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Indian Mom Balks After Husband Demands She Punish Daughter For Speaking Hindi Around His Son

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When parents remarry, they find themselves overcome with a number of concerns regarding their spouse and children.

In addition to the obvious fear that their new spouse and children simply might not get along,  there is also the issue of how their different parenting styles might conflict with one another.

Particularly when in regards to discipline and punishment.

Redditor aitathrowacc612’s second husband thankfully got along quite well with her daughter, as did she with his son.

But there was one constant point of contention between the original poster (OP)’s daughter and her husband and stepson.

So much so that the OP’s husband felt that it was worthy of a punishment, which the OP vehemently objected to.

Wondering if she was being too lenient, the OP took to the subreddit, “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for telling my husband that I won’t punish my daughter for speaking another language in the house because it upsets his son?”

The OP shared how her daughter had a habit which upset her step-son which she was working on stopping, but which her husband felt there needed to be harsher consequences for.

“This is a sh*tty situation but here we go.”

“Me and my daughter, Anya, are from India.”

“Our native language is Hindi.”

“She 11 years old now.”

“Her father died when she was 5 and I immigrated to states because everyone was trying to get me remarried to a 60 year old sleazebag because ‘oh no, how ever will a woman live or raise a child alone’.”

“I stated dating my now-husband when Anya was 6.”

“He had a 5 year old son, Ben (50% custody).”

“Me, Anya, Ben, Husband and Ben’s mum get along really well.”

“The kids were very well adjusted and they were genuinely happy when we got married.”

“Whenever tensions arose, we dealt with them patiently.”

“Let’s just say after walking through the minefield of Indian family/drama, diffusing these toy bombs were very easy.”

“Anya has a habit of talking in Hindi when she gets really excited.”

“Sometimes, while talking to me, she starts talking in Hindi without even realizing it.”

“This wasn’t a problem. “

“If she does that while others are around, I would remind her and she would revert back to English.”

“Few months ago, Ben’s mum passed away and he came to live with us full time.”

“He has a room already and we put Ben into therapy immediately.”

“A week ago, Ben walked in when me and Anya were cooking and we were talking in Hindi and he started crying.”

“He told me he is feeling bad that he can’t understand what we are saying.”

“I hugged him and consoled him and assured him that we didn’t do it to exclude him purposefully.”

“And then Anya started crying and apologized.”

“The whole thing was just heartbreaking.”

“Since then, Anya has been making concsious efforts to talk only in English and I can tell that it puts Ben at ease.”

“Yesterday, however, she was frustrated and started lamenting about school work in Hindi to me.”

“Me and Anya were in the living room and Ben and husband were in the kitchen and they heard it.”

“Later that night, my husband told me how he thinks we must start thinking about giving punishments whenever she speaks in Hindi unconsciously until Ben starts feeling better.”

“I was horrified at this suggestion.”

“I have never pulled the ‘she is my daughter, not yours’ card.”

“But this is the hill I am willing to die on and use that card if necessary.”

“Whether he likes it or not, it’s her first language.”

“Expecting her to always converse in her second language, even when she is feeling some extreme emotions is just cruel.”

“Especially after she is genuinely making an effort to make Ben feel more comfortable.”

“It’s almost like punishing for her heritage or for her being Indian.”

“Of course, this is a huge point of conflict between me and my husband.”

“I think it’s unfair to do this to Anya, even temporarily.”

“He thinks me and Anya are unnecessarily making feel Ben bad while he is mourning his mother, while we can try and prevent it.”

“Both of us are conflicted here.”

“Who is the a**hole here?”

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
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community wholeheartedly agreed that the OP was in no way the a**hole for refusing to punish her daughter for speaking Hindi.

Everyone agreed that Anya was clearly conscious of how much her speaking Hindi upsets ben, and was clearly working on it, so punishing her wouldn’t help matters at all, and would likely only make things work.


“I’m so sorry that he thinks you and Anya are doing this deliberately to make Ben upset.”

“That’s totally deranged and wrong.”

“I think it’s totally reasonable for you and Anya to talk in Hindi in another room of the house when you’re together.”

“You’re both making an effort to speak in English when Ben and your husband are around, but ultimately you also beed to have opportunities to feel connected to your roots and culture too!”

“It could also be a fun bonding experience to help Ben learn Hindi.”

“Why does your husband think that Anya is doing this in bad faith?”

“I’m really confused.”

“It’s a horrible conclusion to jump to.”- NumaNumaYayy


“Punishing her for a key part of her identity is an easy road to trauma.”

“You’re right to stick to your position.”

“I understand it must be difficult for your stepson at the moment, but a lot of these examples seem like conversations had when he wasn’t even nearby.”

“He just overheard.”

“I don’t think punishing anybody is the way to go, but could he start getting some simple lessons in Hindi so he can feel more included?”

“Maybe if he knows you want him to always feel included he’ll feel better.”

“And he gets a new language which is great.”- MsB0x

“Let me get this straight:

“Your daughter is 11 and she is empathic enough to apologize and cry, when her totally unproblematic behavior unfortunately triggers the grief of her step-brother?”

“And your husband wants some sort of punishment instated for if and when she does so again?”

“First of, hats off to your daughter.”

“It is a real sign of emotional maturity to see that even if you are not doing anything actually wrong, you are still causing someone pain.”

“Stopping and apologizing is the sort of behavior you desperately wish for! “

“You don’t impose punishments when she is already doing things exactly right!”

“Now, in a perfect world, you and her never trip up once and your stepsons grief is never triggered, at least while it is so fresh.”

“But you don’t impose punishments to aim for perfection.”

“You do it if you have to, to guide problematic behavior.”

“To me, it sounds like the only thing your daughter needs is positive reinforcement for being empathic to her stepson.”

“I can see how your husband would want to strive towards that perfect world where his sons grief does not cause him pain, and you could perhaps do him a favor by telling him that it does not really exist.”

“His son will be triggered, and it will hurt every damn time.”

“But that is no reason to start punishing the people whose innocent behavior is the accidental trigger.”

“If he had his way, he might hope to prevent one or two such instances, but he will make his sons relationship to his stepsister awkward and completely ruin the very real empathy she has for him right now.


“Your husband is being unreasonable and not doing anyone any favors.”

“You are protecting your daughter, and setting a healthy example for your stepson that, yes, people should empathize and tread carefully, not no, triggering your grief is not a punishable offense.”

“Your stepson is 10 and hurting and that just plain sucks.”

“Your daughter sounds awesome.”- 343427229486267


“How about asking Ben whether he would be interested in learning Hindu?”

“To me, that seems like a good compromise, rather than punishing a child for speaking in her native language.”- BlueJay_NE


“It’s her first language, and it’s going to be easier for her to express herself using it.”

“Punishing her for using the language she is comfortable with is wrong.”

“It sounds like she is trying her best to make Ben comfortable, and IMO Ben needs to be given a lesson in acceptance of a different culture.”

“For what it’s worth, I grew up in a family of blended cultures.”

“My maternal grandmother speaks Spanish only, meaning many conversations happening were in Spanish, which my dad doesn’t speak.”

“He’s Indian, and speaks to his family members in Telegu often, which the rest of my immediate family doesn’t understand.”

“Somehow we all got along just fine, no restrictions on what languages were spoken.”- zipityquick

Nothing upsets a parent more than seeing that their children are sad or hurt.

It is rather distressing, however, that the gut reaction of the OP’s husband was to punish Anya, when she clearly had no intention of hurting Ben, and was so repentant to learn that she had.

One can only hope that the OP’s husband notices this before inflicting any kind of punishment.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.