When kids get obsessed with something, they really take it all the way. They dress up as their favorite characters, they find ways to glean lessons from every moment of that work and they will talk about it endlessly.
So undoubtedly someone will shame them for that. Once kids are shamed for their interests, they can become really shy and withdrawn.
So when Reddit user Throwaway0000jikfr’s kids were shamed for their interests in Harry Potter, she was pretty angry.
Looking for perspective on if her reaction was too over-the-top, she took to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” with the question:
“AITA for telling my ex husbands girlfriend stay in her lane when it comes to MY kids?”
Our original poster, or OP, came to Reddit for help on the suggestion of her sister.
“My sister suggested I come here for help because she hates my ex and here’s why:”
“5 years ago while I was in the waiting part of labour (you know were the epidural kicks in but you’re hours away from the main event) my then husband told me he needed to get some food because he was starving.”
“In a hurry he left his phone behind him, which every few seconds kept getting notifications.”
“Me thinking it was his or mine family checking up, I asked the midwife pass me the phone. He literally was updating his mistress on my labour and sweet talking her about how even tho he was with me she still had his full attention.”
“Let’s say when he came back, it was showtime. After me screaming the place down, my midwife (an amazing woman) kicked him out and my sister ended up coming in.”
Her ex has since moved in with this woman, and she with her parents.
“I moved in with my parents with my five kids. We got divorced, they got together. I’m civil to my ex for my kids’ sake but I barely speak to his mistress. She’s my cousin.”
“My kids, 15f[emale],13m[ale],13m, 8m, 5f have recently become obsessed with Harry Potter since my 15 year old made a tiktok and lots of people pointed out that my four oldest look like the Weasleys. (My twins have the same personalities as Fred & George.)”
The situation came up after her kids were at her ex’s house.
“So this brings me onto the situation.”
“My youngest since then has been dressing up as a different character every week (like Harry, Draco, Snape, the dude from twilight.)”
“You can see the pattern of it just being male characters. Personally, I don’t care: if my kids are happy I’m happy.”
“Which brings me onto the situation today: while I was dropping them off my ex’s girlfriend asked to speak to me about my kids, especially my youngest.”
“She basically told me it was weird and they weren’t right in the head so are what we gonna do about the situation at hand.”
OP kind of lost her temper.
“I told her she’s a.) f**ked her cousins husband, so her ideas on what people should do aren’t something I want my kids picking up;”
“And b.) that my kids are fine, she isn’t their mom nor will they ever see her has such and that they hate her guts.”
“Finally she should stay in her lane when it comes to my kids (kids weren’t there when it happened) and left.”
OP got a call from her ex demanding an apology.
“A few hours later ex calls me screaming saying I was an a**hole and his girlfriend has been crying all day about the mother thing because she can’t have kids and that I need to apologize so that’s why I’m here.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Nobody thought OP was in the wrong here for sticking up for her kids.
“NTA. She was way out of line for trying to tell you how to parent YOUR kids.”
“They can do what they want when they’re at their dads house. She should just talk to her bf? So weird. No need to bring you into this.”~fruitandboot
“You are definitely NTA. They are not her kids. Wearing ‘weird’ stuff is normal for young kids.”
“Also I feel for her that she can’t have kids but that doesn’t give her the right to meddle with your kids and she lost my sympathy the second she started an affair with your ex-husband.”
“She sounds horrible.”~Ateosira
“My daughter wore a Snow White dress-up skirt every single day in pre-k. Over pants, over tights, over shorts, over other skirts. Didn’t matter it had that Snow White skirt on over it.”
“Used to drive my mom nuts because it got stained and ripped. I told her look, kids are just weird. She will grow out of it one day and I will miss the hell out of this ugly skirt.”
“By the time she started kinder she was onto fancy tutu’s and the skirt was shoved into her closet. I pulled it out to save it.”
“You can’t get those silly childhood moments back. Embrace the chaos. If dad and gf don’t appreciate the crazy clothes and ever changing likes and dislikes it’s their loss.”
“Your kids will know who did and did not support them. Let them dig their own hole and just sit back and watch.”~1ofthedisneyweirdos
“Agreed! This is not weird, it’s very normal kid play. You are their parent. She chose to have an affair with the partner of her family member. She knew full well what she was doing.”
