Man Asks If He’s Wrong For Making His Teen Stepdaughter Spend A Night In Jail Instead Of Bailing Her Out

His stepdaughter was traumatized.

Man with head in hands, woman in prison Spixel / Max4e Photo / Shutterstock

Parents will go to great lengths to teach their children a valuable lesson when they screw up. 

However, one father is wondering if he may have taken teaching his step-daughter a lesson too far after she was arrested and he refused to bail her out of jail. 

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The man let his stepdaughter spend the night in jail after she was caught underage drinking at a party. 

Sharing his story on Reddit's r/AmITheA–hole subreddit, the stepfather attempted to defend his decision. 


He began his post by sharing that he and his 38-year-old wife have been married for six years and together they have an eight-year-old and a five-year-old. 

His wife also has an 18-year-old daughter, Mary, from a previous relationship. 

“Mary is in her senior year of high school and lives with us,” the 39-year-old wrote. 

He adds that Mary’s biological father lives two hours away and she will drive herself here and there to spend time with him. 

During a recent weekend, the man’s wife took their two younger children to visit her sister who lives three hours away. 

“Before my wife left, Mary told us that she was going to visit her dad that weekend,” he wrote.


“I was going to stay home to get some work done on some home projects that had been neglected over the holidays.” 

On Friday after the rest of his family had left, the father kicked back, opened a bottle of Bourbon, and cooked himself a steak dinner. 

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His peaceful weekend was interrupted by a phone call at 3 am. 

“Any parent knows that a phone call at that time of night is a nightmare situation, so I immediately answered,” the man shared. 

The phone call was from his wife, who delivered shocking news regarding Mary. 


“She told me that Mary had been arrested and had just called her from our local jail. Apparently, she had lied about going to her dad's house and had instead attended a party,” he wrote. 

The teen was caught by police after attempting to escape the scene.

“My wife said that the police would allow me to go get Mary right away instead of keeping her in jail,” the father claimed. 

However, he believed it would be unsafe to drive to the police station since he had been drinking earlier in the night and assured her that he would pick up his stepdaughter in the morning. 

“My wife yelled at me for being irresponsible by drinking to that point in case of an emergency,” the man wrote. 


She eventually calmed down after hearing his side of the story and how he was not responsible for anyone that weekend. 

As promised, he picked up a disheveled Mary from jail the next morning. 

“When I saw her, it was obvious she had been crying a lot and she didn't say a word to me on the way home,” the man revealed. “She immediately went to her room when we got home and didn't come out the entire day.” 

When Mary’s mother came home later that day, she went to talk to her daughter, who was still in her room. 

The man’s wife eventually came down and informed him that she and her daughter were “disappointed” by the man’s actions, or lack of action. 


“She said that Mary is traumatized by the whole thing,” the father reported.  “I told her 'Good, maybe next time she won't lie and do stupid s–t.'" 

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The father wanted his stepdaughter to learn a lesson. 

“I reminded her that Mary is an adult now and she has to get used to facing consequences of her actions and this should be a very clear reminder of what those consequences could be,” he added. 

“My wife said that that lesson could have been made without making her spend a night in jail.” 

Some Reddit users believed that the man took his punishment too far. 

“I screwed up a lot when I was a teenager and I'm sure I put my parents through h–l. But there was never, ever a scenario where they made me feel like they didn't care whether or not I was safe. Never,” one user commented. 


“Cops breaking up parties aren't looking to fill holding cells with teenagers for underage drinking or smoking weed. Even assault cases walk out after booking in most places,” another user pointed out. 

Others wondered why Mary’s biological father did not bail her out of jail instead.

“If she was so traumatized by spending the night in jail, then why didn’t your wife contact her actual father after you told her you were not sober enough to drive down and bail her out? Surely two hours away is not too far when his daughter is in jail,” one user mentioned. 

However, others believed that the man was being fair.

“You are only an a–hole for not doing what you said you were going to do: neglected projects. Whether the 18-year-old gets picked up at 3 am or 8 am makes no diff and hopefully, she learned something,” one user commented. 


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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.