind, but... She's being punished, this isn't about you having to ask her to not go because something unexpected happened."

"[Not the a**hole]. Her safety at this age is your responsibility. You are completely justified in stopping this," u/Substantial_Bench102 explained.

"[Not the a**hole]. She's obviously not being responsible with the underage drinking and illicit drug use (molly). She should try to sell her ticket," u/Pharmerhill exclaimed.

Update 7/26/2022, 4:10 p.m.: This article has been updated to include comment from the original poster.