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Dad Upset After Wife Punishes 5-Year-Old Daughter For ‘Lying’ After She Pretended To Like Soda

Little girl drinking soda from can on a sunny day outdoors in the park

Discipline can take many forms.

There seem to be clear right ways and wrong ways though.

All children learn in different ways.

And all parents discipline in their own manner… which can different greatly.

When parents aren’t on the same page about methods, everything can lead to chaos.

Case in point…

Redditor ExplanationCalm2060 wanted to discuss his experience and get some feedback. So naturally, he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for not agreeing with my wife’s form of a lesson to our daughter?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“This is a bit tame considering this page but I have to ask.”

“it all started over dinner when my wife decided to grab a soda from the fridge.”

“My wife saw my 5-year-old daughter eyeing the soda with interest and offered her some with a warning that it was ‘spicy.'”

“My daughter took a sip of the soda and had a look of uncertainty.”

“My wife then asks ‘Did you like it?'”

“My daughter says ‘yes’ with an uncertain look and continued.”

“‘So finish it,’ my wife says as my daughter refuses.”

“My wife follows up with ‘Ah… because you didn’t like it.'”

“My daughter replies with ‘No, I do like it, Mom. I just don’t want anymore.'”

“‘So finish it.'”

“Daughter finishes the drink and goes ‘That was yummy mom.'”

“This goes on for another 5 minutes of back and forth with my wife trying to get my daughter to admit that she does not like the soda.”

“I sit there enjoying the back-and-forth banter as it all seems playful.”

“Suddenly, my wife tells my daughter ‘No toys, no games, no tablets for lying.'”

“My daughter visibly confused and sad says ‘Okay Mom I just didn’t like it because it was too bubbly.'”

“Wife says ‘Too late, nothing for the rest of the night. Get ready for bed.'”

“I sat there in confusion due to the playful nature suddenly becoming a lesson about lying.”

“I mentioned that our daughter just wanted to impress her by drinking an ‘adult’ drink and it wasn’t about deceiving her.”

“I was then accused of just allowing my daughter to walk all over us and play us like we’re idiots.”

“My wife had made up her mind that my 5-year-old daughter is a pathological liar because of this and gives other light lying examples children do regularly.”

“Like, That wasn’t me who knocked that over, I don’t remember you saying that when I was big… etc.”

“I mentioned that she set my daughter up and it wasn’t taken kindly.”

“She then began putting down my abilities as a parent and to just wait when she’s a teenager and lies about much more serious things and she’s gonna get away with it because I don’t question her.”

“I felt like this was blown way out of proportion, and she stormed out into our office as she said, ‘I guess I’m the only parent here! Keep letting her slide. You’ll see!'”

The OP was left to wonder:

“So AITA?”

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

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

“NTA. Setting kids up with manipulative questions like that is a surefire way for them to develop anxiety when they get older.”

“‘Do I really feel this way?'”

“‘Am I just lying to myself?'”

“‘I should just stick with what I know I like.'”

“This type of parenting is going to make her a nervous wreck who can’t trust her own judgment.”  ~ Lackluster79

“It’s also gonna ensure their daughter gets much, much better about lying and potentially not confiding in them about much more serious matters.” ~ perpetuallyxhausted

“It’s also teaching her she can’t trust her mother.”

“To me, that’s the absolute worst thing about this kind of parenting.”

“It’s a wicked witch-type of parenting which only ensures you screw up your kid and don’t have a relationship with her later in life.”

“Mom has some serious issues she should get therapy for before screwing up her kids.”

“Who needs to outsmart a 5-year-old to feel better about themselves??” ~ bojenny

“I’m a developmental psychologist, and my main research area is adolescent/parent communication.”

“The number one reason teens lie to their parents is that they don’t trust their parents, and trusting relationships are built from early childhood.”

“So if this mom is so concerned about what’s going to happen when their daughter is a teenager she needs to rethink her parenting strategies.” ~ jbobbenson27

“Forcing somebody, let alone a 5-year-old, to drink what they don’t like and then punishing them for not outrightly expressing their likes/dislikes is way overboard.”

“There are a lot of adult people who cannot properly state their likes/dislikes and change their mind.”

