My Boyfriend’s Son Deliberately Scares Our 3-Month-Old Daughter, Leaving Me No Choice But to Intervene

In a quiet suburban home, a loving mother grappled with a torturous conundrum while her boyfriend’s 12-year-old son persistently purposefully haunted their three-month-old daughter.

The mother’s strange behavior, which continued despite sincere pleas and warnings, drove her to breaking point.

A loving couple looking into each other's eyes | Source: Shutterstock

An anonymous member shared her harrowing experience on the “AITAH” subreddit on January 11, 2024. She questioned the effect of being diagnosed with postpartum depression (PPD) on her behavior.

The original poster (OP) and her boyfriend were together for six years. For the past two years, they have lived in OP together with their 12-year-old son, Jake. After more than a decade of owning her home, the OP was presented with a troubling problem with Jake’s behavior toward their three-month-old child.

A pregnant woman cradling her baby bump | Source: Shutterstock

While Jake seemed to love his sister, there was a disturbing trend of deliberately scaring the child. Jake was coming up to the kid yelling, “RA!” laughing out loud at her startled reactions. He would laugh and then pretend to be sorry and say he didn’t mean to scare her.

Torn between her fears, the possible impact of PPD, and her need for a solution, OP turned to an online community for advice after experiencing this disturbing routine at least four times a day.

A couple kissing their baby girl | Source: Shutterstock

Jake continued to behave in an unnerving manner despite OP’s repeated attempts to stop him, warning him about possible damage to the child’s hearing and emphasizing the lack of fun in his activities.

The tipping point was just three days earlier when OP confronted Jake and her partner out of sheer frustration. She gave a stern warning and threatened to cut them out of her life if they continued to purposely haunt her.

A young boy peeking from behind a wooden table | Source: Shutterstock

The friend’s erratic behavior led to the decision to take such extreme measures. He did step in at times, but he also wrote off the OP’s concerns as overblown. He tried to defend Jake’s behavior by saying that children usually found pleasure in a child’s startle reflex.

A crying baby girl | Source: Shutterstock

OP remembered the incident clearly, saying, “If he purposely scared my kid again, [Jake and OP’s boyfriend] would be evicted,” as she struggled with the weight of her threat. She felt a twinge of regret even after Jake returned to his room with a defeated look on his face.

The night before OP told her story, she briefly left the room, and her 3-month-old daughter was left rocking peacefully. Jake took advantage of her brief absence to have another disturbing encounter.

A mother trying to calm her crying baby | Source: Shutterstock

OP heard Jake ask, “What are you doing?” in an angry child’s voice from a distance. Her daughter’s scream was audible and the consequence was immediate. She heard her boyfriend come in and try to diffuse the situation, so she hurried back.

About an hour later, something else unpleasant happened. The dreaded “RA” and her daughter’s cries echoed throughout the house when OP walked into the bathroom this time.

Mother talking to her young son | Source: Shutterstock

Driven by a mixture of irritation and concern for the well-being of her child, she did not keep herself waiting long. She told Jake and her partner to pack up and leave immediately without waiting for an answer, her main priority now is to calm her upset toddler.

Realizing the gravity of the situation, Jake tried to apologize, blaming his behavior on habit. However, the friend objected and minimized the importance of what happened. The OP adamantly demanded they leave after rejecting their reasoning. But her lover refused to leave and defiantly claimed his rightful place in the house.

When faced with this impasse, OP threatened to take her own life and have the authorities serve her with an eviction notice. Her boyfriend begged her to stay, that Jake was only twelve and couldn’t be perfect, but she refused. The next day she made a firm decision and applied for their eviction.

A couple arguing | Source: Shutterstock

While things were getting tense, OP was already trying to figure out why Jake scared her kid by asking him directly. After their chat, the OP recalled, “[Hel] thinks it’s funny when babies cry,”

But part of her still doubted whether she had made the right decision. “AITA for kicking out my infant and his child because his son purposely kept scaring my child?” OP asked.

Online users responded to the OP’s story with great sympathy and attention, making it an internet sensation. The majority are overwhelmingly in favor of her and many believe she made the right decision.

“NTA. Really. He’s twelve. Old enough to be wise enough to avoid it. Old enough to follow instructions.”

If you woke him up every morning, would it be pleasant for him?

No. One user said: “He’s 12 but acts like AH and sounds almost sadistic.”

“I totally agree that it’s not typical for a 12-year-old to be a mother. Maybe at five or six, but definitely not at twelve. After she’s proven right once or twice, they pick it up. It’s disturbing that they claim Another individual said: “I wonder what other behavioral issues he has.”

A father hugging his young son | Source: Shutterstock

“As a mother of a 4-year-old, this (behavior) would only be understandable if Jake was 2 or 3 years old,” said another netizen. “Let your partner fall asleep and then gently tap a few pots and pans to startle him awake. Try this about four times a night to see if it makes him reconsider. His child is twelve. He’s of legal age obey the law, this goes beyond a kid being a kid,” another commenter said.

Do you agree with the OP’s stance, or do you think she should have handled things differently?

If you were her, how would you react to this situation? 

In conclusion, the situation facing the original poster (OP) is both heartbreaking and disturbing. Her decision to take drastic measures by asking her boyfriend and his son to leave stemmed from a deep concern for her young daughter’s safety and well-being. The repeated, intentional acts of scaring the child, along with the boyfriend dismissing his concerns, left the OP with no choice but to put her child’s safety above all else.

The reaction from the online community overwhelmingly supported the OP’s decision, highlighting that Jake’s behavior was not only inappropriate but potentially harmful. The consensus was clear: a twelve-year-old child should understand the boundaries of acceptable behavior, and deliberately scaring a child is both cruel and unacceptable.

The advice provided by many users emphasized the importance of protecting the vulnerable and the need to set clear boundaries. The comments underscored that Jake’s actions were not typical for his age and suggested that his behavior may be indicative of deeper issues that need attention.

For OP, this decision wasn’t just about dealing with Jake’s actions, it was about regaining a sense of safety and stability in her home. While the choice to evict her boyfriend and his son was undoubtedly difficult, it appears to have been a necessary step to protect her daughter and restore peace to her family.

As OP moves forward, it is crucial that she continues to seek support, whether through counseling, family therapy, or community resources, to manage the complexities of her relationship and provide a safe environment for her child. The road to healing and rebuilding trust will no doubt be difficult, but with support and determination, OP can work to create a nurturing and safe home for her daughter.

Ultimately, the child’s safety and well-being must always come first, and OP’s actions reflect an unwavering commitment to protecting her daughter from harm.

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