An Open-Letter to the Dad That Deleted His Son’s Minecraft World

To the Reddit post that got underneath my skin

Pixabay

Almost two weeks ago, a father posted on the subreddit, AmItheAsshole, about deleting a Minecraft world his son had built as punishment. As the name suggests, this subreddit is all about helping people gain a little bit of perspective. If they aren’t sure whether they did something wrong or not, they’ll ask internet strangers what they think.

In this case, this father wanted to know if he was wrong for deleting his son’s Minecraft world. Here’s the full post:

I have 2 children, a 9 year old son and a 6 year old daughter. My son had a Minecraft world where he built quite an impressive castle on an island, which he was very proud to show to me.

Since school was canceled, he has had issues with waking up on time. He is supposed to wake up at 7 each morning, but for the past month he has been sleeping in until about 9 or 10. I always set an alarm for him, but he sleeps right through it. I don’t wake him up because waking himself up is a skill that he needs to learn. I told him about 2 weeks ago that there are going to be consequences for him if he continues to sleep in every morning. At first, he understood and was waking up on time every morning. But for the past week or so, he has fallen back into old habits. I told him yesterday that this is his final warning. Today, he slept in until 11.

So I followed through with my warning, and went on the computer and deleted his favorite Minecraft world. I also took away computer privileges for the next month. When I told him, he started screaming and crying. He told me that he spent a whole year working on that world, and he’s very distraught that he’s never going to see it again. He has been crying and sobbing throughout the day, and has refused to eat any of his meals. — u/aitaminecraftworld

The post got insanely popular with thousands of comments and opinions, but the dad has yet to respond to any of them or provide an update on the situation.

It’s not surprising that there was a lot of backlash — most people were appalled that this father would delete something his son had spent a year creating. Some commenters even referred to the situation as “emotionally-abusive.”

If I’m being honest, there’s not a lot of stuff on the internet that can really rile me up, but this particular post got under my skin. By the time I read the post, it had already been up for several days — and writing out my response felt a little long for a Reddit comment that was going to get buried beneath a thousand others. If I was going to say anything to that father, it would be this:

Yes, you’re the asshole

It’s one thing to take away your kid’s computer privileges or even ground them from video games — it’s another thing to destroy a passion project they’ve worked on for a year.

When you consider the context of the project, it makes it even worse. A child showed you something he loved — instead of encouraging him, you cataloged that information away so that you could use it against him later.

From this one incident, you already display a few signs of a narcissistic parent — such as a lack of empathy and a rigid and inflexible attitude.

What’s even worse is that the punishment doesn’t even remotely fit the crime. The kid wasn’t bullying anyone — he was a nine-year-old boy who just couldn’t wake up on time. Seven AM is early for anyone, but it’s especially early for a little kid who has nowhere to be.

I’m a full-grown adult, and I’d have to drag myself out of bed to be up at that time. I’ve never been an early-bird, and I can remember my mom waking me up for school up until high school. It seems unreasonable to expect any small child to wake up extremely early without a little bit of help.

The punishment doesn’t fit the crime — if you could even call it that. Imagine skipping school one day and then having your parent throw out every painting you’ve ever done or every story you’ve ever written. I would cry. I would be sick to my stomach too. I’d never trust you again. I’d hide my hobbies away so that you could never use them against me.

So, yeah, if you were really wondering — you are the asshole. You did something twisted, and you’ll be lucky if your son ever shows you something he cares about again. There are defining moments between a parent and a child — moments that determine the future of your relationship. This was one of them, and it wasn’t a good one.

What you can do now

I’m not a parent (unless you count my cat, but most people don’t), so I try not to give parenting advice. It’s not my area of expertise. However, in the slightest chance that the father sees this, I’ll offer this nugget of wisdom: you’ve got to regain the trust of your son.

I don’t think that’ll be easy, but a good first step is admitting that you were very wrong. There’s a lot of damage that’s already been done, but if your son learns anything out of this, it should be that it’s okay to apologize for your mistakes.

If you learn anything out of this, it should be that this kind of behavior is only going to do more damage. Your son might start waking up on time, but it’ll probably be because he’s too scared to sleep in the first place.

The second step might be to try and recover that Minecraft world — that isn’t always possible, especially this late in the game, but here’s a helpful link.

I don’t usually hope that someone is just trolling, but in the case, it would be more comfortable knowing that this guy was just a troll looking to cause chaos. The alternative is that there’s a dad out there who took a sledgehammer to the relationship he has with his son, riled up the internet, and then disappeared.

When I’m not writing, you can usually find me hanging out with my cats. pricelindy@gmail.com

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