Children are easily influenced.
That is why it is important for parents not to encourage poor behavior.
Even if it is in the privacy of our own homes, and they aren’t bothering others, it’s important to let them know that such behavior isn’t ok,
As if they become too comfortable behaving that way, they might find themselves becoming too comfortable behaving that way when out in public,
The neurodivergent daughter of Redditor RockyRoad776 was easily amused by bodily functions, both from others and herself.
As a result, the original poster (OP) had to frequently remind her of appropriate behavior, namely at the dinner table and in front of company.
After she ignored these warnings at a recent family gathering, the OP felt there was only one solution.
Worried she may have been too hard on her, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for sending my daughter to her room because she farted at our family dinner?”
The OP explained that after her daughter appeared to ignore her first two warnings of bad behavior, she felt there was only one way to drive the message home.
“My daughter is 14 years old, I’ll call her Rosie to maintain privacy.”
“She’s the middle child of 4 kids, with my oldest sons being 16, 18, and youngest son is 10.”
“She is my only daughter.”
“She has high functioning autism and is starting to model some of the boy’s behaviors, and to the next level.”
“She has some sort of a fart fetish.”
“She laughs at farts, looks up every fact on farting, including foods that trigger gas, etc., watches fart pranks on her ipad out loud.”
‘All without any regard to the context of the situation.’
“I wish I was joking.”
“I have taught her and our sons table manners.”
“I’ve been teaching them and reinforcing them since they were little.”
“They were told to say excuse me when they belch.”
“Cover their mouth when they cough and sneeze.”
“Close their mouth when they eat. Very basic table manners.”
“Some of these things I tell her each time it’s like I told her the first time.”
“Their grandparents, aunt and uncle and their younger cousins were invited over to our thanksgiving dinner.”
“I set expectations with the entire family to be on their best behavior, and leave topics regarding bodily functions out of the dinner table.”
“Dinner underway, she gulped down a cup of lemonade and then proceeded to belch a few times, which the family turned to gaze at her.”
“I reminded her to say excuse me and hold in her burps.”
“In the middle of a discussion with the rest of the family.”
“She passed gas and giggled.”
“The entire family looked at her direction with stern gazes, and some jaw drops.”
“It was after the 3rd time, I threw my hands and shook my head at her, telling her to go to her room and that her actions were disgusting, rude and not ladylike and she needs to excuse herself to do that.”
“Her father smirked a little and some of the little ones giggled which I told them ‘enough. It’s not funny’.”
“My daughter apologized and stated that she will be careful, which I then responded that she had the multiple times you belched, smacked during the entire dinner, and farted, she had more than enough time to correct herself.’
“This is unacceptable to be doing this behavior when people are having a meal and I raised her better than this and we will have this conversation later and for now go to her room.”
“She went to her room in tears.”
“After a conversation with my daughter with the behaviors, she apologized again and said that she was trying to make everyone laugh and didn’t expect people to get mad.”
“I did remind her that it was actually rude, and she is expected to not do that again with company over.”
‘After a conversation with my husband who passes gas very casually(thankfully doesn’t do it with company over), he said that I was being too harsh on her and it was just a fart, which I did call him out on him smirking at dinner and stated that she modeled her behavior from him.”
“A part of me agreed with him, and thought I was too harsh on her and made a big deal over nothing.”
“Was I being too hard on her reddit?”
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 generally agreed that the OP was not the a**Hole for sending her daughter to her room.
Nearly everyone agreed that the OP’s daughter needed to learn that she wasn’t behaving appropriately, regardless of the fact that she was neurodivergent.
“This right here is why I came to this decision.”
“You need to make sure she understands that there is a time, and place for everything; and very often what she finds hilarious, may be very offensive for someone else.”
“With your husband giving you crap for it, I’d say turn it back on him.”
“Ask him how he’d feel if he was at his parents’ funerals and someone rudely farted in an effort to be funny?”
“I know that’s a harsh way to put it, but it seems part of the issue is your husband doesn’t seem to grasp how offensive that behavior can be.”- kibufox
“Except for the ‘ladylike’ part.”
“Girls should not be held to a higher standard than boys. Using the phrase ‘not polite’ is better.”-ladyfeyrey
“Seems like basic manners to at least say excuse me.”
“Not sit there and giggle.”-Aggravating_Start411
“Some people think farts are funny, some don’t.”
“In my opinion it is never funny to fart, or hear or smell a fart, when at a dining table.”
“So i don’t think you are the a**hole for telling her to stop and sending her away from the table.”
“Because as you pointed out she had numerous chances to contain her belches but she didn’t and she chose to up the ante and fart to get attention, pure and simple.”
“And by calling her out like you did, it have her attention, negative attention, but attention nonetheless.”
“I think you could’ve corrected her differently in a way that she would remember but without seeming so harsh.”
“Neurodivergent or not, I’m sure she knew it was wrong and simply kept misbehaving until she was the focus of attention.”
“You also need to get your husband on board to model appropriate behavior, since she seems to be following in his farting footsteps and even if he conforms he needs to not smirk or laugh at all because.”
“That encourages her misbehavior.”- Gladtobealive2020
“Basic social etiquette is an important life skill.”
“You gave her multiple corrections and followed up with a conversation explaining where she went wrong.”- ChrissyChadd
“If all your children are held to the same level of manners consistently.”
“Also, she admitted she belched and farted on purpose for laughs.”
“Teaching children how to behave in social situations is called parenting.”
“It’s not the same as ‘not accepting them for who they are’.”
“I know a lot of people will come down on you for the ‘ladylike’ comment but if you are holding everyone to the same level, you can say ‘that is not proper at the dinner table’.”
“Also, you need to have a talk with you husband and get everyone on the same page for household behavior.”- missaprile
There were others, however, who while they didn’t necessarily think the OP did anything wrong, they also weren’t sure sending her to her room was the best punishment, particularly telling her she wasn’t being “ladlylike”.
“As a fellow neurodivergent person, I’m wondering if there is a hyperfixation and/or stim aspect of this?”
“Are there ways you can engage with this in a positive way?”
“Gastroenterology is a whole medical field, so while your daughter’s interest isn’t appropriate for the dinner table, there are places and contexts where it is.”
“I’m wondering if the table behavior would decrease if there was another outlet where she could explore this interest without shame.”
“Social situations like big family dinners can be extra difficult for a neurodivergent person.”
“Your daughter might not always remember not to ‘smack’ when she eats or say excuse me every time because there is so much to focus on just to show up for the dinner.”
“Also it seems like her behavior bothers you the most and it bothers you more than that of the men in your family.”
“Your husband ‘passes gas freely’ but it’s ‘not ladylike’ when your daughter does it?”
“Did your sons not laugh at farts when they were 14?”
“Expecting your daughter to not belch and fart throughout family dinner is fine.”
“What’s less fine is only responding with punishment when your autistic daughter needs support in social situations.”- notbanana13
It is important for everyone to know when they’ve behaved in a way that was inappropriate.
Even if one could also understand how the OP’s daughter might genuinely have not seen the harm in what she was doing.
Mainly as her father seemed to encourage her behavior.
Hopefully, the OP and her husband might reach some common ground in how their daughter might effectively learn right and wrong from both of them.