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Stepfather Cancels Teen Stepdaughter’s Birthday Party After Overhearing Her Insult A Classmate

angry teen girl
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The role a stepparent plays in a child’s life should be discussed before wedding vows are exchanged.

When it’s not, it can lead to issues in the marriage.

A stepfather who decided he had complete authority to discipline his stepdaughter without consulting his wife found himself facing two angry women. So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

GladPhoto2084 asked:

“AITA for cancelling my stepdaughter’s birthday party for insulting a classmate?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I have a step-daughter, Hannah. She’s 17 years old.”

“She had her birthday yesterday & asked me for money to buy gifts for her classmates. I agreed but said that she had to buy things for everyone.”

“She bought chocolates. I was picking her up. She had not given it to all of her friends yet, and she distributed it to some others.”

“Two boys were nearby, and one of them said, ‘No chocolates for us?’ She said ‘It’s only for special people’, and then gifted it to another boy.

“The others began to tease him because he was one of Hannah’s ‘special people’. To clarify, the teasing words were ‘Hannah loves you! First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage!’.”

“She told one of them, ‘Didn’t your father abandon your mother when she got pregnant? You deserve it completely.”

“I was absolutely shocked. I asked her to apologize, but she refused.”

“The other boy was joining in on the fun. He did not take offense, and only she did. It wasn’t bullying.”

I know them well. They like to mess around but are not bullies.”

“They were just lightheartedly teasing her by asking whether she isn’t giving them any chocolates. The other boy did not mind either, he was grinning.”

“Also, she had agreed to give it to everyone but lied so that she could get my money. And then she insulted his parents by saying that he deserved to get abandoned as a child.”

“I canceled the party she was going to hold later in the evening. My wife’s mad at me, and so is she.”


The OP summed up their situation.

“I think I am the a**hole for canceling the birthday celebration as she was looking forward to it.”

In response to questions about canceling the party without input from his wife, OP replied:

“The party was in my house, and I was supposed to pay for everything.”

“I was to pay entirely for the party, and therefore, it was within my rights to refuse, thereby canceling it.”

When Redditors pointed out such actions could drive a wedge between the OP and his stepdaughter, he added:

“Well, since she’s not my bio child, I don’t mind if she moves away. It’s a free country.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided the OP was the asshole (YTA).

“YTA. It sounds like you also do not fully know the context to this banter back and forth. If she was really trying to bully someone would she do it in front of you?”

“Was she just defending someone? Was this a dark reel of jokes? You are missing a lot of details in your story.”

“Even if she meant to be a bully, a one-off remark is not a reason to unilaterally cancel her 17th birthday. She will be leaving high school soon.”

“All her friends will be going to different colleges. You should have discussed it with your wife, obtained more context especially since the boy was not offended and dealt with it differently.”

“If it is part of an inside joke or banter, you can still have a conversation about how words can silently hurt people even if they say it doesn’t or act like it doesn’t.”

“There are better ways to handle the issue without canceling the only 17th birthday she will ever have.”

“If your daughter had a history with this boy, a more serious punishment since you mentioned the words shocked you. It sounds like she does not have a history of bullying.”

“If it is not too late, you should apologize, reinstate the party, and talk to her about why you saw her actions as unacceptable.” ~ Liuthekang

“YTA of course. Cancelling a party‽ Seems like she just defended her friend. Do better.”

“I’d rather be homeless than live with you if I gotta be brutally honest. And you are just her stepfather too. You think you can make these decisions without your wife’s input ‽‽ Definitely YTA.” ~ SwedishFicca

“You made your near adult stepdaughter bring in chocolates for ‘everyone in her class,’ saw her and her friend getting teased by teen boys who ‘you know well’—WTF‽‽‽, got upset when she snapped back and canceled her party without consulting her or her mother.”

“You then, in the comments, say you don’t care about your stepdaughter—but you care enough to punish her, which is giving major sadist/control-freak vibes.”

