'Lock Us Out of His Life': Dad Praised for Putting Bolt on Stepson's Door

A dad who put a bolt on his stepson's door has been widely praised online, amid backlash from his wife that he was allowing the teenager to lock his family out.

The dad shared their family situation to Reddit's popular Am I The A**hole forum, under username u/throwaway016399, where he explained he and his wife have two kids, Jaiden, 9, and Amelia 4.

His wife has another son, Kian, 17, from a previous relationship, as he said: "Both of our kids are obsessed with their big brother, especially Jaiden."

File photo of teen on floor.
File photo of teen on floor. A dad has been praised for installing a lock on his stepson's door. simonapilolla/Getty Images

There's no "strict" schedule but the teen was around most weekends, and while Jaiden was smitten with his big brother, the feeling isn't mutual.

The dad wrote: "Kian was never too fond of Jaiden and Jaiden's obsession with him has only made it worse. It's hard for me because while I hate seeing my son feel rejected, I understand why Kian doesn't appreciate his behaviour.

"Jaiden is constantly glued to his side and will rush into Kian's room any hour of the day or night. Of course, we have tried to teach Jaiden that if he wants Kian's attention, he has to knock on the door, the same he would if it were our room, but he gets overly excited and forgets.

"Kian has become reluctant to bring friends/girlfriends over because Jaiden never leaves them alone and he has to barricade the door with his shoes if he's changing after a shower."

He claims he and his wife tell Jaiden "how inappropriate" the intrusion is, and he's punished by having to apologize, and having T.V. time, McDonald's, and trips to the park revoked.

I remember being a teenager and how important privacy was to me, so I agreed."

His wife thought the strained relationship between the boys was Kian's fault, as he continued: "He is a brilliant big brother to Amelia, but often pushes Jaiden away and has never been very interested in him, so my wife thinks that if he makes more of an effort, Jaiden would stop this.

"I, on the other hand, doubt that while Jaiden is ignoring all of his boundaries, Kian will want to spend time with him."

The issue came up again and Kian asked his stepdad for a lock on his door, as he said: "I remember being a teenager and how important privacy was to me, so I agreed."

The lock is a bolt, with no keys, and he installed it without telling his wife. "That was over a week ago, but it was only last night that my wife realised when she saw Jaiden throwing things at Kian's door, demanding to get in.

"She was furious that I was encouraging her son to 'lock us out of his life' and said that it was a safety hazard. I thought that this was the best solution until we can convince Jaiden to behave more appropriately," the dad added.

He claimed they've "tried everything" and the lock isn't a "shortcut out of parenting" Jaiden, but the bolt was the only way to convince Kian to visit regularly.

The post, which can be read here, has racked up more than 8,500 interactions, with the top comment, from Daskesmoelf_8, amassing more than 12,000 upvotes alone.

It said: "NTA he is 17 and he is allowed to set up that boundary, and Jaiden has to learn to respect that boundary, that is not on Kian's shoulders."

Others echoed that sentiment as they praised the dad's decision, with HarryPate writing: "The mother has a choice here. She allows the lock and gets her younger son under control; or her older son spends less time with them. She is being very shortsighted."

Cabinetsnotnow commented: "It does not sound like Jaiden has actually been disciplined though. He's only been told not to do it and why. That obviously hasn't worked so the parents need to discipline him now."

Clshein said: "Even 9 year Olds are capable of learning they aren't entitled to other people's time. It sounds like he has involved parents and a little sister as well, he's not starved for attention."

BaitedBreaths pointed out: "And regardless of his little brother's behavior, at 17 Kian absolutely deserves a lock on his door."

Zealousideal_Radio80 wrote: "Hopping on the top comment to say that I'm glad to see an OP being so respectful of their STEP-child. OP is respecting his step-sons boundaries more than his own mom. Solid step-parenting OP. NTA."

Reality_Bites416 reckoned: "There's no age at which it's OK for people to barge into your room when you're changing."

The graph below, provided by Statista, shows the breakdown of single parent.

Infographic: The U.S. Has the Highest Share of Single Parenting | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

In response to the comments, the dad sought to provide some context to the boys' relationship, saying Jaiden is "loud and hyperactive," while Kian like being "alone" and doing indoor activities, like Amelia.

"That might be part of it, though. He was young when Jaiden was born and never seemed excited about having a little brother. He wanted all of his mother's attention to himself at the time so that might have something to do with it," he mused.

A new baby in a blended family can provide a challenge, as website Family Lives noted: "For any parent, love for a new baby can temporarily overshadow feelings for older children." They advised parents to spend time with their stepchildren to ensure their relationship doesn't suffer.

But they noted they may naturally feel put out by the new addition, saying: "Some children can feel pushed out, whether they live with the baby or see him or her on visits, children may fear they're no longer good enough or wanted.

"Whatever their age, existing children may be right in thinking adult concern and attention has been diverted from them and concentrated on the baby, and feel upset about it."

Newsweek reached out to u/throwaway016399 for comment.

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