Parents always want to be there for their children.
Even once they’ve grown up and flown the coop, they still want to offer help whenever they can in most cases.
However, once their children do grow up, parents also sometimes feel the need to draw a line as to how much help they can give them.
The older they get, it becomes increasingly important for children to learn how to become self-sufficient.
After being slightly taken aback by a remark made by his half-brother, the daughter of Redditor aita_dad_ asked him if he could get more details about a certain topic from him.
But the original poster (OP) refused, telling her that this was something she needed to do herself, and couldn’t rely on him for.
A decision that did not sit well with the OP’s daughter or ex-wife one bit.
Worried that he may have been inconsiderate of his daughter’s feelings, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling my daughter that she can’t expect me to do the hard things for her just because she doesn’t want to do them?”
The OP explained why he was unwilling to do a favor for his daughter after she felt uncomfortable by remarks made by his half-brother.
‘I have a 17yo daughter named Eva who is gay.”
“She came out years ago, but honestly before she ever said anything to me, she made it clear as a child that she wanted very little to do with boys.”
‘My half-brother James and I reconnected about two years ago.”
“We knew of each other as children, but I didn’t know for sure that he and I shared the same dad.”
“We ended up doing a DNA test after our father died and confirmed that we were siblings.”
“So now we’ve gotten to know one another again, and we’ve been slowly introducing our families to each other.”
“He has two kids that are just a few years younger than my daughter, so Eva was really excited about finally having some cousins closer to her age (the ones on her mom’s side are significantly younger).”
“She’s also excited about getting to know more of my family since I’m not very close with the rest of them.”
“We’ve met up a few times, and it’s always gone well.”
“Everyone gets along with each other.”
“At dinner a little while ago, James joked that Eva’s ‘boyfriends’ would have to answer to me, her uncle, and her male cousins if they broke her heart.”
“Eva just laughed a little and said that she wasn’t concerned about boys so they wouldn’t have to worry about that.”
“Later when they were gone, she asked me if I knew how James and his family felt about the LGBTQ community.”
“I told her that I wasn’t sure because it had never come up, so then she asked me if I could find out for her.”
“I said that she should just talk to them about it directly since she was the one with the question, but then she said that she didn’t want to ask because she didn’t know James as well as I did and it would probably be easier for me to bring it up instead.”
“I ended up telling her that she can’t expect me to do hard things for her just because she doesn’t want to do them, and if she wants to tell my brother/his family that she’s gay or even find out their opinions on LGBTQ people, then she should do that herself.”
“I thought she had let it go, but she’s been giving me the cold shoulder for a bit.”
“My ex wife actually called me earlier and told me I was being obtuse about the situation and that I actually should be willing to do this for our daughter.”
“I feel that Eva disclosing her identity is a responsibility that should fall on her, and it’s not my job to pave that road for her.”
“Evidently my ex and Eva both think it is and that I’m being insensitive as well, so I wanted some outside opinions.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The OP found little sympathy or support from the Reddit community, who unanimously agreed that the OP was indeed the a**hole for the way he handled the situation.
Everyone agreed that the OP didn’t understand that this was not an issue of his daughter taking responsibility, but rather an important moment for him to show his love and support, while also missing his daughter’s concern for her safety.
“Here’s the thing.”
“People can completely change in their treatment of a person when they learn they aren’t straight.”
“I’ve seen the nicest people in my own family turn into the most hateful people the moment anything Rainbow comes up.”
“You never know who bigots can be, and they are also capable of being the kindest and loving people to people they aren’t hateful towards.”
“You’re right in that it should be her responsibility to tell them if she chooses.”
“However, she is asking you as her parent to find out if these are safe people for her to be out to.”
“One of the jobs of a parent is to protect their kids.”
“She wants to know (rightfully so) if she comes out if the reaction is going to be ugly and upsetting or if it will go well.”
‘After all, this sounds like a newer familial bond, and she may be looking to see if she should invest her time in building a relationship with them.”
“If they turn out to be Westbro Baptist sympathizers, she may not want to invest into the relationship.”- lelakat
“This isn’t ‘hard stuff’ this is making sure they are safe people to come out to.”- Fuzzy-Constant
“This is not a ‘you order your own meal’ or ‘if you want to be good at something, practice’ sort of helpful lesson.”
“This is an emotional (and possibly physical) safety issue.”
‘She’s going to have plenty of chances to come out to people once she assesses the safety of it.”
“This is a stranger.”
“Help her assess the safety.”
“Are you the one with a problem telling your brother your daughter is gay?”- SarahCannah
“It’s YOUR half-brother and someone you just reconnected with.”
“She’s asking you because YOU know him and she doesn’t.”
“Quit being so flippant and pandering.”- WholeAd2742
‘It is absolutely your job to protect your daughter.”
‘How have you been a parent for 17 years and not realize this?”
“‘I won’t do the hard things for her’ is sound parenting for stuff like not writing her college essays for her or not waking her up to make sure she goes to her job on time.”
“It’s horrible parenting when she is legitimately worried about whether she’d face direct bigotry from people and is asking you, very nicely, as an adult she should be able to trust, to scope things out to make sure she can be safe and comfortable around people.”
“Also, surely it isn’t difficult for you to ask, right?”
“Even ignoring the exact nature of the favor, if somebody asks you to do something that is very difficult for them and very easy for you, it’s pretty rude to not oblige solely, so they have to do the difficult task.”
“Would you refuse to grab something from the top shelf at a grocery store for somebody in a mobility scooter so they could learn a hard lesson?”- Milskidasith
A contrite OP later returned admitting that he perhaps didn’t give his daughter’s feelings enough consideration and shared how he would not make the same mistakes going forward.
“I love my daughter, and I’m proud of her.”
“Even in wanting her to find out about my brother’s views on her own, I never would have left her to handle that without me at least in the room.”
“Reading the comments, I realize that I wasn’t teaching her how to be independent and do things on her own, I was likely making her feel completely unsupported.”
“I saw this as a facing her anxieties thing, instead of truly thinking about it as a safety issue.”
“I should have tried to see it from her point of view, I recognize that, and I will do more to learn in the future.”
“I’m going to apologize to her, and ask how she wants to go about this.”
People can’t depend on their parents’ help for everything.
However, the OP didn’t fully take into account that his daughter was asking for a lot more than his help.
His daughter wanted to make sure that should his half-brother not be tolerant or accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, he would have her back.
Thankfully, he seems to realize where he went wrong, and hopefully won’t make the same mistakes again going forward.