“YTA. Grow up before you actually have a family of your own and if you already do, do your wife, stepdaughter and any “bio kids” the kindness of removing yourself from their lives.” ~ Bing1044

“YTA. But judging by your comments, you don’t actually care about YTA. It sounds like you just want people to agree with you.” ~ FreeTheHippo

“YTA. Those 2 boys may not have even been in her class. I’m disgusted that you would jump to the assumption that your stepdaughter lied because she didn’t give them the chocolate instead of just minding your business or asking her on the way home about it.”

“The boy was definitely trying to humiliate your stepdaughter by insinuating that she’s in love with a boy she is friends with or may even have a crush on in front of other peers. The other boy smiling about it doesn’t matter.”

“He wasn’t the one being shamed. Unless you think so lowly of your stepdaughter that you think boys would be upset or embarrassed at the thought of her having feelings for them.”

“The boy made a joke about love coming before marriage and ending with a baby. She simply pointed out that it wasn’t actually true by drawing a comparison to how he was born without love or marriage between his parents.”

“The stepdaughter’s comeback was harsh, but it was relevant and in keeping with what the boy was teasing her about.”

“Inserting yourself in teenage drama and excusing the boys’ behaviour as teasing while acting outraged at your stepdaughter’s retaliation and demanding she apologize in front of everyone is ridiculous.”

“They started it, and you are victim blaming.”

“The fact that you feel entitled to cancel a 17-year-old’s birthday party the day of because she wouldn’t apologise to a bully, without even bothering to ask your stepdaughter on the way home for more context on why she reacted the way she did before discussing an appropriate punishment with her mother who is her actual parent is borderline abusive.”

“You are punishing her for not doing what you tell her, even if it’s unreasonable. You feel entitled to punish her because you paid for her birthday party and therefore think it’s yours to give or take away when you feel like it.”

“You consider the money yours and not yours and your wife’s, which makes me think you probably don’t respect her or see her as an equal either. I wouldn’t be surprised that you try to control everyone’s thoughts and actions and regularly punish them for not living up to your expectations of how they should be.” ~ Low-Locksmith-2359

“YTA. So what she said was an insult, but what they were saying was okay. Get your head out of your a**. You punished her because she is a girl who stood up to a boy. What a man you are.” ~ BooCat3

“YTA, and after reading your comments, I would even say a huge one. You seem to like those boys more than your own stepdaughter, and you seem to like to control her—you paid for the party, so you get to decide. Nice powertrip, man.

“Stop trying to find validation—even in this one-sided story it’s very clear you are the a**hole. I can only assume it’s even worse if we got to hear the other side.”

“Saying you don’t care if she moves far away from you as she is not even your bio-kid, tells me everything I need to know about you.”

“YTA, and not even a pleasant person overall. Do better.” ~ Appropriate-Low-9443

“You said in a comment you don’t care if she moves away because she isn’t your bio child. Sounds like you just don’t like her for existing and wanted any excuse to cancel the party. YTA for that alone.” ~ Flashy_Bridge8458

“YTA. And clearly a jerk as well. It’s a little creepy to monitor your 17-year-old stepdaughter so closely and to order her to behave in a certain way with her friends.” ~ choirmama

“YTA if you canceled her party without her actual mother’s permission. It’s also weird that you expected her to give out gifts to everyone.”

“Everyone in the school? Everyone in her class? It’s not grade school where everyone gets a valentine.” ~ readerchick

“YTA. Your comments scream of a ‘boys will be boys’ attitude.

“I legitimately worry about how you must treat your wife if you think it’s fine for a boy to bully, sorry, ‘tease’ a girl, but if that girl responds in kind, she’s wrong.”

“Let me guess, you also tell younger girls when boys hit them, it’s because they like them.” ~  cryssylee90

The OP may have come for validation but got criticism instead.

It seems doubtful he’s going to absorb any of it to do better, though.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.