Why do some people feel so entitled to choose how to raise and care for other people’s children?
This is where unsolicited parenting advice stems from, but more dangerous actions can, as well.
One couple recently felt violated on their daughter’s behalf on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
According to Redditor no_wayout_, he and his wife weren’t sure whether to limit his parents’ visits or cut them off entirely because of it.
But because of pushback from the family, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he and his wife were overreacting.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for not wanting our daughter left alone with my parents anymore after they did something w/o (without) permission?”
The OP and his wife made a personal decision in how they’d parent their daughter.
“Me and my fiancee (22 [male] & 23 [female]) had our baby girl Thalia and she just turned 9 months old. Everyone in our family has been coming around more to see her.”
“Two months ago we stopped talking to my parents after they pulled some s**t.”
“We basically decided it was gonna be up to Thalia when she older if she wants to get her ears pierced.”
“Tbh (to be honest) I was never into the idea of it being done as a baby when they can’t consent, like my fiancée’s parents pierced her ears when she was a baby and she always hated wearing earrings. Still doesn’t wear any.”
But the OP’s parents did not agree.
“Just like every other parent that was our decision not to do it to her while she’s a baby.”
“My parents didn’t shut up about it for a while saying ‘she’d look so cute.'”
“But we told them already no and that’s our answer.”
The OP’s parents didn’t listen, though.
“When they babysat for us once, they got one of my mom’s friends to do it (to pierce Thalia’s ears) and we were f**king p**sed they went behind our backs.”
“We stopped talking to them after that for disrespecting our decision.”
“Everyone was saying we were making a big deal and we can’t cut them out their granddaughter’s life over something like that.”
The OP and his wife decided to change tactics slightly.
“So we decided they’re allowed to only see Thalia when one of us is around and they won’t be left alone with her.”
“That’s where everyone is still saying we’re being massive a-holes because we’re still punishing them over something that’s not a big deal and we’re treating them like children.”
“Even my fiancée’s parents think that only letting them have supervised visits is too much and they should be allowed to babysit or have Thalia at their place alone like before.”
“We’re still not wanting to change our minds on our conditions so it’s pinning everyone against us.”
“Are we being a**holes that we just don’t trust them alone with her and rather one of us be there always?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some pointed out that this was a form of bodily mutilation and abuse.
“Yeah, they mutilated your baby.”
“I’ve got my ears pierced with 3 holes in each (and I’ve had more that I’ve had close up), BUT it was my decision. I chose to have them done as a child, I chose to have them done again as an adult… when I had my daughter, I wouldn’t let her have them done until she was old enough to make an informed decision.”
“I don’t agree with babies having it done. At all. It takes away their choice.”
“Your parents not only massively overstepped, but they put your baby in pain at a time where she won’t understand AND made a relatively permanent decision about her appearance.”
“Even if the hole closes up, it leaves a mark.”
“NTA I wouldn’t let them anywhere near my child ever again and I’d have them and the friend done for assault if it was me.” – floss147
“You set a clear boundary, of which as your daughter’s parent you have absolute authority on.”
“They decided that as your parents, they have absolute authority over you despite you being fully formed human adults.”
“They used this imagined authority to ignore your boundaries and override your authority with your own child.”
“Screw them, what they did shows a profound lack of respect in you and your fiancee, and if they do not respect your boundaries, there is nothing to say what they will do next, as they have demonstrated they believe they have absolute authority over your child.”
“It would still be wrong, but maybe a little more understandable if this was an actual important thing, where they believed your method of child rearing was bad for the child so they tried to rectify it, but this was something so inconsequential and unimportant that if something truly important did come along, how could you expect them to use any restraint at all?” – Mistikman
“Came here to say this! In the UK, this would be assault! You can have a baby’s ears pierced (although it’s not as common in the UK), but you must have the parents permission to do it.”
“I think you are actually acting a lot calmer than I would be OP. I would be livid! They pierced your child’s ears, knowing expressly how much you didn’t want it done! If the person who pierced them is registered (assuming you have to be registered in your country), I would be lodging a complaint against them.”
“No way would the grandparents be getting anywhere near my baby again without me being in the room. The fact that they can’t even see how bad this is, and are saying you are overreacting, gives an idea of how little they care about your wants and wishes for raising your child.”
“NTA, but the grandparents most definitely are!!!” – Tired3520
Others questioned the friends and family who thought they were overreacting.
“What kind of friends do you have that say you’re overreacting? 🙁 Your in-laws literally made holes in your baby’s body for their own amusement!”
“I am not leaving my daughters alone with my mother either – because I am pretty sure she would baptize them. Which also isn’t legal, but she’d likely get it done anyway” – Numberous_Team_2998
“Don’t stop there though, anyone who disagrees with your parenting choices doesn’t get to have alone time or babysit your child. They clearly don’t have respect for your parenting decisions and would go behind your back too. NTA.” – smartiesmouth
“Giving in just shows them they can do it, you’ll be mad for a little while and things will go back to normal. They knew your stances on it, were told multiple times no, and still decided to put your daughter through a procedure that alters a part of her body. That’s a hard fuck no from me.”
“I don’t have mine pierced, and my girls won’t until they make that decision and can properly care for it themselves. If anyone went behind my back to do it because THEY wanted to, there would be hell to pay.” – PeteyPorkchops
Everyone has their own opinion about how to raise a child and what will be best for them. Perhaps the grandparents thought the daughter would prefer the new look over time, or perhaps they simply wanted to see the earrings for themselves.
Whatever the reason, they went against their granddaughter’s parents’ wishes, which will surely damage their circle of trust.