Dad's Harsh Rant About His Teen Son Sparks A Debate About Whether Parents Can Morally Vent About Their Kids Online

Many parents related to his teenage parenting nightmare. But others say it's over a line.

TikTok dad talking about his teenage son boldfam/TikTok

It’s no secret that parenting teenagers is often so difficult it makes the “terrible twos” seem like a cakewalk. And for influencer, entrepreneur and dad Deric Cahill, being in the thick of parenting teenagers has proven to be so frustrating that he took to TikTok to “talk just a little bit of sh-t” about his 13-year-old son. 

The steam he blew off was instantly relatable to tons of parents on the app. But to others, it was wildly inappropriate, and sparked a debate about what is and is not appropriate to say about kids online.


A dad vented his frustrations about parenting teenagers by trash-talking his 13-year-old son on TikTok.

The dad expressed that he’s a bit taken aback at the difference between parenting kids and parenting teenagers, and it’s left him a bit shocked—not to mention exasperated.

“It just—it never gets better,” the dad jokingly lamented about parenting.

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In a speech that all parents everywhere will relate to, Cahill talked about the travails of every kid's babyhood. “You're like, wow, if I can just get a full night's sleep, things are gonna be amazing.”


But just as you adapt to babyhood, Cahill went on to say, you’re on to the “next phase, they're just getting into everything. They're breaking stuff. And you're like, dude, if I could just get this kid to calm himself down, we'll be good.”

Getting used to that phase doesn’t provide relief either, as the dad described. “Then... it's like, will you take me to this birthday party with all my friends? And you're like, oh my God.”

But nothing, he went on to say, holds a candle to the experience of parenting teenagers.

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The dad complained that his once sweet little boy has now become a surly teenager who doesn’t like him.

“Before I get going, I want to be very clear, I'm gonna talk just a little bit of sh-t about my 13-year-old son, okay?” Cahill said before telling a story of being his usual goofy dad self, playing his kid a silly wake-up song on the guitar. “And as soon as my thumb hits the string, he's like, put my guitar down. Don't play my guitar like that!”

Cahill says the moment hurt him, "because I'm just, like, trying to be fun, trying to be sweet, waking him up, and he's like, ‘what a dick.’”

And as Cahill jokingly lamented next, it still doesn’t get better for parents, even after the teen years finally wrap up. “Then it's going to be like… Dad. Bro, can you co-sign my college loans, bro? Dad… I'm getting married, do you want to stroke a check, bro?... And then it's going to be like, Dad, can you watch all my kids, bro? … And then I'm gonna die of old age.”

Wow, that got dark at the end there. But plenty of parents knew exactly what Cahill was getting at.


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Experts say the conflict between teenagers and parents is a normal and healthy part of growing up, and many parents totally relate to the dad’s lament.

“My 13-year-old daughter hates my guts all of a sudden. It’s so fun,” one mom wrote, while another joked, “mine is in that phase where he’s got a lot of mouth for somebody that can’t fight…”

Truly, if your teen doesn’t like you much, you’re not alone—and as seen in the video below, parenting and child development experts say it’s even a good thing, as it helps teens' process of “separation and individuation” as they develop their own sense of self.

Similarly, in 2021, life coach Wendy Kay told us, “teenagers...are their own person, just like you are,” and that's why they become so surly in their teens years. "They don't understand why you just won't let them be who they are, and they get angry about it.”


Yep, there’s definitely a reason so many parents found Cahill’s rant relatable—because what he’s going through is totally normal. And that’s precisely why some thought he should have kept it under wraps.

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Some parents on TikTok found the dad’s video inappropriate, saying it will hurt his son deeply if he ever sees it.

Mocking Cahill’s rant, influencer @rynnstarr said in a TikTok stitch of Cahill’s video, “Can you like, be a parent, bro?” 



She went on to make an important point—"All I can say is I hope your 13-year-old son who’s old enough to be on this app doesn’t see this video and think that he’s a complete burden on you for having normal teenage needs.” 


Many people agreed wholeheartedly. “These parents forget that it’s not a private diary or talk with friends at the bar after work. The internet is forever and his kid -will- see it likely,” one person commented.

YourTango’s own Joanna Schroeder wasn’t a fan of the video either because of the way Cahill seemed to be “making fun” of his kid, and she suggested taking a different attitude toward parenting teenagers entirely. 



“Teenage kids get such a bad rap,” Schroeder said in her TikTok stitch of Cahill’s video. “They’re actually super fun—and they objectively are cooler than us.” And that's exactly as it should be, Schroeder went on to say. "We’re not supposed to be cooler than them!" 


Maybe she’s on to something. As Cahill said himself, the roller coaster of parenting teenagers never truly ends. Might as well embrace it!

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.