We’ve all heard the classic anecdote about the child hearing different versions of permission from each parent.
But a recent post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit brought that to a whole new level.
The Original Poster (OP), who has since deleted their account on the site, shared the dramatic details right in the title.
“AITA for getting mad that my daughter’s father is paying her to not to cut her hair?”
OP led with the main bombshell.
“I recently found out that my daughter doesn’t want to cut her hair because her dad offered to pay a substantial amount of money to her on her birthday if she doesn’t cut it.”
“She is young enough that she barely has a concept of what money is worth in the first place.”
Then she offered some more context.
“We have no religious or cultural reasons to have long hair, and my daughter hates having long hair.”
“She’s young enough that I still have to help her brush it when it’s longer, and she says it itches her neck at night, and she scratches the heck out of her neck and shoulders overnight because of it.”
Then came a discovery.
“She asked to cut her hair months ago, and it turned out that her father was upset over it, then secretly made this deal with her.”
“I only recently found out when her hair got long enough again that she might want it cut again and I asked if she wanted it cut.”
But there was a familial impasse.
“I, and the women in my family, feel that telling a young child they can get paid for doing something with their body that they don’t want to do is extremely concerning, and sets bad precedent for the rest of her life.”
“The men involved don’t see an issue with it. Am I over reacting? Am I right to be concerned?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors assured OP she wasn’t the a**hole for being upset.
Many were, in fact, appalled.
“NTA. I’m a man and I see a problem with it. I also see a problem with any ‘secret deal’ between a parent and child that excludes the other parent.”
“I suggest you confront her father over the deal and the three of you should sit down together and reaffirm that there will be no payment or birthday present that is contingent on cutting or not cutting hair.” — 1962Michael
“NTA at all, this is very concerning. Not only does it normalize to your daughter that people can pay her to do things that she is not comfortable with, it also normalizes having an adult bribe her to keep a secret.”
“It doesn’t say if you and her father are together – if you are, I would highly recommend couples counselling. If not, this might be something to discuss with your lawyer. Either way, please have a conversation with her and explain why this was not ok.” — soundlikebutactually
“NTA. This upsets me. If there is no religious or cultural mandate, it means he likes long hair on females (I am assuming his hair is not long) and to me this is a bit uncomfortable.”
“If he likes to date or marry grown women with long hair, that can be a preference. But to prefer it on a girl of whatever age (she sounds between maybe 4 and 10) – that just feels icky.”
A shortish haircut on children is sensible and easy to care for, during the years before they start to care ‘how they look.’ ” — Unit-Healthy
“NTA, and you are absolutely justified in your concerns. Why would a father pay their child to do something that makes them uncomfortable?”
“Why does he care about what she does with her hair? It sets a dangerous precedent for their relationship before she is old enough to know how to establish appropriate boundaries and preferences.” — bigorangeT
Some spoke from experience.
“A friend had this deal with her father. I was going to say, ‘she turned out fine,’ but now that I think about certain topics…hmm.”
“It is weird that he would keep it secret, and that’s definitely a bad precedent.”
“NTA” — MariaInconnu
“NTA. Reminds me of my uncle…when his little girls were very young he would go on and on about how beautiful they were and how they should be models. Reducing their value to their physical appearance and performance of femininity.”
“Now they are tweens, one is gay and the other is non binary. The non-binary one isn’t performing femininity anymore and their father is punishing them for not looking correct, the kid hates their dad pretty solidly and is only 12.”
“The wife is on her way out too because she’s finally figured out that he views every male/female relationship as transactional.”
“Do your daughter right, teach her that her body is her choice, her appearance is her choice, and her value as a person has absolutely nothing to do with the preferences of men. She’ll get this sh** her entire life, start her off strong.” — black_rose_
Some advocated for a firm counter-response.
“NTA He is NOT the one dealing with her hair. He just wants the girly/feminine/braggable daughter.”
“Daughter has to deal with how uncomfortable her hair is.Mother has to deal with brushing/maintaining her hair.”
“Get daughter’s hair cut in a style daughter wants. Tell daddy-dearest to pound sand. Tell your daughter that grownups do NOT make ‘deals’ with girls/women with regards to their bodies in exchange for money or presents.”
“Talk to your lawyer about this – it’s manipulation and SICK! He’s treating your daughter like a Barbie Doll, not like a person!” — Billowing_Flags
“NTA. Pay her the same amount and cut her hair as short as she actually wants.” — tatasz
“After she gets his money, can she cut it? Like RIGHT after? Maybe even use his money to do it for extra spite?” — TuftCookie
If Reddit comments have any sway at all, it appears OP’s daughter will have shorter hair in no time.