“You didn’t say anything about her inability to have kids. If that’s how she’s taking it, that’s her problem.”
“I would start documenting everything. Keep the conversations with ex and gf to text/email. Try to keep your responses very level and clear.”
“If you keep notes about your kids complaints, do it in a way that is date stamped so you have a record (ie not a written diary, even emails to an email address you set up that is completely private).”
“Use this all later to get more or all custody.”~kvandeve
After all, the youngest should be able to express herself however she wants without judgement.
“NTA – dude…she f**ked your husband and….was texting her while you in the delivery room and she thinks it’s ok to consult you about some dress up?”
“They’re freaking kids! lol. You didn’t do it in front of the kids so it’s kosher and it’s even more since you’re standing up for your kids and they’ve expressed their upset with her prior.”~[username deleted]
“In my opinion what you said to her is just perfect, I love every single word of it, you handled it like a champ.”
“She doesn’t want to be told off, your ex doesn’t want to see his precious little hm…gf (let’s stay civil) cry? Then she should learn her place.”
“I have no sympathy or empathy for the likes of her or your ex. I would never apologise.”
“NTA. Is she suprised that the kids hate her?”~Cute-Shine-1701
“NTA. F**k that woman. She’s horrid from the sounds of it. But definitely ask the kids if she’s ever put them down verbally to their faces.”
“If she says that about a 15y old just for cosplaying. That’s concerning. I’d hate for them to get a low self esteem or any doubt from her dumb words. ):”~SnowshoeCats
“NTA it sounds like you’re raising your kids to be comfortable with who they are.”
“You’re right that her moral judgement probably isn’t something that you should be using as a guide.”
“But also, when I (25f) was about 5, I’d start the day by coming downstairs and announcing I was a boy or a girl that day.”
“My parents always thought it was cute and agreed and within 10 minutes I’d forgotten. But that sort of freedom with self expression helped me massively.”
“That’s how you raise a child who has a healthy view of their gender and doesn’t feel they have to conform just because they’ve been told to.”
“I’d go through tomboy phases and girly girl phases and now I’m aware that a woman doesn’t have to fit into a single box.”~h_witko
And as this exposes something even uglier about OP’s home-wrecking cousin, it really moves all the onus from OP.
“NTA x 100000000000.”
“I can’t even imagine this all going down while you were in labor. My blood is boiling for you!!”
“It’s pretty rich that he’s worried about her being upset. Ugh they’re both gross. And she’s your cousin? Holy smokes that must make holidays awkward.”
“She has no right to make those kind of comments. And I’d say that it’s proof of her being an asshole to your kids & creating a toxic environment for them when they are at their dad’s.”
“Depending on how severe the other stuff is (that you omitted for word count), I’d probably suggest some sort of family mediation/counseling with all of you.”
“She’ll probably say no, and it would be a generous offer from you, but the priority is the kids. So that’s what I’d do.”~AnotaCocktail
“Excuse me, Cuz. You know that kid you popped out while I was stealing your husband.”
“Well her non conformation to gender stereotypes while cos-playing exposes my homophobia & makes me feel uncomfortable. Ugh! Hard NTA!”
“I would also check to make sure they’re not giving your 5yo grief about it, poor kid has enough to deal with without getting harassed over the way she likes to play & laying issue’s on her that don’t even exist.”
“Good luck great Mom x”~LordTrixzlix
“NTA And id tell ur oldest as soon as they turn 16 they don’t have to go over there anymore if they don’t want if she keeps putting them down.”
“Like, it’s just cosplay everyone does it on tiktok. And even if ur kid comes out as trans/nb thats their choice and their body.”
“They ain’t harming no one unlike miss gf over here home-wrecking a family and thinking her opinion matters.”~AcanthisittaAVI
“NTA. I’m a stepmom and she completely overstepped. Cheating aside; she could be a saint and it’s still not her place.”
“Why she ‘needed’ to speak to you is beyond me, that type of thing is between you and your ex.”
“And you didn’t say anything untrue, so I don’t know what he thinks you have to apologize for. Her feelings are her problem, not yours.”
“How does she think she can parent when she’s acting like a child?”~sydneyunderfoot
Redditors all agree that OP is not only not wrong, but she’s doing something really special for her child in allowing them to express themselves however they like from a young age.
We wish OP and her kids all the best, and safety from judgmental eyes.