Parenting is far from an easy job, and it can be tempting to be the fun parent rather than the one who teaches their kid vital responsibilities.
But there can be serious consequences when a parent chooses the fun option, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Velvet-Unicorn2416 was already fed up with their 21-year-old daughter after less than a week of living together, as she was unwilling to contribute around the home or get a job.
But when their daughter verbally lashed out, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they were being too harsh.
They asked the sub:
“WIBTA (Would I Be the A**hole) if I kicked my daughter out because she won’t get a job or help out around the house?”
The OP’s daughter recently moved in.
“My 20, soon to be 21-year-old, daughter moved in with me last Wednesday because she was having issues with her stepmom and wanted to be away from city life.”
“She previously lived with her father out of state in a pretty big city.”
“Daughter is not going to college and has no plans to take any classes or learn a trade. I live in a kind of rural small town area, and the nearest city is about an hour away.”
The daughter was expected to contribute upon moving in.
“Upon moving out here to live with me, one of the agreements was that she had to get a job.”
“Her dad never made her get a job before and I think that’s ridiculous, there is no reason for her to not work if she’s not going to college.”
“Other agreements she made was to help out around the house, such as keep her room clean, keep her bathroom clean, keep common areas clean (pick up after yourself), clean the kitchen area if you make a mess, take out the garbage if you notice it’s full and replace the bag.”
“I also have two teens that also help out around the house, and then there’s my husband and me. Everybody pitches in.”
But she had never been required to contribute around the house before.
“I guess at her father’s house, he never made her do chores. She said her stepmom was the one who cleaned around the house while her dad and younger half-siblings went out and did fun things.”
“Her father spoiled her rotten and they were very close, which is why she probably chose to live with him when she was around 13 because she didn’t like the rules around my house and didn’t like that I would punish her for bad grades and bullying.”
“He let her do whatever she wanted, bought her whatever she wanted, took her to do whatever she wanted, without working for it. He rewarded her bad behavior.”
The OP was disgusted by her behavior so far.
“I recently told her she needs to start looking for a job and applying everywhere. Everywhere around here is hiring.”
“She told me she has no interest in any of the jobs that are on Indeed. I told her she needs to have a job by February 1st and there is no reason for her to not have a job and pay for some of her own things.”
“Her room is also trashed, you can’t even see the floor. Garbage (soda cans, candy wrappers, chip bags, old food) is everywhere, clothes are everywhere, makeup is spilled onto the carpet, it’s appalling.”
The two of them were already arguing, as well.
“She also hasn’t lifted a finger around the house yet, I’ve asked her to do a few simple chores, and she gives me an attitude and walks away.”
“She also stays up all night and sleeps in until 2-3pm.”
“She does leave the house every day, usually to go buy things she doesn’t need with the money her dad sends her, or she goes to meet up with people she found online.”
“She has been crying for her dad almost every day, telling me how much she hates me and how great her dad is, how her dad wouldn’t make her do XY and Z, how unfair I am.”
“She calls her dad to complain about how horrible I am treating her and how she hates it here.”
“She refuses to go to therapy or give it a try, I did mention it to her, and she started screaming at me that I’m the one who needs to go see a therapist and I can’t make her do anything she doesn’t want to do.”
“She told me to go F myself and to leave her the h**l alone, and stomped upstairs and slammed the door shut to her room.”
The OP was fed up.
“Come February 1st, if she still doesn’t have a job, she’s out.”
“Maybe even before that, if she keeps giving me an attitude and refuses to help out around the house.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some understood why the daughter and stepmom were having “problems.”
“She said she had troubles with the stepmother. If I have to guess, she was exactly the same to stepmother too and she had enough of her baby attitude.” – jasmina8487
“Her dad raised her with no rules, it’s a 21-year-old acting like a 12-year-old brat. No wonder why she had to leave her dad’s house, stepmother must be tired of taking care of 20y daddy’s princess.”
“When I was 14, I cleaned my own room, washed the dishes, and helped with clothes washing. A 20-year-old should know better. She will have a lot of trouble in life if she continues with this attitude. OP is a 100% NTA.” – AngelicalGirl
“I bet the stepmother asked her to do something, and it probably wasn’t even much.”
“Just something like, ‘Can you put your dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher?’ or ‘Can you put the snacks away after you’re finished eating them instead of leaving them around the house?'”
“Like, very basic stuff that an 8-year-old would be expected to do.” – Lanky_Temperature412
“You know who I really feel for? OP’s ex-husband’s wife. Sounds like she’s the maid over there.”
“I bet she put her foot down on OP’s daughter, hence the ‘issues’ the daughter is having with the stepmother. That poor woman.”
