Internet Slams Parent Who Forced Teenage Daughter to Do Yard Work With Sprained Knee

A parent is being criticized on Reddit after revealing that they did not believe their 15-year-old daughter when she said she injured her knee—thus having to complete yard work in lieu of medical attention.

Under the handle of u/Throwaway-37828237, the Redditor posted on the "Am I the A**hole" forum. The post has generated nearly 15,000 upvotes and over 4,800 comments since it was first shared on Monday.

According to the post, the teen suffered from a sprained knee, an injury that occurs when the ligaments keeping one's knee joints in place are overstretched or torn. Sprained knees can range in severity from relatively mild (requiring 2 to 4 weeks for recovery) to more serious and involving surgery. Resting injured ligaments and refraining from physical activity are essential for healing.

The anonymous parent explained in the Reddit post that their husband is currently out of town. As a result, they needed their 15-year-old daughter to help on several yard projects.

"On Friday, she told me her knee was hurting after her run, and she was limping," wrote u/Throwaway-37828237. "I told her 'it's funny how your body always seems to malfunction when I need your help. You can just stay in bed all day if you want.'"

"She has a history of feigning ailments in order to get out of things she doesn't want to do. She hasn't done it much since she was around [nine], but I still have trouble trusting her when she says something is wrong," they wrote.

"She said she would help me, and I told her we could take her to the emergency room if her knee still hurt by the time the yard work was done," continued u/Throwaway-37828237. "We worked the whole weekend, and she complained a lot, but I was almost certain that she would magically be better by the end of the weekend."

"This morning ... she said her knee was hurting badly and she could hardly walk," prompting u/Throwaway-37828237 to take the teen to the emergency room.

"It turns out she sprained her knee," u/Throwaway-37828237 wrote, adding that they told their daughter "to tell them that it only started hurting today."

However, when the daughter told the truth—that she sustained the injury Friday—u/Throwaway-37828237 "was questioned."

"Fortunately, nothing bad happened, but they said that due to how much she's had to use her knee after it was injured, it will take longer to recover," u/Throwaway-37828237 said.

"I decided to keep her home from school today, because I don't necessarily want her telling people that I had her doing work when she told me her knee hurt," they added. "They wouldn't be getting the full story or context, and she has a tendency to exaggerate when I do something wrong."

Now, the Redditor's daughter is angry at the parent for not believing the injury in the first place.

"I do feel slightly guilty, but I told her that this wouldn't have gotten to the point it did had she not had this history of lying,"u/Throwaway-37828237 concluded. "She doesn't seem very interested in talking to me, but I feel like this is partially her fault for creating a situation in which I couldn't trust her."

Despite the parent's justification, readers appeared furious at them for dismissing the daughter's injuries, delaying medical intervention, and asking the teen to lie to medical staff. Some even went so far as to call the behavior "child abuse," presumably as an instance of medical neglect.

"OP is lying and getting her kid to lie because she knows her behavior would be perceived as child abuse (because it is), and because she knows that school and hospital employees are mandatory reporters," commented u/FlakyPineapple2843.

"There's a good chance that the hospital will rightfully report her to CPS. I hope they do," echoed u/ExperienceSea820.

Others, like u/The_Cosmic_Penguin, thought that type of reaction was "overkill," but agreed that "it's OPs job to trust what their child tells them."

"Are you really comparing the actions of a [nine] year old to a 15 year old and still holding those actions against her? Do you believe your daughter is not capable of personal growth?" wondered u/TheGallopingGhost77. "Should have just taken her to urgent care when she made the initial complaint."

Newsweek has reached out to u/Throwaway-37828237 for additional comment.

Teenager and Mom
A stock photo of a teenager and mom fighting. A parent's fight with their teenage daughter recently went viral on Reddit. The anonymous user admitted that they didn't believe the child when she said she was injured, sparking backlash. iStock / Getty Images Plus