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Busy Teen Balks After Stepdad Chastises Her For Not Sharing Her Homemade Dinners With Him

a young woman baking in a kitchen
Amir Mukhtar/Getty Images

We all love a delicious home-cooked meal. Delicious smells wafting from the kitchen evoke special emotions that are often tied to holidays and other special memories.

Redditor thefridaynightfunker got a little jealous of the cooking his stepdaughter was doing and wanted in on the meals.

Her response caused him to turn to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) for feedback.

He asked,

“AITA for asking my step daughter to cook for us?”

The Original Poster (OP) went on to tell his story.

My [45-year-old Male] stepdaughter [17-year-old Female] is a phenomenal cook. I’m talking homemade pasta sauces, scratch baking, hell, sometimes imported seasonings.”

“But she only does it for herself.”

“She’s been fine cooking when I ask her to do it for us, but only on rare occasions.”

“When we’re all busy and need to do ‘DIY dinner’ nights and can’t all sit around the table, you can smell her homemade garlic pesto or vegan teriyaki stir fry all over the house, and it gets irritating.”

“We get her ingredients that she uses up quickly and never makes meals to share with, and I’m getting annoyed.”

“So I asked her earlier tonight if she would start making dinner for us all more frequently (I didn’t say every night) and she got annoyed and mouthy with me, saying she’s drowning in school work, her internship, and her commissions (very talented digital artist) and can’t ’babysit’ us because ’you never learned to cook.’”

“She claims her sparse dinner preparations are a treat when she’s up to the task and feeling nice, and she can’t be expected to come up with something new and fresh every night.”

“She’s doing it for herself anyway, why not for the rest of us?”

“So I told her to just do the dishes and go to her room.”

“She did the dishes and stomped off and hasn’t come out since, and my wife thinks I’m TA here, but I think I’m in line.”

“She lives under my roof and doesn’t pay rent, and she’s already cooking every night for herself anyway.”


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided: YTA.


“Why is a minor child cooking every night for herself in the first place?”

“She does have a [full-time] job – school. Plus a [part-time] job and an internship. And she is a child.”

“Get in the kitchen, dude.” – MeanestGoose

Yta, you buy her groceries and she doesn’t pay rent bc she is 17.”

“Learn to cr[o]ckpot cook or batch cook.” – No-Locksmith-8590

“YTA. Your 17-year-old doesn’t pay rent? That’s because her mom is legally responsible for providing housing, food, etc for her CHILD.”

“She shouldn’t be responsible for routinely cooking for the family.”

“You should be grateful for the fact that she routinely cooks for herself, rather than relying on her adult PARENTS to provide food for her.”

“Maybe you and your wife should take some cooking classes.” – Iamgoaliemom


“She isn’t SUPPOSED to be paying you rent. She’s a minor child! Your attitude of it being “my roof” is pretty crappy.”

“That attitude tells us some very unflattering things about you.”

“She doesn’t have to cook for you. Sure, everyone once on awhile (like once a month) would be very nice. But she doesn’t have to.” – Intermountain-Gal

“YTA for thinking someone with school, an internship, and an art business doesn’t have the equivalent of a full-time job, and for asking her to take on more household responsibility without compensation one way or the other (money, fewer other chores, etc).”

“Also you make it sound like you ‘asked’ but your reaction sounds more like you ‘told’ her to cook for you.” – j00l5

“It’s a DIY dinner night because all of you are busy, and you get irritated by the smell of what she’s cooking? Stop right there. You are an AH!” – shankeroon

“YTA – She has taken it upon herself to learn to cook, keep up with schoolwork, start a career… She is still legally a child.”

“Why should she take on any responsibility for feeding the family?”

“Why can’t the parents in this situation appreciate that they have raised a hard-working child and take it upon themselves to show the initiative she has?”

“I say this because you have actively commented that meals you make are ‘low effort like noodles/pizza.’”

