Everything he likes, he buys on his own, even the food he eats, which lessens their household’s expenses. But now, his parents want him to take on the responsibility of paying for all their groceries!
A Teenager With a Job
OP (Original Poster) is a 16-year-old boy who works part-time and has his own income. He’s also the eldest of five children.
Siblings’ Health Conditions
His two biological brothers are on the spectrum, and his two sisters are biologically his cousins but were adopted by his parents when they were babies. Both of them have Down Syndrome, so all his younger siblings have significant challenges and health issues.
Providing for Himself
Through the years, the situation drained OP’s parents’ resources and left little to none for anything fun. He started working two years before sharing this story on Reddit, and it was the only time he could afford to treat himself sometimes.
He wrote, “Sometimes it’s my favorite gummies. Sometimes, I save up to buy something. I bought myself a laptop earlier this year with my money because I needed something, especially with school and everything, and using the family computer didn’t work as much now because dad works later in the day than he used to.”
What Makes Him Say “Yum!”
For the past several months, OP has paid for certain groceries for himself. Since there were a lot of varieties of meals in their house, he usually ended up with food he didn’t enjoy.
At some point, he decided to occasionally buy food to make something he’d like for himself. It also means one less person for his mom to prepare food for.
Expensive Special Care
OP’s brothers have “safe food,” and his sisters are “bad eaters” as well. They have many limitations due to food allergies, but they also don’t enjoy the taste of many things.
OP wrote, “I know my parents have been struggling to afford all the safe foods, allergen foods, and then stuff for themselves.”
Feed Your Family
Before posting this story, OP’s father asked him if he could buy groceries for everyone in the family. OP sat and asked his dad if he could just get more of what he liked for all of them, and he said no.
Apparently, his dad and mom don’t like the same food he does. Aside from that, his siblings can’t and won’t eat them.
Refusing His Father’s Demands
So, his father told him to get the usual stuff, and he could “live off of stuff he doesn’t love.”
OP wrote, “I told him I didn’t want to do that. That I was trying to enjoy food more, and it was one less person for them to buy for.”
Responsible for Himself
Eventually, they compromised and came to an agreement. OP would buy himself groceries all the time instead, not occasionally.
However, they ran out of food a couple of weeks ago, so OP’s dad had to use his credit card to buy some extra groceries. OP was the only one who didn’t run out at that time, and his parents were annoyed.
In OP’s words, they were downright “p*****!”
They asked him why he cared for himself so much but wouldn’t bother helping his family.
OP added, “Mom said it’s exhausting having to feed so many different people with different needs, and I could at least buy food for my siblings if I can’t give a s*** about her and dad.”
Aside from that, they said he was “selfish” and that he should be thinking of his family more than himself. They even told him that he would definitely let everyone “starve” before he helped out and accused him of “resenting” them for adopting his sisters and “adding” more kids to their family.
OP wrote, “But they said that’s what family does, and I should be ashamed. They also said I should never have bought the laptop and could have helped out more financially without it.”
A Little Resentment
In one of his comments, OP said that even though he doesn’t want to, he resents his parents. His brothers were already diagnosed when they decided to adopt his sisters.
He wrote, “They worried about the cost of doing the adoption since they did it privately, I think. They knew they would have zero support from extended family and were determined to keep the girls out of foster care.”
Limited Resources and Capabilities
When his sisters were born, it was difficult for OP’s parents because of their medical problems.
He added, “It was a lot then. They also had the three of us at home, and my brothers were struggling. They took on so much, and we were never rich in the first place.”
The Community’s Take on the Matter
Redditors only have one thing on their minds: OP’s parents took on a huge responsibility they can’t fulfill, and it’s about time they get help.
The top commenter said, “Not the a**hole. Your parents bit off more than they can chew and need to reach out to the countless resources that are available to them. The best place to start is the caseworker. If I were you, I’d contact DCF myself and explain exactly what you said: your family is struggling to make ends meet after adopting and pressuring you to provide. They won’t be in trouble. They’ll be provided resources and help for all of you.”
Another person replied to the previous comment, saying, “OP is already helping by removing some of the responsibility of feeding him by working at 16. The parents should get help. Since the sisters are cousins, are there no parents or relatives to help out?”
What Parents Should Do
Many people from Reddit said that OP’s parents are obligated to take care of their children and shouldn’t pass their responsibility to OP, who’s obviously already helping.
A Redditor wrote, “You can help if you want, which you have offered to do. You’re not legally responsible for your siblings. That’s your parents’ responsibility. Are they good people taking on more children? Perhaps. But they have no right to offload their responsibilities onto you. You don’t need to join in their suffering. Though you may want to hide your laptop, they sound very resentful about it, and I don’t know what type of people they are. Not the a**hole.”
Another user said, “Not the a**hole. Your parents are actually legally obligated to provide for you until you are 18, and they are not doing that. It sounds as though they were doing okay until you started earning money. Your siblings probably eat more, too, because they are bigger and food is more expensive. You are already helping them out by paying for your own food. You also have provided your own laptop that your parents didn’t have to pay for.”
Should OP pay for his family’s groceries? Do you think his parents are wrong?
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This post first appeared as A 16-Year-Old Refused to Buy His Family’s Groceries With His Own Income. They’re Furious, Saying He’s “Selfish” for Letting Them “Starve” to Death Before Helping, but They’re Not His Responsibility! on Quote Ambition.