For many parents, the practice of coming up with a name for their children can be perceived as a high-stakes endeavor.
Redditor Southern_Wave7394 is a dad who reluctantly agreed to the name favored by his wife.
Now that their daughter started first grade, an incident at school caused the young girl to be upset.
His effort to console her backfired, and when he got into an argument with his wife about a decision they made six years ago, he visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for agreeing with my daughter that I didnt like her name?”
The Original Poster (OP) started the post by stating his daughter’s name: “Mildred.”
“That’s my 6-year-old daughter’s name. I fought so hard to not have her named that, but my wife was dead set on it.”
“Who even names their kid Mildred anymore? Are we in the 19th century or something? And plus I know how kids are.”
“Sure enough, I picked up my daughter from school today and usually she’s excited when I pick her up, but she was quiet. I kept asking her what was wrong and when we were almost home, she finally confessed and said that someone in her class had said that her name ‘sounded like a grandma.’ Basically, old.”
“She said she didn’t like her name anymore, and I tried to sympathize by saying, ‘I’m sorry kiddo. Yeah, I never liked your name either. I thought it was a stupid name when I first heard it, but everyone in the family thought it was okay, and I got shot down. But on the bright side, you can change it when you get older.'”
“We were in the garage by then and she looked at me in horror and said, ‘You don’t like my name either?’ And she opened the door, crying, and ran inside before I could catch her.”
“She told her mother that I said her name was stupid (somehow she also forgot to mention the kid in her class who started it) and even after I explained the whole situation to my wife, she was mad and wanted me to apologize.”
“I refused. I said, ‘Apologize for what? I don’t like the name, I never liked the name, and our daughter doesn’t even like the name.'”
“I was mad at the moment, too, so I walked away but later I tried to talk to our daughter and ask why she just started crying like that because I was genuinely confused (still am, to be honest) but all she said was that she wasn’t ‘happy at me’ and that she didn’t want to talk to me right at the moment.”
“I’m not too worried about my daughter because she’s 6, so she’ll probably forget it by tomorrow or like a week at most, but my wife is really mad at me right now because she was telling me that I should apologize tomorrow, and I kept saying no.”
“I think she just feels guilty that she named our daughter Mildred, but I’m curious if I’m TA here.”
“All I did was agree with my daughter when she said she didn’t like her name. I still want an explanation why she just started crying like that.”
Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Many Redditors thought the OP was the a**hole for how he dealt with his daughter’s distress.
“YTA. Your daughter is 6. You should be helping explain her emotions to her, not the other way around. You literally have less emotional intelligence than a six year old. You should be ashamed of yourself.”
“To insist, after being told dozens of times that you were wrong and owe your daughter an apology, that you actually won’t apologize unless your daughter continues to be emotionally braver than you and continues to directly confront and explain to her own authority figure why your bullying makes her feel bad?”
“You should be so embarrassed.”
“She’s going to remember the time she went to her father for comfort and that he shit on her instead for a long time.” – poopja
“She’s 6. The last thing she needed to hear is that her parent doesn’t like her name. A 6 year old is not equipped to separate rejecting her name from rejecting her.”
“And that’s why YTA.”
“Sure, she can change it when she’s older, but WTF were you thinking?” – Malkom1366
“The fact that he is asking a 6 YEAR OLD to do emotional labor FOR HIM speaks volumes.” – feralgoblingirl
“Oh…’I’m not too worried about my daughter because she’s 6, so she’ll probably forget it by tomorrow or like a week at most’ No, no, no, no, no… ‘Daddy thinks my name is ugly’ is the kind of shit that sticks with the kid.”
“‘Kids don’t remember’ is BS, kids remember and take it into their adult lives and anxiety attacks over it.”
“YTA big time.”
“How can you not realize that ‘thinks my name is ugly’ gets kinda liked to ‘thinks I am ugly’ or ‘loves me less because he let me have a ugly name”‘in the child’s mind? How oblivious can you be?”
“You better work on your emotional maturity, emotional inteligente, ability to read the room and empathy.” – ChocolateChipShame
“Yeah… OP YTA lol my mom said my teeth were ‘Bucky Beaver teeth’ ONCE and I’m 27 and still remember .. I was about 6 then and that’s nowhere near as cruel as agreeing with a 6 year old bully about a kids name.”
“Also just saying… I read your post. And your replies. I wasn’t going to vote either way until you asked only N T A s to comment… you’re an extra AH for that.” – arries159
“YTA a huge one.”
“You just sided with an elementary school bully, congratulations.”
“So when the kid comes up to you in 4 years and says ‘I don’t like my face’ because some kid made fun of their freckles are you making fun of that too?”
“Your JOB is to tell her that her name is beautiful, even if you hate it. That’s your job. Which you have epically failed.” – HealthyOatbits21
Overall, Redditors denounced the OP for his failure to make his daughter feel better after the bullying incident.
They also reminded him that kids his daughter’s age tend not to forget about things that upset them, including a parent who doesn’t show up for them when needed.