The imagination of children is a wonderful thing.
They can play pretend like nobody’s business, they’re wildly entertained by the simplest jokes, and their creativity is off the charts.
And on occasion, parents use all that imagination to their advantage.
But as a recent post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit showed, there’s a clear line where that’s gone too far.
The Original Poster (OP), known as anonvampirestepdad on the site, mentioned a puzzling detail in the post’s title.
“AITA for telling my stepdaughter that vampires aren’t real?”
It began when a recent dinner left OP a bit puzzled.
“I (32-year-old male) married my wife (24-year-old female) a year ago, and I have a stepdaughter (5-year-old female).”
“Before we got married, the three of us went out to dinner, and my now-stepdaughter got to eat steak.”
“At the end of the meal, she started licking the meat juice from the plate. I told her to stop, but my now-wife told me to let her be.”
Eventually, OP got some more information.
“Later that night, my wife explained to me that my stepdaughter has had problems in the past with picky eating.”
“My wife was worried that she wasn’t getting enough protein, and decided on a creative way to explain the importance of getting enough protein.”
“Specifically, she decided to tell my stepdaughter that they were vampires, and that she would die if she didn’t get enough blood.”
It appeared to have worked.
“Because my stepdaughter is a child, she believed my wife and started eating whatever meat was put in front of her.”
“My wife was also able to use the vampire thing to convince her to eat tomatoes, beets, and other red vegetables.”
But then there was a recent development.
“I thought this seemed cute and creative until today, when my stepdaughter got suspended from Kindergarten.”
“She bit another child on the neck, apparently in an attempt to drink his blood.”
“When she and my wife got home, I overheard her explaining that my stepdaughter needs to be a ‘nice vampire who doesn’t bite.’ ”
“I thought that was a little ridiculous.”
OP couldn’t help but keep this all in mind going forward.
“Later, I saw my stepdaughter petting and kissing my dog’s neck.”
“I freaked out, scared she was about to bite my dog (she claimed she was just petting him).”
“I told her to go to her room, where I explained that vampires aren’t real and that her mom lied to her.”
“She immediately burst into tears and ran to my wife.”
Not surprisingly, OP had some explaining to do.
“My wife is pissed off at me for making her daughter cry and ‘overriding her parenting.’ “
“Maybe I did, but the situation was clearly getting out of hand, and I thought it was best to just stop lying to her.”
“My wife says that she had things under control, and that the vampire lie is no different from lying about Santa.”
“Still, something had to be done. AITA?”
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
A clear majority of Redditors agreed that OP wasn’t the a**hole.
“NTA. This has clearly bypassed being a little lie a parent tells to get their kid to eat vegetables. If she’s actively hurting other children, something needs to change.”
“Given that she is hurting other kids because of the lie, it’s appropriate for you to step in and say something if mom does not.” — 0biterdicta
“NTA when a five year old gets old in trouble at school for biting another child’s neck to drink it’s blood, the vampire story has gone too far.”
“Maybe you overstepped but you did it for a valid reason, the ‘lie’ had gotten out of hand.” — Middle_Plantain_8431
“Hell no. She’s messing up her brain with this crap. Cant compare it with the Santa story, the dude comes once a year to bring presents not to drink blood to stay alive.”
“She had to be told for her own safety and for the kids around her. She’s trying to harm others to “stay alive”, is her mother so blind she cant see what she’s doing?”
“And what if she goes for the dog? She might not do any damage to the dog, but the dog might harm her trying to protect itself.”
“Big NTA.” — sparkly_evil
Some people foresaw far-reaching consequences.
“NTA. There is a possibility that your SD would end up having ‘TRUST ISSUES’. Kids believe their parents with all their heart.”
“It might be insignificant for us, adults but at that age after believing in a lie told by a parent for years when they would learn reality by their own, they could be crushed in hearts.”
“The sooner she understands, the better it would be for her and for people/animal around her. And it certainly is better to learn from a family than by her own.”
“The tactic your wife is using might be beneficial for her daughter right now but there would be issues like the trust issues because what she is doing is nothing but ‘MANIPULATION’.” — TrickInteresting8032
“O.M.G. There is nothing cute and creative about lying to a child about a scary fictitious creature. ESH except the poor kid, who will probably have lifelong issues.” — Unit-Healthy
“NTA. There are far better ways to get kids to eat. Teaching them to be a vampire is going to warp her sense of reality, and it already has.”
“Simply telling a kid they are going to die or get sick from not eating is easy enough, and it’s honest. Telling them thet are a vampire and need to eat (and even suck blood) is not.”
“Santa is a harmless lie in the sense that it’s not going to hurt others to believe it. Belief that ones self is a vampire and that it is necessary to get blood is only going to invite people to get hurt.”
“If she bit the wrong person (HIV+, AIDS, any other blood spread illness) or animal (get bit back), she’d be in for a lot of hurt.”
“Your wife is an absolute idiot. If she can’t figure out how to feed her kid, she needs to get parenting classes and nutrition courses so her kid atleast gets fortified foods.” — Snoo_68114
However the argument between OP and his wife ends up, let’s hope the biting is for sure over and done with.