The goal of parenting is to raise your child to be a kind, caring, productive member of society. Or at least that you’ve done the best you can to ensure that.
But as Redditor HallNum032 found out, this is easier said than done. The original poster (OP) explained the situation he found himself in with his daughter.
He was unsure if the punishment made him an a**hole so he decided to ask the premiere place on the web for this question, the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) board on Reddit.
OP’s question was:
“AITA for making my daughter sleep in the backyard after what she did to our housemaid?”
His daughter has been acting a little different:
“My M46 daughter (16) is a highschool junior. I noticed recently that she’s been behaving in a bad manner constantly commenting on other people’s looks, belongings, calling them stuff that isn’t cool and just being insensitive.”
“It’s like she lost a filter or something because usually she’s polite but my wife suspected that our daughter’s sudden misbehavior occurred after she started hanging out with new girls from the school. Basically the mean type and have picked on their behavior.”
“I’ve sat with my daughter and had many discussions about how her behavior has been negatively affecting everyone around her.”
“Our housemaid is the person most affected here and my daughter has chosen her to be her target for hair, clothes, ‘etiquette’ criticism. She has complained about our daughter calling her offensive names like filthy and gross for cleaning certain areas in our house.”
“I took a stand and explicitly told my daughter I’d punish her if she ever said stuff like that to our housemaid again.”
“Last week my daughter had a party to go to, earlier that day she called our housemaid ‘filthy’ so I grounded her by not letting her go to the party. She threw a fit and called our housemaid a liar saying she never called her that. That was the end of it.”
“Days later my daughter came to me saying she couldn’t find her iPhone after looking everywhere. She asked me to call her number and I did.”
“My wife and I were stunned to discover that the iphone was ringing inside our housemaid’s bag.”
“I had an confrontation with her immediately and she denied and cried saying she never touched the phone nor had any idea how it got there. I noticed my daughter calling her theif repeatedly so I told her to stop and go to her room.”
“I checked the indoor camera before continuing the argument and saw my daughter place her iphone inside our housemaid’s bag, I was livid. I apologized to the housemaid and gave her the rest of the day off.”
“I then showed the video to my daughter and she was absolutely speechless. I said what she did was immoral and straight up offensive to tamper with that poor woman’s livelihood over a petty party she couldn’t go to.”
“I told her she was grounded and will have to spend the night in the backyard (she is a germaphobe) but she cried begging me to not make her sleep with the dirt, insects and hot temp. I refused to discuss it or I’d make it 2 nights.”
“My wife said I should go easy on her but I said calling people filthy and accusing them of stealing wasn’t ok in fact it was the absolute worst, I then went through with my punishment.”
On the AITA subReddit, people are judged for their actions. Other users vote to determine whether or not they were wrong.
This is done by including one of the following in their responding comment:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
OP needs to make sure that he’s done his best to educate his daughter, and he’s not wrong for trying to find a punishment that works.
It may not be the best way to go about it, but the board determined it didn’t make him an AH.
“Personally think NTA, but the punishment here isn’t going to make your daughter’s behavior miraculously turn around. The fact that she lied and blamed the house maid and treats them like a subpar being points to bigger issues.”
“Parenting is rough. Best of luck.” – TheLoquatTree
“NTA she deserved it and don’t think it was harsh. I would probably send my kid to another school if the school friends were the reason for the behavior.” – Unlucky-Gal1983
“NTA. Not sure if it’s a cultural or language difference, but I believe the preferred term is housekeeper, rather than housemaid. Your daughter should absolutely not be speaking to anyone in any service position or industry like that.”
“Was she safe sleeping outside? It’s not a good punishment imo, I think it would be more fitting to make her volunteer in some way, or take over your housekeeper’s work while your housekeeper gets paid time off.” – BeLynLynSh
Other commenters felt the punishment didn’t work, and tried to give other suggestions.
“NTA, but you should give your housekeeper a week off with pay, and make your daughter take her place, unpaid.” – MrGregerGrM
“Go online and print out websites for military boarding schools out of state that take females. Tell her if she doesn’t straighten up immediately there will be consequences. Then, call the applications department and put it on speakerphone.”
“Also. Make sure she knows the day she turns 18 you don’t owe her anything. She better be a good person or she can support herself.” – Meastro44
“Punishment doesn’t fit the crime. Make her do the work of the housemaid.” – AdCool7681
“Agreed I did see a post here where a mom made their daughter sleep outside for making fun of the homeless which did teach them a lesson.”
“But this just a punishment for the sake of punishing” – OneMikeNation
“Yeah, why the heck would you make someone sleep outside as a punishment? What’s that teaching her?”
“Maybe it’s not just the girls who are mean.”
“Far better to make her do house chores until she gets over herself. Or kick her out of the house while the housemaid is working.” – west-coast-xennial
However OP explained that there was a reason he didn’t go about it that way.
“The reason I chose this punishment was because of the fact that my daughter says she is a germaphobe and use this as excuse to insult others hygiene and appearance, our backyard has dirt and bugs in it and this kind of things get her uncomfortable but other than that the backyard is 100% safe.”
“Question/ why doesn’t she clean up and do house chores as punishment instead?.”
“because I’ve already tried this punishment before and it didn’t work because she deliberately stopped eating for days to get out of it, and ended up in the emergency department for low blood pressure”
This led to an even greater concern.
“NTA. You should seriously consider inpatient psychiatric treatment for your daughter though.”
“She went on a hunger strike to avoid cleaning the house and had to go to the hospital? She attempts to get people fired because they call her out for being shitty?”
“She’s kind of a monster, and the kind of monster where I wonder if there’s something seriously wrong with her that’s going untreated.” – loncl
OP was maybe NTA for his punishment, but there’s a lot more at stake here. Figuring out how to teach his daughter to be a better person is going to be difficult.