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Mom Refuses To Make Her 17-Year-Old Son Give Up His Bus Seat To An Elderly Woman, Igniting Argument

Photo: Prostock-studio | Shutterstock
mom and son sitting on public transport

A mother is being defended after she didn't make her teenage son give up his seat on a bus so that someone else could sit down.

Posting to the subreddit "r/AmItheA--hole" (AITA) — a forum where users try to figure out if they were wrong or not in an argument that has been bothering them — she explained that she was taking her 17-year-old son to a therapy appointment when the incident occurred.

She refused to make her son give up his bus seat to an elderly woman.

In her Reddit post, she wrote that while she and her son usually drive to his therapy appointments, they were forced to take public transport after not being able to use a car.

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"While it isn’t my place to share why he goes to therapy, I will say that he will often forget to eat. I usually make sure he’s fed, but due to the mess in the morning, it slipped my mind," she said.

When she and her son got onto the bus, which wasn't that crowded but most of the seats were taken, she noticed that he wasn't feeling well due to skipping breakfast, and started becoming dizzy.

The minute someone rose from a seat, she told him to sit down while she scrounged for something in her bag that he could eat. 

At the same time, an elderly woman and her adult daughter boarded the bus.

"I didn’t pay much attention until the daughter tapped me on the shoulder. She asked if my son could move so that her elderly mother could have a seat," she continued. "I felt really bad, I really did, but my son was not doing great and standing would make it harder."

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The woman knew that if she made her son stand up, he would most likely 'faint.'

After managing to find a chocolate bar for her son to eat, sensing that if he didn't eat, he would pass out, she apologized to the elderly woman and her daughter, telling them that her son wasn't feeling well and needed to sit down.

"She rolled her eyes at me and said that she saw him standing earlier and that he’s a young healthy teenage boy, he’ll be fine."

The woman explained once more that her son was feeling ill, and that if he could, he would've offered up his seat in a heartbeat.

"The daughter told me to look at her mother and I admit, the poor woman looked really tired. But I couldn’t. My son had started to lean against me so I told the woman one last time that I was sorry and to ask someone else."

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Afterward, she overheard the elderly woman and her daughter "whispering" and calling her "entitled" for not having her son get up from his seat. 

When the woman and her son got off the bus, another person who had been on with them scolded her for refusing to let the elderly woman sit down.

"[She] said that a teenage boy can handle standing more than an elderly woman can and that she hopes someone treats me like that when I’m her age."

Since then, she hasn't been able to shake the debacle from her mind, and wonders if she was truly in the wrong.

A majority of people who commented on the woman's Reddit post agreed that she was NTA (Not The A-hole).

"You handled it the same way I would have, politely explaining that your son wasn't feeling well and needed to sit," one user wrote.

"I'm sure there were many other people they could have asked, and many other people that could have offered, so I'm not sure why they felt the need to pick on you and your son."

Another user added, "once you explained to them that your son had a need for the seat they should have backed off. After that, it was their issue."

"Reasonable people know that a disability or impairment is not always visible and not something that older people have," a third user chimed in.

"It sounds like you were polite to the mother and daughter and that they were unnecessarily rude."

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.