“Why should it fall to her in any regard to pick up the slack because you can’t be bothered to learn to cook?” – lisamalloch

When I was the stepdaughter’s age, I began to prepare foods myself, or just do take out.”

“Because around that age, I realized my family is just awful at cooking. It was all stuff made in bulk- think spaghetti/pasta and meatballs, beef stew, chicken casseroles.”

“All but one dinner per week was something that needed to be microwaved and thus made into a rubbery, soggy version of its former self. I hated microwaves then as much as I do now.”

“Anyhow OP is TA and sounds like an overgrown baby a**hole at that.”

“ETA: I am certainly very fortunate to have what I got as a kid, and I know many families struggle to put food on the table altogether.”

“There is something ironic to me about coming from a home where there was ample time and funds to make decent food, but almost exclusive [sic] lived off leftovers.”

“It was like my parents, at that time, had given up.”

“And yes that’s a downer rooted in facts.” – xvn520


“She clearly does it to fend for herself and as a creative project that satisfies her.”

“Notice that by doing it only for herself, she’s under no pressure to get it right every time.”

“She has only herself to please and can enjoy what she cooks and learning what’s working and what doesn’t.”

“Cooking for all of you would take that recreational activity, that self-sufficiency, and make it subject to the criticisms and desires and demands of the family.”

“She’s not under any obligation to cook for anybody.”

“If she wasn’t raised in such a way that everybody did their part with the cooking (and it sounds like she wasn’t…. your description of mealtimes is pretty chaotic), making her start now is a little random.”

“Punishing her for not wanting to do it is completely out of bounds.” – Futueteipsum7

“Imagine getting annoyed at someone cooking stuff and then expecting that person to cook for you.”

“Also, she’s not an adult, so she shouldn’t pay rent. You’re the parent, not her, so YOU should be cooking. YTA” – xX_CatTrapXx

“YTA, she’s 17; it’s your responsibility to buy her groceries and pay her rent because she’s a child; no wonder she doesn’t want to cook for you when it’s super obvious you don’t even like her.” – runningaway67907

YTA. She’s lives under my roof and doesn’t pay rent” SHE IS A CHILD.”


“You are entitled, rude, and she is absolutely right. It is not her fault that you didn’t learn basic cooking.”

“Pesto and teriyaki are BASIC foods that are less than 10 steps. The fact that you would even think she is living their rent-free is sick.”

“You should have never married a person with kids if you thought those CHILDREN would have to pay you to have a home.”

“You are a grown an** adult, if you cannot make yourself decent sustenance, that is not this young girl’s problem.” – Ch-Ch-Ch-CherryBomb0

“YTA. From what you’ve described, her meals take time to prepare, and it shows in the result”

“She is seventeen. Expecting her to cook once or twice is acceptable. Every night on top of her other commitments is not.”

“You yourself have said that you are a ‘miserable cook’ and will cook meals that require minimal effort.”

“If you want good food – learn to cook, whether that be by asking your stepdaughter for pointers or by using recipes and youtube to learn.”

“You are an adult. She is not.”

“You are responsible for her. She is not responsible for you.” – zestythezestiestzest

YTA for three reasons.”

“You’re not her father, number one.”

“Number two, she’s 17 and still in school, so let her focus on that. Do not bring the thought of rent in this situation because she will more than likely not abide.”

“Number three, and based on your comment that you’re a miserable cook myself but try sometimes. You need to pick up the slack. She is not a live-in cook.”

“Yes, you are out of line. Have a little respect for her.” – FlyingCaptainSmash

“YTA I saw your comment you’re almost 50 and can’t do much but noodles and pizza?” – Layli2020


“If she was older I’d say she should pay for her own ingredients, but she’s a teenager exploring a hobby that makes her happy.”

“Getting her to cook for everyone takes the joy out of it for her. If she’s cleaning up after herself and being respectful otherwise, then leave her be.” – Ok_General_6940

Someone should drop their meal subscription kit referral code into the comments of this one.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)