Although the neighbor encouraged the 14-year-old to wait until she was older to experiment, the mom accused her of negatively influencing the teen.

By Maressa Brown
February 11, 2021
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Teens are experimental and rebellious by nature, which can be tough for many parents to accept. An eyebrow-raising situation described on Reddit illustrates this all too perfectly. The original poster (OP), writing under the handle u/neonhairtjrow, explained that her neighbor is a 42-year-old mom who recently lost her cool when her 14-year-old daughter Ann stole and used the OP's hair dye.

The OP shared with Reddit that Ann is "a pretty nice kid" who "comes over to say hi pretty often." She'll let her stick around for an hour or two if she's doing a project that she might find interesting. U/neonhairtjrow also explained that she has neon dyed hair that she changes frequently, and "Ann is enamored with it while her mom has commented [it's] 'immature.'"

Credit: Jacqui Miller/ Stocksy.

The teen had asked the OP a few times to dye her hair. "While I expressed that I was of the opinion that teens should be allowed control of their appearance, her mom's opinions seemed pretty staunch, and it might be a better idea not to touch her hair until she's an adult," wrote the Redditor.

Cut to the day that the OP posted on Reddit when she was working and interrupted by banging at her door. It was Ann and her mom. The teen's hair "was splotchy pink, hands and face stained, and cheeks beet red with tears." Ann's mom shoved a jar of hair dye and a USPS box at the OP. While she wasn't accusing the OP of giving the dye to Ann (the teen admitted to stealing it), she did scream that the OP "encouraged Ann into this behavior." In turn, she wanted the OP to "pay every red cent to fix it."

The OP explained that she had the supplies to fix it, but "that wasn't good enough." Instead, the mom wanted $200 to take Ann to a professional. The OP turned it over to Reddit to ask if she's an ass**** for refusing to hand over the cash.

Redditors overwhelmingly reassured the OP that she had every right to say "no." u/Radiant-One5411 wrote, "Her daughter stole your hair dye and used it. That is not your fault. Do not give any money to get her hair fixed. Your neighbor needs to teach her daughter not to steal."

u/mm172 advised, "Tell her that if anyone should be forking over money here, it's Ann for stealing your product. Either she can graciously accept the help you're offering (and count her blessings you're not pressing charges), or she can deal with this on her own...but if she needs somewhere to point the blame for her kid making dumb choices besides the fact that said kid is 14, she should start with the person who's supposed to be teaching those decision-making skills. Which is not you."

And u/yukidaviji pointed out that not only is the OP not responsible for Ann's dye job, but her own hairstyle is "in no way encouragement for a kid to steal and ruin her own hair with stolen hair dye. You also said it might not be a good idea for her to mess with her hair till she's an adult. You actively discouraged her from doing this."

The resounding conclusion from Reddit: The OP's being gaslit by a mom who is struggling to cope with her kid's natural teenage instincts. Ultimately, not only is experimentation like this to be expected, but really, what harm can be done by a kid giving into their artistic impulses?

Without follow-up from u/neonhairtjrow, how this situation will be resolved remains to be seen, but here's hoping the OP stands her ground and defends Ann's right to be mess up, play, and explore. After all, it's crucial for adolescents to figure out who they are.

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