One of the tough lessons parents have to teach their kids is that their actions have consequences.
In some cases, they can be big, serious consequences, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Key_Recognition_8580 decided to cancel their daughter’s graduation party after discovering that she took part in the bullying of her stepsister.
But when the consequence proved to be bigger than originally planned, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they had been too harsh.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for not throwing my daughter a graduation party because she was being a bully to her stepsister? She lost out on a large gift as a result.”
The OP found out their daughter was bullying her stepsister.
“I have three children who I shared custody of.”
“My youngest daughter has graduated high school. But we found out that for the 6 months prior, she and her friends had been bullying my stepdaughter at school.”
“After getting more info from my stepdaughter’s friend, apparently my daughter’s friends instigated the bullying while my daughter would often laugh at her stepsister’s expense.”
“I think this made her just as culpable as her friends. Even if my daughter claims that she can’t control what other people say about her stepsister.”
The OP decided to take away their daughter’s graduation party.
“So the consequence of this was to cancel the graduation party I normally throw for my children who graduated.”
“In the past, I have had an aunt who gave each child a $40,000 cheque to use for their college. It’s been a huge help because my ex and I aren’t well off. She gave these cheques at the graduation parties.”
“For my daughter, my aunt asked when we’d have the party so she can give the cheque. I told her we weren’t planning a party as a consequence. She understood and said she’d bring the cheque when we met up in the future.”
But then something terrible happened.
“Unfortunately, my aunt passed away a month after what should’ve been the party date. We never got to meet her before then.”
“And her children are denying the existence of any cheque for my daughter, which may well be the case.”
“This has created a huge conflict between my daughter and myself.”
“She had been counting on the money to live on her own closer to campus and take out significantly fewer loans.”
The daughter was unforgiving.
“But now, she’s going to have to live at home and take out loans. I’ve co-signed these loans for her because I feel terrible about it.”
“I’ve tried talking to her about it and how I wish it hadn’t gone this way but she’s completely iced all of us out.”
“She moved down into our basement and doesn’t come up anymore. She hasn’t talked to me, my wife, or my stepdaughter since.”
“I do feel very badly that she lost out on the gift and I feel very guilty about it. But I truly felt that I was giving a proper consequence at the time.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the daughter needed to understand the consequences of her actions.
“NTA – how were you to know that the Aunt would die? Your daughter needs to learn that everything has consequences.” – mizfit0416
“As someone who is still suffering anxiety from bullying in school, OP is 100% NTA and her daughter is learning that actions have consequences.” – cloud_designer
“The daughter is going IF you hadn’t canceled my party cuz I supported my friends bullying stepsister, I would have gotten $40k.”
“But the reality is that IF aunt hadn’t died before giving daughter check, she’d have gotten $40k.”
“Aunt could have mailed the check.”
“Aunt could have died last August.”
“Aunt could have decided that daughter’s behavior was too much and she wasn’t giving her a check.”
“Blaming OP is easy – but the check and the party are only tangentially related.”
“OP is not to blame for daughter not getting that $40k. Aunt died.”
“NTA and honestly, OP you need to sit your daughter down and give her a reality check. I personal question you co-signing loans for someone who is currently pouting like a toddler.”
“(But given her previous bullying behavior, it does sort of go hand and hand to me temperament-wise.)” – rak1882
Others said there couldn’t have been anticipating of death in the family.
“All future graduates are going to miss out on that gift.”
“NTA. Aunt’s death is not your fault. Canceling the party was 100% justified. Thank you for loving your daughter enough to teach her right from wrong.”
“Don’t let her make you think you owe her $40k. That party could have been canceled for any number of reasons, especially post 2020, and the result would be the same.”
“I’m sorry for your loss, and I don’t mean money.” – JuliaX1984
“OP’s NTA for canceling the party, but I can’t exactly fault the daughter for being this upset about it.”
“He, obviously, had no control over the aunt dying and the daughter not getting the check. However $40,000 is a lot to lose (especially when all of your other siblings got it), and to the daughter, OP is the direct cause of her not getting it.”
“TBH (to be honest), I don’t honestly see the relationship ever being repaired, regardless of OP being NTA.” – ViolaofIllyria
A few questioned the daughter’s latest behavior.
“Now she’s bullying her father/parents over consequences of her own actions and the father is acting as if it’s his fault, taking the blame.”
“If she’s ‘iced’ them out, she should probably get out of their house. But OP is attempting to placate her and ingratiate himself with her. It’s like she’s surrounded by enablers of her bullying.” – rhetorical_twix
“She’s still behaving so poorly. The fact dad decided to co-sign her loans is probably not a good idea. If this is her attitude, and it continues, she’s never going to take responsibility for those loans, much less her actions. Dad’s going to be stuck with those loan payments.” – Redundant_fox221
“His daughter took part in bullying a stepsibling, someone that lives under the same roof. Daughter’s friends were the bullies, not some random mean girls. The daughter laughed at SS instead of standing up for her.”
“And make no mistake, when you laugh along at bullying remarks, you are taking part in the bullying as well. Has Daughter even apologized for the bullying or she using the missed check as a way to deflect her culpability?”
“I do understand that Op feels guilty that his daughter missed out on something so life-changing that he cannot rectify. But do not bend too far in the other direction and let daughter off the hook for her bullying.”
“For example, do not mortgage your future/retirement out of guilt. Do not let stepdaughter feel unsafe in her home due to guilt. OP has already cosigned loans for this year, but should not be going forward. And OP should be hyper-vigilant about daughter and stepdaughter’s interactions.” – everyonemustlovecats
While the subReddit could empathize with the added troubles in this situation, they also stood by the OP’s decision to cancel the graduation party. Bullying is nothing to joke about and should be stopped, especially before the daughter becomes an adult.