Mother's Love Tested: AITA for Telling My Son I Don't Like Him?

older-looking woman standing in a grass field while holding some grass.
Unsplash | Meghan Holmes

A mother is facing backlash after telling her son she doesn't like him for bullying a gay classmate. The mother gave her son multiple chances to apologize, but he refused and continued to bully the classmate. The mother took matters into her own hands and contacted the family of the bullied student.

After a family dinner, the son still refused to apologize and the mother had a heated argument with him. The mother now wonders if she was in the wrong for telling her son she doesn't like him in this situation. However, it was later revealed that the son's behavior stemmed from being turned down after asking the classmate out on a date.

The mother has since had a conversation with her son about consent and apologized for her behavior. The mother also thanked the Reddit community for their kind words and advice.

Raising respectful sons: a mother's unconditional love and tough choices. ❤️

crustydustyjane | crustydustyjane

Parenting dilemma: How to deal with a homophobic child? 🤔

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Mom confronts son for bad behavior, but is she in the wrong?

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When grounding doesn't work, what's a frustrated parent to do? 😩

crustydustyjane | crustydustyjane

Son uses homophobic slur, family dinner turns sour 😞

crustydustyjane | crustydustyjane

Mother and son fight, she admits to not liking him temporarily 😔

crustydustyjane | crustydustyjane

Son apologizes for bullying, but relationship with mom is strained.

crustydustyjane | crustydustyjane

Navigating tough love as a parent: AITA for telling son?

crustydustyjane | crustydustyjane

Frustrated mother tells son she doesn't like him: AITA verdict?

crustydustyjane | crustydustyjane

Mom discovers son's bad behavior stems from rejection, learns lesson 💕

crustydustyjane | crustydustyjane

Teaching consent: a lesson in love and respect ❤️

crustydustyjane | crustydustyjane

Did this mother cross the line with her son? 🤔

crustydustyjane | crustydustyjane

Father's homophobia leads to rejection of son 🌈💔

crustydustyjane | crustydustyjane

Grateful mom thanks community for support 💕

crustydustyjane | crustydustyjane

A mother's tough love tested: AITA for telling my son I don't like him? 😞

Raising children to be respectful and kind is every parent's goal. However, what happens when one of your children goes against everything you've taught them? This is the situation one mother found herself in when she discovered her son was bullying a gay boy in his class. Despite giving him a chance to apologize, he refused and continued with his behavior.

Frustrated and at her wit's end, the mother made a decision that has left her questioning if she did the right thing. Did she go too far by telling her son she doesn't like him? While some may say she was too harsh, others may see it as a mother's tough love. The situation has caused tension in the family and has left the mother wondering if she's an a**hole for how she handled it.

Read on to find out more about how the situation unfolded and what the mother has learned from it. In the comments, share your thoughts on how you would handle a similar situation with your child.

Mom's tough love works: NTA for telling son he's unlikeable 😬

Sunny_Hill_1 | Sunny_Hill_1

Ex blamed for son's homophobia - NTA's intuition supported.

Withinashes | Withinashes

NTA mother receives support for teaching children respect and tolerance ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

Conquestriclaus | Conquestriclaus

NTA. A mother's tough love helps son see the seriousness.

twitchydigits | twitchydigits

Navigating tough love: 💙👍 Consider family therapy for a solution.

del901 | del901

Parenting can be tough. NTA for standing up against bullying 😤

TheExaltedNoob | TheExaltedNoob

Loving without liking? NTA wins hearts ❤️

LostQueenNyky | LostQueenNyky

Unconditional love vs. liking behavior: A parent's dilemma. ❤️

TKD_Mom76 | TKD_Mom76

Loving vs liking - NTA for being honest with son 😐❤️

gullywax | gullywax

Acknowledging son's behavior, comment suggests counselling to address underlying issues.

ivy1212 | ivy1212

Teaching empathy isn't easy. NTA for guiding your son.

Specific_Progress_38 | Specific_Progress_38

Teaching a lesson: NTA mom stands up to homophobic son.

zacmaster78 | zacmaster78

Clarifying love vs behavior: a**hole or NAH?

poddy_fries | poddy_fries

Commenter defends themselves as NTA against accusations of AH behavior.

multiyapples | multiyapples

Parenting struggles: NTA for correcting bullying behavior, tough love pays off 👍

Treblesandtones | Treblesandtones

Explaining dislike vs love to kids: NTA comment and its agreeable replies

OpinionatedAussieGal | OpinionatedAussieGal

Loving someone doesn't mean liking them all the time 💜

oregon_mom | oregon_mom

Standing up against bullying, NTA for setting boundaries 💪

adricll | adricll

Mom tough love: NTA for humbling ungrateful son 💪

slipperysword | slipperysword

Group dinner was a bad idea but kudos for handling it 💪

flyingcactus2047 | flyingcactus2047

💕 A mother's love is tested, but NTA for setting boundaries.

nonchalantenigma | nonchalantenigma

Teaching tough love: Mother stands up against son's bigotry. NTA.

