'Well Played': Mom Applauded After Making Son Eat off Dirty Dishes

The internet applauds a mother who had her son eat off dirty dishes after he didn't do a good job on his after-dinner chores.

Published to Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole forum, a woman under the anonymous username u/aitadirtydishes shared her story in hopes of getting the opinions of the "AITA" community. The viral post has over 8,000 upvotes and 900 comments.

The Redditor began her story by explaining that the incident happened over two months ago. She has a 17-year-old son and other children. In their family, they rotate chores that need to be done around the house. Her son hates doing the chores and does his best to get out of doing them, especially the dishes.

"He overpacks the dishwasher so the dish detergent can't even get on the dishes. It just catches on whatever pan he shoved in front. He also doesn't rinse the dishes at all, so they come out dirty and caked in food. If we want to eat the day after he does dishes, we end up having to hand wash them. He doesn't care. Any attempt to talk to him is met with a little smirk and he would say, but the dishwasher sanitized it. He knows exactly what he's doing," she writes.

Kid eating off dirty dishes reddit
The internet applauded a mom for making her son eat off dirty dishes after he didn't wash them correctly. Cristian Borrego Sala/iStock / Getty Images Plus

The day after it was his turn to do the dishes, the OP (original poster) came home from work, exhausted, to see the dishes still dirty from the previous night. Tearing up at the sight, she asked her husband if he could hand-wash some dishes for them—but only for them and the other siblings—not the 17-year-old. They set everyone's place at the table except for his. Wondering where his plate was, the OP told him to grab one out of the dishwasher.

He refused, saying the dishes were disgusting, as they were dirty. She reminded him of what he said to her earlier, that they were sanitized. He argued that he would wash his own dishes, but the OP said no, that he had his chance the previous evening. He tried saying he would make his own food and the Reddit user said no to that, as well. Giving up, he found the least dirty plate and ate off that.

"I felt bad—he looked so sick and grossed out. But I was sick of him wasting time and water and detergent. And it worked! His dishes came out spotless after. Not a speck. But like I said, he's still furious and I do feel bad now that it's over and done with. I'm just sick of the weaponized incompetence. He doesn't realize that his laziness f**ks over everyone else in the house," she concluded.

Do you have kids who don't do chores at home? Some helpful tips to entice them to help around the house include having time limits on each chore, giving a weekly allowance to entice your child and having a certain schedule when chores are done, per empoweringparents.com.

How much do children make in allowance? It depends on the age. According to a 2021 report from RoosterMoney.com, at age 4, the average amount is $5.12 and it increases with age. A 14-year-old makes an average of $15.70 per week. However, the average allowance given per week is $9.80. Fifty-six percent of parents give their children an allowance. The most common household chores are doing laundry, tidying the bedroom, cleaning the bathroom, caring for pets and putting the dishes away from the dishwasher.

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

"[Not the a**hole]. You probably should have done this long ago. If he doesn't experience consequences he's not going to grow up and be less selfish, and he is at an age where this is not going to be typical or understandable behavior very, very soon," u/Temporary_Badger warned, receiving the top comment with over 10,000 upvotes.

"[Not the a**hole], and I think you handled this beautifully," u/DerTW13 said.

"[Not the a**hole]. Actions have consequences, and your son learned he can't half-a** his responsibilities and get no consequence for it," u/ElleEmGee wrote, "He needed that kick in the a**, because otherwise, he'd grow into an adult who weaponizes his incompetence against a partner."

"[Not the a**hole]. Well played," u/Harry7411 said.

"[Not the a**hole] and this is Grade A parenting. The punishment truly fit the crime," u/SimplySam4210 exclaimed.