“OP, NTA.” – hdmx539
Others were quick to suggest kicking the daughter out sooner rather than later.
“NTA! She is almost 21 and never had a job, holy shit. She is going to hate life when she will live on her own if she ever will. You are doing the right thing, her dad ruined her.” – mademoiselletal
“NTA if you stick to your Feb. 1 deadline.”
“Getting your daughter launched is going to be more difficult because she has two parental homes to float between and try to leverage one parent against the other. Her father is spoiling her primarily because he believes this helps him ‘win’ the parenting competition with you.”
“But it does her no favors to let her vacation permanently in your home as you subsidize her.”
“Are you able to talk with her father at all? I’m guessing it hasn’t gone well up until now, but it might be worth saying to him one more time that kids are notoriously bad at knowing what they need — given a choice, most 4 YOs would drink sugary juice and eat only chips or candy morning, noon and night instead of drinking milk or water and eating veggies.”
“Not expecting an adult child to do chores or get a job (if she’s not pursuing education) is treating her like a 6YO child. It will make her eventual adjustment to adult life much more difficult, and possibly dangerous.” – grzybo1
“Pack her bags if she doesn’t get off her ass. I believe in supporting children until they’re ready to support themselves, but this is a case of clear p**s taking.”
“It has only been a week though, but as you said, she has until the 1st to show some positive movement.”
“Even if she hasn’t got a job, she should at least be applying and giving you a hand. If she can’t even do that, then the consequences are on her.” – Full_Worldliness1480
But some urged the OP to give the daughter the help she likely needed.
“Sorry, but if this has been ongoing since she was 13, I think it’s ESH. You had your chance to properly parent her back then, and though I get that she chose to stay with her dad, did you not have any time with her at all?”
“Therapy and other remedies are long overdue. You can’t force her into anything now that she’s an adult.”
“Your kid’s an a**, for obvious reasons. Your ex is an a**, he sucks as a parent. But he wasn’t the only parent available then.” – Trick_Literature_
“It sounds like she’s depressed. Not leaving her room, not doing basic things to take care of herself, not keeping her room clean, emotional outbursts? Sounds like what she really needs is therapy and time to adjust.”
“It’s been literally 5 days so instead of your first instinct to be kicking her out, you should try and talk with her. February 1st is a bit harsh for a deadline when, even if she’s applied for jobs that are hiring, there’s no guarantee of when/if they will even get back to her.”
“Does she know how to apply for jobs? Was she ever taught? Does she have a resume? Was she ever taught how to make one? I didn’t learn how to do a good resume until college, and she has literally zero experience.”
“Also, we’re in one of the worst pandemic surges ever and everyone working retail and in restaurants are getting infected right now, so maybe consider that? As much as your frustrated with her behavior over… 5 days… you’re also giving her zero help and support.” – Nu2POTS
“ESH. This is technically a N T A situation, but you finally have an opportunity to teach your daughter the skills you always wanted to and I think it’s an A move not to take advantage of that.”
“If she’s always taken the easy way out that means she’s never put in the effort to learn how to take care of herself. And while I’m certain the enabling made things worse, there may be an underlying reason that learning those skills took so much effort.”
“Maybe she is just spoiled, but maybe she’s one of the many under-diagnosed women with ADHD or another disorder who flew under the radar because their symptoms weren’t disruptive enough. Maybe she’s depressed – even lazy people don’t enjoy sleeping in filth.”
“But even without an underlying condition she now has to stop bad habits and mindsets. It’s literally rewiring the brain, and it takes a ton of effort and time.”
“You’re also treating her like the 21-year-old she should be, but it sounds like her skill level when it comes to cleaning and responsibility is closer to a… well, I wanted to say ten year old, but most ten-year-olds have more skills.”
“Going from being required to do nothing to being required to do everything is a big jump, especially when you never learned how to do even small things for yourself.”
“Regardless of the reason, she clearly doesn’t have the life skills to make it if she moves out. She’ll likely just grin and bear it at her father’s house (if she’s allowed to move back) and will then become dependent on others forever. You have a chance here to help her forge a different path for herself.”
“I agree that her behavior is unacceptable, but if there’s another way to get through to her I think you need to try. And something like family therapy could help figure out if there are deeper issues and help break down goals in achievable ways.” – EmpressJainaSolo
While the OP was feeling conflicted about potentially throwing their daughter out of their house so soon, the subReddit agreed that something needed to change.
Now, that change might literally be throwing the daughter out of the house, or it might mean finally teaching her the vital life skills she would need if she ever wanted to be a contributing adult.