It can be difficult for a parent when their own parents weigh in on how to raise their children.
Nobody’s doubting the wisdom of grandparents, but they certainly aren’t always 100% right automatically.
A Redditor recently found themselves struggling with that predicament. They wrote about it in a post to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as LevelDonkey6674 on the site, shared the key source of conflict in the post’s title.
“AITA for not talking to my parents over my son’s nail polish?”
OP began by describing the recent development.
“My son [11-year-old] recently expressed an interest in painting his nails.”
“I had no problem with it and we had fun picking out a color. He loved it and we made a cute post about it.”
But it wasn’t that simple.
“I got messages and phone calls from my parents saying he shouldn’t have done it, that I encouraged him because he would never ask to have that done, asking if I was going to let him out in public like that, etc.”
“I essentially said no, we’re not doing any of that kind of talk, he’s a child, and there is zero harm in letting him express himself in this way.”
OP shared where everybody stood on the matter.
“I have had some inklings about my son’s sexual preference since he was little, and I can only say that I love every single part of him and nothing would ever sway me from that.”
“My parents, however, are not only not unconditionally supportive of their grandchild, but also seemingly believe that I am in some way forcing a homosexual agenda onto him.”
“My husband is 100% on my side and the side of loving our son for everything he is.”
OP was forced to make a tough choice.
“To preserve my mental health, I have stopped calling my parents unless it’s necessary. Which is hard, because my mom and I used to speak quite literally every day.”
“I haven’t stopped them from calling either of my children or interacting with them on social media, but I do monitor the phone calls and posts to make sure my son is okay and not exposed to negativity about his appearance or style choices.”
As things are still ongoing, OP
“He doesn’t know about any of this because I hope to preserve the relationship (he loves my parents so much!) and I have hope they’ll come around.”
“But I don’t volunteer any information and I don’t reach out to them.”
“Am I an a**hole?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
An overwhelming majority of responses assured OP they were not the a**hole.
They praised OP’s parenting skills.
“NTA. You’re a great parent. I’m glad that your son has you. It’s your child, not your parents and they will just have to deal with that.” — Spicy_Pepper4925
“NTA. I wish my parents were like you.” — AkiliosTheWolf
“Wow. The complete opposite. You are a fantastic parent. I tip my hat to you.” — LassyWearsAMask
“NTA. You’re doing a great job, momma!!!!!” — mommabear504
“NTA. You’re supporting your son. That’s what good parents do.”
“Your parents are the AH’s + you don’t need to see them or speak to them if they can’t support you or your son. Keep your son away from them until they decide to get with the program.” — Candy4Evr
Several Redditors made it clear where the real problem laid.
“NTA— you need to protect your kid from them.” — coconutshave
“NTA thank you for protecting your son from your homophobic parents.” — bebett
“Lmao your family is laughably awful.”
“NTA by a long shot. I never understood why painted nails is such a ‘feminine’ thing anyways. How is this different from putting a sticker on his face or having light up shoes??? Normal child stuff, nothing remarkable here, and congrats on fine parenting!” — ijustneedtolurk
“NTA. I don’t know why you would even think you were the asshole for defending/shielding your kid from bigots.” — lectricpharaoh
“NTA. Your son is just learning to express himself, and they are pushing their beliefs on you and him. They are forcing a ‘heterosexual agenda’ onto you and your son, not the other way around.”
“At eleven, he is just beginning to learn about himself and about his own bodily autonomy. It’s normal for kids to experiment. NTA.” — YippeKiYote
Many even questioned the logic.
“NTA. Inklings or not nail polish is not going to influence your son’s orientation. My brother used to put my heels on for a laugh. He finds it both hilarious and embarrassing now and is in a happy heterosexual relationship.”
“If anything I think it’s more harmful to restrict kids from expressing themselves if they show an interest because you’re just associating their experimentation with shame.”
“He wasn’t doing anything that was harmful to himself or anyone else and your support for him will only benefit him in the long run. His grandparents actions on the other hand just says more about them than anyone else.” — SalamanderTemporary7
“Eh.. my son likes his nails painted, his favorite colour is purple and he enjoys a bubble bath with bath bombs. I have no doubt he is straight but that doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy stereotypical girl things.”
“We don’t need to gender everything as just for boys or just for girls. Nta.” — claudiarabbit123
“NTA and there are loads of men who paint their nails for many different reasons who have many different sexualities. Musicians for example will often paint their nails so they can see their fingering better.”
Doesn’t mean they’re gay, straight, or somewhere in between. Just means they found a solution to a pretty niche problem. It’s sad that people always seem to equate men wanting to utilise makeup with sexuality instead of self expression or utility.”
“Keep supporting your kid and allowing them to just be themselves. Hopefully your parents will come around.” — [deleted]
Looks like OP can rest assured they’re raising they’re son in a way that at least many people deem ideal.