“The Mother needs her head examined.” ~ abstractengineer2000

“Right? The poor kid probably liked the flavor but didn’t enjoy the sensation of the carbonation and didn’t know how to express that, especially with her mom pressuring her for a response.” ~ BadKittyVortex

“Yes! That kid did everything right.”

“She was brave enough to try something new, wasn’t too sure how she felt about it, and answered with politeness while still asserting her own boundaries.”

“I’d be proud to have such a kid!” ~ Zoenne

“Exactly this! Honestly, I have 5-year-old twins, and it’s a miracle when the boy tries something new.”

“OP has a great little girl, but to me, the mother’s behavior almost borders on abuse.”

“It’s definitely manipulation.”

“All it will do is teach the girl to lie better and be distant from her mother.”

“Hopefully, OP can keep a better relationship with her.”  ~ Ritocas3

“I like baked onions, made myself one, and offered my five-year-old some.”

“He tried a piece, gave me a thumbs up, said it’s good, and declined more (little dude just had dinner himself).”

“According to OP’s wife, I should have forced him to eat my entire onion and then punished him for not giving me an essay on the nuances of the onion to avoid raising a pathological liar 🙄.”

“I’m also dying to know what soda was described as ‘spicy.'”

“My children are weird and like spicy chips, but I’d never force them to eat a whole bag of them.”

“This is some kind of warped power play with a literal baby.” ~ SleeplessTaxidermist

“That is abuse.”

“I wonder how else she abuses the daughter when OP isn’t around, or how often OP thinks his wife is just being playful.”

“OP, Wake the f**k up.”

“Your wife is an awful parent and you too for letting that go on without stopping it.”

“You let your wife pester your daughter, then suddenly your wife punishes her for literally nothing, and what’s really telling is your daughter trying to calm your wife down by saying it was too bubbly.”

“Also, your wife forcing your daughter to drink it all when only a sip to try it is perfectly reasonable…”

“It says a lot about you that you enjoyed that sh*t while your daughter was clearly uncomfortable.”

“And you just stood there and watched it all play out.”

“You’re complicit in the abuse now.”

“Your daughter seemed sad and quiet?”

“Yeah, that tells me this isn’t the first time your daughter has been abused.”

“I mean, your wife is right about one thing: you definitely aren’t a good parent, either. You two need to get your s**t together for that little girl.”

“You need to go to individual, couples, and family counseling bc the dynamics are all messed up in all the relationships here.”

“Also, your wife is only teaching her to lie about everything, to not speak her mind, TO NOT BE TRUSTED.”

“Who will that little girl go to if she’s being bullied or worse? Not you two.”

“After thinking on this, ESH, except for your daughter.”

“You don’t get points for telling your wife the punishment was unfair when you stood by and watched the abuse happen, making you complicit in it as well. Do better.” ~ citrushibiscus

“OP. For the love of God, please listen to these people.”

“As an adult, I am on the other end of this and started stressing out with flashbacks just reading this.”

“My mother did this all the time, and I learned very quickly that there was no right answer.”

“If she got in one of her ‘moods,’ I was going to be in trouble no matter what I did. if she couldn’t get me to respond ‘wrong,’ then she would make something up and get my father to punish me.”

“Didn’t matter if I told Him what had happened, ’cause I was a pathological liar.”

“Finally escalated on the day she started taking a swing at me when I decided to stand up for myself.”

“I blocked her so she didn’t connect.”

“She told my father that I hit her and he threw me out.”

“Honestly… best day of my life.”

“I actually felt a huge sense of relief.”

“The bottom line is that this will continue to be worse as your child grows.”

“You need to stop enabling her now!” ~ WeeklyReport3628

“NTA. WTF? That’s a pretty extreme overreaction on her part.”

“Besides, it sounded less like your daughter was lying and more like she was just trying to be polite.”

“It’s silly of your wife to get so upset over this.” ~ IllustriousBad577

“NTA, your wife is manipulative, trapped her kid, and abused her mentally.” ~ Lost-Moskito

Well, OP, Reddit is with you here.

This sounds more like gaslighting and less like teaching a lesson.

It also feels like you and your wife may need to have a long chat about punishment and discipline.

Having miscommunication like this could lead to a lot of turmoil in the future.

Hopefully, you can all sit down and talk through this.

Good luck.