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Dad Loses It After His Husband Tells Their Six-Year-Old Son His Artwork Is ‘Not Well-Drawn’

Photo by Alexander Dummer/Unsplash

Parenting is an everyday challenge.

One of the biggest challenges for parents is trying to not bring your past pain and baggage into your family’s life.

Learning how to self heal while parenting can be quite dramatic.

Case in point…

Redditor fkndelightthrowaway wanted to discuss his story for some feedback. So naturally he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for telling my husband he’s an emotionally abusive b**ch like his mother?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Me (38) & my husband (34) adopted our son as a baby, which wasn’t easy as a gay couple.”

“He’s 6 now, and for the most part I think we’re decent parents.”

“Obviously all parents make mistakes & we both come from broken homes, but I think that gives us more drive to be as good as we can.”

“My husband’s mother really f**ked him up.”

“Both she & his dad were emotionally abusive to the point that he thinks he’s gotta be perfect at everything or he’s a failure undeserving of basic human decency.”

“He still hasn’t gotten over that despite years of therapy and I don’t blame him.”

“That b**ch belongs in hell.”

“Unsurprisingly, he’s a perfectionist and he does push our child to do well, but never in a way that hurts son & never in a way that I thought was too much.”

“He’s always very honest because he doesn’t think we should coddle children.”

“And me and son’s godfather have had to stop him from ruining Easter and Xmas.”

“He’s been through a lot and he knows how tough life can be.”

“So he wants our son to be prepared for the real world and doesn’t often treat him like a child.”

“I think that’s good in a way, because I indulge our son.”

“If it was up to me, he’d probably never finish his homework because we’d both get distracted by more fun things.”

“That said, my husband adores our son and makes sure he knows he’s loved, and that his worth does NOT depend on how well he does, even if he pushes him.”

“But I think this time he went too far.”

“Sometimes he skirts along the line of being mean (with everyone), but this time, he overstepped it.”

“A few days ago, our son drew a picture.”

“He doesn’t draw very often but his godfather is an artist & for a few hours, son got it in his head that he wants to be one too.”

“The picture was exactly what you’d expect a picture by a 6 year old who doesn’t draw a lot to look like, but obviously, I told him how nice it was.”

“Then, he showed my husband.”

“My husband looked at it for a moment before telling him it was a bad picture – ‘not well-drawn or proportioned.’”

“He didn’t say it in a cruel way, just a very matter-of-fact way.”

“Our son was devastated, and I comforted him & let him watch TV.”

“I think my husband was taken aback by the fact that son was so upset. It definitely wasn’t his intention.”

“We started fighting immediately, him saying stuff like ‘You want me to lie to our son? It was a crap drawing. Not everyone can be an artist, he needs to understand that.’”

“So I said, in a fit of rage, that he doesn’t have to project his own f*8king childhood trauma onto our son.”

“And that he’s one comment away from being an emotionally abusive b**ch like his mother.”

“He went quiet and kind of just deflated.”

“He’s staying with a friend now and we haven’t been in contact since.”

“I know it’s one of the worst things I could have said to him, but I really think he needed some perspective on what he was doing.”

“We’ve had our fair share of bad fights, but nothing like this since the kid came.”

“AITA for bringing his trauma up like that?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

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

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“NTA he’s also acting pretentious af to a six year old who does that?”

“It’s good he’s taking some time away I hope he’s thinking about his actions.”  ~ Sensitive-String-284

“Find a copy of this book…”

“And read it TOGETHER!!”

“Even try and do the exercises.”

“It is amazing. I am the permissive, distractable parent and it helped me be stronger and clearer in my communication, and it should help your husband soften without going soft. <hugs>.” ~ FlutterByCookies

“NTA but you knew that, neither is your husband.”

“He is what his upbringing made him to be and he is doing what he can to grow from there.”

“He needed to hear this.”

“These remarks will squash the fantasy and free spirit in you child.”

“No artist (or any kind of skill) was born making perfect paintings.”

“We try, learn and grow.”

“Go get your husband, he can be upset at home, with his family.”

“We all make mistakes, don’t let him hide.”

“Go turn this in a good memory, paint as a family, laugh at each others drawings and go from there.”  ~ Waltz_Working

OP wanted us to know a few more things…

“EDIT: Thank you for all the responses, first of all.”

“My original post doesn’t make it clear at all that my husband doesn’t disagree with me.”

“He didn’t leave in a huff, and he can accept the criticism.”

“He knows I have a point and is probably incredibly upset by that – very needed – realization.”

“That’s why I feel like an a**hole.”

“If he’d been a prick about it and argued back, I wouldn’t care.”

“EDIT TO CLARIFY: This was poorly phrased; I just meant that I wouldn’t be here on AITA if we’d continued fighting and if he’d doubled down on what he said to our kid.”

“But I know we both know that there’s a hint of truth to what I said.”

“I just said it in a horrible way. “

“He’s not sulking, he’s upset.”

“NTA. He doesn’t have to lie.”

“He doesn’t have to say it’s a good drawing, but he can still say things like ‘I’m so glad you like drawing’ and ‘I love it because you made it for me.'”

“Which both should be true even if it is a s**t drawing.”

He can also encourage the kid to take art classes.

“At six, the kid could have all the innate talent of a great artist and would still produce a s**t drawing.”

“Without practice and training… yeah.”

“That “not everyone can be an artist”, not appropriate after this drawing.”

“The kid still could be an amazing artist, just isn’t yet.” 

“EDIT: Furthermore, how good the picture is doesn’t matter if they’re having fun.”

“A kid doodling or drawing a picture for their parents doesn’t have to turn into someone with shows in six galleries for it to be worthwhile.”  ~ dfjdejulio

“NTA.Your son is going to end up thinking he’s not good enough as well even though he knows exactly what it’s like to feel this way himself.”  ~ HappySleepy2121

OP left us with some final details…

“UPDATE: Thank you for all of the thoughtful, helpful responses, including the ones that called me out.”

“Thank you to all the amazing artists who posted their childhood scribbles.”

“I’ll show them all to son and husband when I get the chance (also I admire you all for honing your craft and drawing wonderful things).”

“Husband and I had a long phone conversation.”

“Some of the comments gave me really good ideas for what to say.”

“Especially re: you don’t have to be good at something to enjoy doing it.”

“My husband used to play chess competitively.”

“A few years ago, he taught me how to play and discovered that he’d never actually gotten to play just for fun before.”

“He no longer thinks winning is the only thing that matters.”

“He just enjoys playing with me (to be honest, he still wins most of the time).”

“I brought that up and tried to explain how that same thing can apply to hobbies our son has.”

“At some point in our very long conversation, I mentioned I’d gone to reddit with this and he immediately said ESH.”

“And, most importantly, I apologized.”

“He did too, while fully acknowledging it’s not me he needs to apologise to.”

“He actually did like our son’s drawing.”

“He liked it because it’s our son’s.”

“He was just ‘being objective’ so he could give honest criticism.”

“But I think he understands how completely f*cked up his words were now.”

“Things are far from okay.”

“I’m going to take some Redditor’s advice and look into family counselling.”

“But husband is coming home and I feel a lot better about everything.”

“Thanks to everyone who commented.”

“I told my son vaguely that I’d posted ‘a story’ online and that over 300k people saw it and he got wide-eyed and asked me if I was famous now.”

“I did not expect this to get the attention that it did, and I did not expect so many loving, thoughtful comments.”

“Bless you all. Thank you.”

Well it sounds like OP has everything under control.

Or on its way to be under control.

It’s comforting to know this family is putting happiness before anger.

Good luck y’all.