It’s hard to pinpoint the exact point in our very fragile existence when we stop being a kid and become a full-fledged adult. But it’s not that hard to do that for the opposite progression—when you get so old, you start acting like a child.

And while you might think that dealing with an adult child is much harder than it is with an actual child, believe it or not, it’s not that different. Heck, you can use the same tactics and get results.

Take it from this dad who, as soon as his father-in-law started acting like a child, turned on his dad mode and dealt with it as if he was a child—with parental controls.

More Info: Reddit

You’d think kids grow up to be adults and stay that way, but some adults turn back into kids as soon as they become grandparents

Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual image)

The story goes that OP—a husband and a father to two kids—had in-laws staying with him temporarily while their house undergoes some serious overhaul work. Now, he doesn’t get along too well with his in-laws, more so the case with his father-in-law, but he figured two months would fly by without him having to lose his cool. Alas, he was wrong.

Considering that his mother-in-law is jobless, and the father-in-law often finishes work at around 11PM, the two often end up watching YouTube into the late hours of the night. Sounds tame, right? No. They watch it (as well as listen to music) using the entire speaker system. And while it’s not an insane setup, it packs enough of a punch to be bothersome to those who value sleep, i.e. the kids and OP.

But it happens, and this one dad decided he’s gonna use parenting tactics, i.e. TV parental controls, to deal with his father-in-law’s tantrums

Image credits: u/ExplanationFun2337

Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual image)

So, what ends up happening is the kids get woken up by the sound of boomer music blasting, which in turn prompts them to wake dad up so he’ll go and deal with the situation. After all, the kids need their rest, and the dad needs his because they have commitments in the mornings. The wife doesn’t seem to understand this as she’s at work, hauling graveyard shifts.

You’d think talking would help, but neither in-law was having any of it. And OP wasn’t asking for complete silence—the volume had to be low enough to ensure peace at home. But the father-in-law switched it up immediately, blaming OP for prohibiting him from enjoying himself after work, but OP drew a clear line there, so tough luck.

The issue here is everyone’s working on different schedules, and so everyone’s daily life begins at different times—FIL’s does near midnight

Image credits: u/ExplanationFun2337

And, as if father-in-law’s actions weren’t childish enough with the backtalk and taunts by sending links to buy earplugs, he managed to also tattle on him to the wife. And she sided with her dad! So, now you have both the in-laws and the wife on one end and the dad and kids on the other.

So, OP figured he wasn’t going to tolerate the in-laws’ tomfoolery and shenanigans and so he did the thing all kids couldn’t counter, and that is he put a parental control password on the television. So, now the ma and pa were restricted to enjoying the television between 6AM and 8:30PM. This doesn’t affect the Mrs as she’s working during these hours.

And midnight is not a good time to be blasting soaps and music, which not only the dad, but also his kids had trouble living with

Image credits: u/ExplanationFun2337

Image credits: Karolina Grabowska (not the actual image)

As you might have expected, the father-in-law is anything but amused. Ironically, in response to this, FIL told OP that he’s acting like a child, all the while pestering him with demands to tell him the password. The wife’s also upset.

But the solution lied in simply setting the TV to only be available during certain times throughout the day, and other times—password protected

Image credits: u/ExplanationFun2337

All of this made OP turn to the r/AITA community for some perspective on the matter. And he got loads of it. At the very least, 24,500 upvotes and a handful of Reddit awards worth of perspective.

After a family feud, the author of the post turned to the internet for some perspective

Across the board, folks were pointing out how the in-laws, being guests in someone else’s home, had the audacity to go along with their usual daily (nightly?) routines without considering others, and even being asked to knock it off, but fighting it.

Others suggested every time father-in-law sends links to earplugs, OP would send them links to headphones and hotel rooms. If anything, OP did right by his kids as a primary caretaker. And there was also one commenter who asked the real question: because their house was destroyed, insurance policies cover temporary housing—why didn’t they take the opportunity?

You can check out the post and full discussion on Reddit here. But don’t go just yet—not only because I said so, but also because you still haven’t shared your thoughts and stories in the comment section below!