As most parents know, trying to foster the best childhood you can for your children is imperative to their success.
For many it becomes an attempt to recreate their own idyllic childhood—but for others who were less fortunate it can turn into a desperate need to right a wrong by giving their kids the childhood they never had.
Recently, Redditor heyinlar clashed with his wife about this issue, so he turned to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) to see if he was wrong for what he said.
“AITA for telling my wife she needs to go to therapy to become the mom our kids deserve?”
The original poster (OP) first explained his wife’s turbulent past.
“My wife had a crappy childhood. Her mom wasn’t great, in and out of prison.”
“She had to raise her little siblings. So with our own kids, I know she overcompensates so our girls can have the childhood she didn’t.”
But there’s one big problem.
“The issue is, she can’t see that our daughters might not want the same things as she did as a kid.”
“She put them in dance and one loves it, the other hates it but my wife made her do it until [the pandemic] hit and the studio closed. When I tried to talk her down, she said that she’d learn to love it.”
Her disregard for their kids’ wants and needs was on full display at their oldest daughter’s birthday party last year.
“Our oldest (6) has severe anxiety. She’s actually in therapy for it. As a result, she hates crowds.”
“We had her birthday last January and she spent it huddled in a corner and cried through ‘Happy Birthday’, after begging my wife not to make people sing. My wife shrugged it off and said it’s ‘part of the experience’.”
And it sparked conflict once again this year.
“This year we can’t do a big party for obvious reasons but my wife wanted to do a thing where everyone drove up to say hi, decorated their cars and sang.”
“Oldest said no. When my wife tried to push, my daughter said she won’t leave her room if they come over.”
When the OP tried to talk to her about it, it only made things worse.
“My wife was upset and hurt. She told me she wants to give them the childhood she didn’t have.”
“I said that’s nice but our girls do have a childhood. They’re not raising each other, neither of us are in prison and we’re stable.”
“I said that she needs to let them have the childhood THEY want. That includes activities, toys (our youngest is a tomboy and that’s led to issues), what they wear, etc.”
“She started arguing and I said she does all of this for herself, not them. I clarified she’s not her mom, but she’s not being a great one by doing this and told her she needs therapy to be the mom they deserve.”
“Now my wife isn’t talking to me. I wonder if I overstepped. AITA?”
Redditors were then tasked with giving a verdict by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
They let the OP know he was right to look out for the best interest of his kids.
“NTA. Her mom was the reason your wife and her siblings didn’t have a great childhood but she seems like she’s overbearing which can be just as negative.”
“You’re not overstepping, those are your kids too and you do have a say in their upbringing. She needs to work through her trauma before her kids get older and want nothing to do with her.”—mandirahman
“NTA. Your wife isn’t giving the girls the childhood they need, she’s giving them the childhood *she* didn’t have. I can guarantee if she keeps going down this route they won’t be remembering their childhood fondly and they will have their own issues with her.”
“You’re 100% right that your wife needs therapy, and keep defending your daughters. Your wife should not be forcing your daughters to do things that make them miserable just because she wanted it at that age.”—DutyValuable