East_Coast_Main155 | East_Coast_Main155

Inviting family and gay boy over was a mistake, YTA.

MyFaceSaysItsSugar | MyFaceSaysItsSugar

Strained relationship with your son? Compliment him daily ✔️

Stitch-point | Stitch-point

Loving but not liking someone? 💔 NTA mom shares her story.

Possible-Security-69 | Possible-Security-69

Mother struggles with tough love: NTA for telling son off ❤️

Fun_Computer_8401 | Fun_Computer_8401

Teaching important life lessons 🎓 while still showing love 💕

physcho_chancey | physcho_chancey

Setting boundaries as a parent: NTA for disliking your child's behavior 💪

Rainbow62993 | Rainbow62993

Stand against bullying! NTA took a step towards it! 🙌

beautifullyhoya | beautifullyhoya

Loving your child doesn't mean you have to like everything. 💕

GaryDickersfield | GaryDickersfield

A loving tough-love approach or unnecessary emotional guilt-trip? 😕

2girlz1reddit | 2girlz1reddit

Love and dislike can coexist: A mother's tough love approach ❤

nevergreener87 | nevergreener87

Teaching tough love: Mother shows she can love without liking behavior ❤️

EwokCafe | EwokCafe

Open communication is key 🔑 Discussing hurtful behavior with love 💕

Flaky_Tip | Flaky_Tip

Parenting with tough love: Critiquing behavior over personhood 👨‍🏫

pinguthegreek | pinguthegreek

Loving vs Liking: A tough but necessary conversation 💔

Whole_Coach_367 | Whole_Coach_367

Teaching empathy: Parent admits dislike of child, but is NTA

Low-Assistance9231 | Low-Assistance9231

Reality check ✔️ Sometimes tough love is necessary ❤️

[deleted] | [deleted]

Forced apology or sincere change? Discussing parenting approaches. 🤔

So-so-right | So-so-right

Encouraging support shown for parent and son ❤️

LCarver1869 | LCarver1869

Loving someone doesn't mean you have to like everything they do 😕

sardonically-amused | sardonically-amused

Is her son struggling with his sexuality? 🤔


Engaging with a compassionate NTA comment on homophobic bullying.

False-Guess | False-Guess

Mother stands by tough love for son's hateful attitude. 💪

einsteinGO | einsteinGO

Did OP make the right call for the gay classmate? 🤔

LexsZoo | LexsZoo

Loving but not liking someone - an important distinction. ❤

Ldowd096 | Ldowd096

Loving someone doesn't mean liking everything they do 💜

ZealousidealRead98 | ZealousidealRead98

NTA for confronting son's behavior, counseling may help. Ex-husband influence?

sunflowers_j | sunflowers_j

Mother reassured for not liking her son. 🤗

mlmercury | mlmercury

A mother's tough love: NTA for telling son you don't like him 😕❤️

Personal_Sprinkles_3 | Personal_Sprinkles_3

Bonding over games or hobbies might help repair the strained relationship 🎮👩‍👦

[deleted] | [deleted]

Hate the behavior, not the child. ❤️ Talk it out.

AffectionateMine2220 | AffectionateMine2220

Teaching tough love effectively: 👍 to the parent.

Nightingur | Nightingur

Loving family but disliking behavior. Uniting against homophobia. ❤

Starwarzmom | Starwarzmom

Commenter questions parent's actions, suggests negative experience for other child

[deleted] | [deleted]

Teaching accountability: Parent explains how to handle bad behavior 😔

mookleberry | mookleberry

Mother stands up for hurt son. NTA for setting boundaries 🙌

Mami_Longlegss | Mami_Longlegss

Parenting is tough, but bullying is never the answer. 😔

EnoughDragonfruit125 | EnoughDragonfruit125

Supporting LGBTQ rights: NTA educates son with success 👏

freddiemacdawson | freddiemacdawson

Take a step back: Have you heard your son's perspective? 🤔

PocketSizedMojo | PocketSizedMojo