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Parent Forces Daughter To Do Yard Work With Sprained Knee Because She’s Cried Wolf Before

Imani Bahati/Unsplash

None of us like to be lied to, especially by people we love. When we’re misled, we might hold it against the people who hurt us.

But parents also have to understand that children go through a natural, developmentally-appropriate phase in which they might lie, be misleading, or just be particularly imaginative, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Throwaway-37828237 did not agree with their child going through that phase, however.

When their daughter started complaining about an injury, the Original Poster (OP) allowed the past to stop them from believing her concerns.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for not being sorry that I didn’t believe my daughter’s knee was hurting?”

The OP did not trust their daughter’s diagnosis.

“I have a 15-year-old daughter, and my husband is currently out of town.”

“I have a lot of projects that need to be done in my yard, and I really needed her help.”

“On Friday, she told me her knee was hurting after her run, and she was limping.”

“I told her, ‘It’s funny how your body always seems to malfunction when I need your help. You can just stay in bed all day if you want’ — because it’s true.”

“She has a history of feigning ailments in order to get out of things she doesn’t want to do.”

“She hasn’t done it much since she was around 9, but I still have trouble trusting her when she says something is wrong.”

They did yard work all weekend.

“She said she would help me, and I told her we could take her to the emergency room if her knee still hurt by the time the yard work was done.”

“We worked the whole weekend, and she complained a lot, but I was almost certain that she would magically be better by the end of the weekend.”

“This morning though, she said her knee was hurting badly and she could hardly walk… so I took her to the emergency room.”

The OP realized their daughter wasn’t kidding.

“It turns out she sprained her knee.”

“I had told her to tell them that it only started hurting today, but she said it started hurting Friday, and I was questioned.”

“Fortunately, nothing bad happened, but they said that due to how much she’s had to use her knee after it was injured, it will take longer to recover.”

The OP wanted to cover their tracks.

“I decided to keep her home from school today because I don’t necessarily want her telling people that I had her doing work when she told me her knee hurt.”

“They wouldn’t be getting the full story or context, and she has a tendency to exaggerate when I do something wrong.”

“I do feel slightly guilty, but I told her that this wouldn’t have gotten to the point it did had she not had this history of lying.”

“She is p**sed at me. She told me that she was in terrible pain all weekend and that she couldn’t believe I didn’t trust her.”

“She doesn’t seem very interested in talking to me, but I feel like this is partially her fault for creating a situation in which I couldn’t trust her.”

“AITA for not wanting to apologize?”

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 said the OP’s lies were worse than what they accused the daughter of.

“OP is lying and getting her kid to lie because she knows her behavior would be perceived as child abuse (because it is), and because she knows that school and hospital employees are mandatory reporters.”

“She’s a real peach.”

“YTA obviously, OP.” – FlakyPineapple2843

“YTA. 1000000%”

“The ‘full story’ she’d be telling is that you made a sh**ty assumption about her, forced her to go an entire weekend without necessary medical care, and that you tried to get her to lie to cover up your negligence.”

“All because when she was a literal child, SIX YEARS AGO, she had issues with lying.”

“Yeah, I can see why you don’t want that getting out.”

“Also, you suck for pretending to be SO f**king morally outraged at your daughter lying to you in years past (which is, you know, actually pretty developmentally normal for kids to do), but then you’re asking her to LIE FOR YOU to the doctors.”

“Gross. Clearly, you’re fine with it when it benefits you.” – cillianellis

“OP you know what’s harmless? Kids lying to parents about feigned injuries to get out of stuff at age 9 – P.S., healthy, emotionally well-developed kids grow out of this no problem.”

“You know what is HARMFUL and disgusting as f**k? Telling your teenager to lie to their doctors, teachers, and friends about how their mother willingly and unapologetically worsened and subsequently prolonged a painful injury.”

“Bravo to you for being so self-aware.” – jmaeww

Others wondered how else the OP behaved around their daughter.

“I’m wondering what sort of other screwed-up behaviors OP thinks their child is ‘exaggerating’ about.”

“YTA, OP, and your home does not sound like a safe place for your child.”

“Years from now, you’ll never hear from your kid once they’ve moved a safe distance away from you, and you should not be confused about why.” – peepeebongstocking

“Imagine the child comes out and tells them they are struggling with mental issues. I feel for the poor girl.” – uselesstwobraincells

“I remember one day I felt sick and mom said I could stay home. But when she got back home, I was feeling better, and she implied I was faking it.”

“I still feel hurt by it and it was decades ago. I felt like my own mom was more concerned with me faking, which by the way I never did to get out of school, rather than be happy I was doing better.”

“It taught me if I say I’m sick, if I get better, I better be quiet about it because then I’m a ‘faker.'”

“OP, what the f**k? How about you realize you’re the adult, not your child. Act with compassion and integrity for the sake of your kid. And don’t teach her to hide the pain. YTAAAAA” – Happy-Investment

While the OP thought they were totally right to focus on what their daughter did wrong in the past and base their trust on that, the subReddit took serious issue with this.

Not only was their daughter a young child at the time, which would make lying a totally reasonable act, but the OP was inadvertently teaching their child terrible things, including reclassifying their home as an unsafe space.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.