Teen Using Scary Movie To Get Out of Babysitting Kids Dumped on Her Backed

A teen who fought back with a horror movie against her dad's girlfriend for just assuming she's willing to be a free babysitter is being supported online.

The 16-year-old, u/Serious_Animal4392, shared her side of the story to the popular Reddit forum, r/AmITheA******, earning 6,000 upvotes and 600 comments for her post, "AITA for using a scary movie to keep kids out of my room."

The original poster (OP) says that her parents divorced about five years ago, and her parents share custody. She normally lives at her mother's house, but spends weekends and summers at her dad's.

His dad's currently seeing someone, and she moved in to his home with her two young children. The OP says that her only issue is that his new partner will often invite other mothers and their kids over for playdates.

"That's fine. Maybe her and my dad will get married and she has every right to have guests over. The problem is that sometimes she expects me to watch all the kids while her and her friends sit outside and drink wine or something. She even tried leaving them with me and going out for brunch with her friends. Not okay," she wrote. "My dad has told her to knock it off. He told me it might be nice if I chose to help but that I wasn't obligated to help."

This weekend, the OP was with at her dad's house because her mom was having a Halloween party and she didn't want to be there for it. The OP was sitting in her room, and had just started a horror film, Ready or Not, when she heard a knock on her door. There stood her father's girlfriend with four little kids in tow, and she told the OP to watch them while she talked to her friends. Though OP refused, she insisted.

"So I opened the door and let them in. And they are bored because it isn't be a cartoon or a Marvel movie. But they go running when the killing starts," u/Serious_Animal4392 wrote. "She comes back inside and tells at me for scaring the kids. She says she is going to take my tv away. I laughed and closed the door."

The girlfriend then told the OP's dad that she was "a disrespectful brat," and that he should take the TV he gave her and put it in the kids' playroom after what she'd done. OP's dad refused, but talked to her and told her she could have handled it better' using the phrase nearly every kid hates to hear: "He isn't mad. But he's disappointed."

kids horror movies scary ready or not
A teen was backed for using the horror movie "Ready or Not" to teach her dad's girlfriend not to dump young children on her for free babysitting. Mikhail Mironov/Getty Images

Though horror movies at Halloween is traditional—and there are some great kids' horror movies and shows out there, from the classic Nickelodeon show Are You Afraid of the Dark to the modern Wendell & Wild—it's probably best to save the adult stuff for later.

Laurie Hollman, Ph.D., a psychoanalyst and author of award-winning parenting books including Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child's Behavior, told Newsweek that when a child accidentally sees a horror movie that's too much for them, it's important for their caretaker to make sure the kid knows what's real and what's not—"sometimes over and over".

"Depending on the content of the scary film and any possible real traumas the child has faced, nevertheless what they imagine, a parent should stay with their child, talking in gentle tones until it is clear the fear is dissipating and ongoing anxiety isn't the result," Hollman said.

She also pointed out that though horror movies are an easy target, there are lots of things children can see that can be frightening on TV.

"This question is about the film, but should also be about watching the news on television and online without parental guidance. Most unfortunately for too many children in America violence is too close to home and to school or even at home or in school. Our children are too young to be assimilating so much violence and danger when their brains aren't fully developed and they are witnessing scared adults who don't have all the answers," Hollman told Newsweek.

Kaytee Gillis, LCSW told Newsweek that, sometimes, what we think are the obvious triggers may not be what's actually causing the scares.

"It can be harmful to them to see horror films, but not for reasons we might assume. Any movie could be scary or traumatizing for a child. I remember seeing E.T. as a child, which is a children's movie (not a horror movie) and it traumatized me more than any horror movie!" Gillis said.

It's important to talk to kids about what exactly it was that scared them, since it might not be the obvious stuff, she said.

"Having discussions with them about what they saw is essential. We might assume they are scared about the blood and guts scene, for example, when they might actually be scared about something else! Let them tell you what they think they saw, and allow them to process it," Gillis told Newsweek. "Don't tell them that they shouldn't feel scared, instead validate and support their feelings."

While the kids might have been surprised at what they were watching, Reddit largely backed the teen for fighting back against someone who sees them as a free babysitting service.

"[Not the A******], you dad's partner wants/expects a free babysitter whenever you're around... so overall, thats actually a tame way of handling unwanted babysitting: trauma them from staying in your room ever...she and your dad need to talk about boundaries and expectations of extended/blended family members i think?" u/ersatzki wrote in the top-rated comment with over 8,000 upvotes.

"This woman thinks she can force OP by ignoring both her and her father's no and by being persistent. OP was smart with the movie but ideally, she should say no, refer her to the dad, and walk away/close the door. The more OP finds creative solutions, the more likely it is that something will backfire and this woman will take advantage to prove she is in the right," u/lellyla warned.

"OP doesn't have kids and is still in many ways a child herself. So, NOPE to the conscripted babysitting while the mommies sit on their cans drinking wine and gossiping. (You can hold a glass of wine and a toddler at the same time mommy monsters [cry-laughing emoji]. ) And OP pretty much secured for life that these kids will not want to hang out with her or in her room for life," u/AndSoItGoes24 wrote.

"NTA At this point, he should be enforcing your no. Talk to him, make it clear that you do not want to entertain the kids, and ask him to make sure his partner does not bother you," u/tatasz wrote.

Some redditors were worried for the kids, though.

"Eh. It wasn't the kids fault stepmom is an entitled [a******]. OP is still well within her rights to refuse, but it sucks those kids ended up as collateral damage," u/mitsuhachi wrote.

"Not everyone is on board with scaring little kids because you're mad at their mother. I have no issue with OP saying no - I have a bit of an issue with kids being caught in the middle. I've dealt with kids having nightmares and it's not fun," u/human060989 wrote, "This woman is definitely the [a******], but it's OK to separate that from her offspring."

Newsweek reached out to u/Serious_Animal4392 for comment.

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