The repercussions of bullying can be far-reaching.
Not only do cruel words and acts impact the victim, but can leave that person afflicted with too much anger or grief to process.
So that person lashes out, hurting someone else, and on the problem goes.
So, what happens when someone you love is the victim of bullying and when she lahes out, your response is less than ideal?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) judgmentaldaughter when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for grounding my daughter because she called my SIL a “slut”?
OP started with the setup.
“My daughter (14yo) posted a picture of a family get-together on social media.”
“A boy from school recognized her aunt from an adult film and messaged my daughter about it.”
“I believe he sent a video to her as well.”
“Before this, she had no idea her aunt was in the industry.”
“It appears that boy spread this around the school and my daughter is being teased for it. I notified the school and they are looking into it and will plan to educate the students about sexism online.”
“My husband and I are respectful and non-judgmental of my SIL’s profession and have tried to teach these values to our children.”
Then she got to the problem at hand.
“My daughter is understandably upset and I feel for her, but she is directing all her anger and blame toward her aunt.”
“She unfriended my SIL from social media and removed all traces of her from her profiles.”
“She refuses to join us for weekly dinners at my SIL’s house and when they come over, she ignores them and just sits in her room playing Minecraft.”
“I tried talking to her about tolerance, shame, and sexism, but she is dismissive of all of it.”
“My SIL is hurt from all of this.”
“Not only did she have her privacy invaded, but she lost a good relationship with her niece.”
“Last weekend, I went upstairs to my daughter’s room to try and talk to her and get her to join us downstairs.”
“My daughter refused and referred to my SIL as ‘a vapid slut’ and her husband ‘a pathetic cuck’ along with other slurs I don’t want to repeat.”
“I grounded her for three months and took away her internet.”
“My husband definitely thinks that she should be punished for using that language, but that’s too much.”
“He also admitted he struggled to accept his sister’s career path at first.”
“He thinks she just needs space and will come around eventually because her aunt is family.”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
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
Some people shared personal stories.
“Three months is too long.”
“My mother had a habit of grounding me for long periods.”
“After a while, I stopped caring that I was grounded because it had become so normal.”
“Not only was I not considering why I had been grounded in the first place, but it also made being grounded not a big deal.”
“So when I did something bad in the future I didn’t really care because the punishment had become my norm.”
“Oh, and I also resented my mother for it. Long groundings such as these do not work.” ~ Guenzler00
“Yeah, honestly a serious talking to was usually more punishment for me than being grounded.”
“Also, at the end of it usually I felt like I understood the ‘why’ better and spent time reflecting on it.”
“Giving out overly excessive and unrelated punishments won’t correct behavior.”
“In this specific case, I would punish your daughter for the words she used, not the meaning behind them.”
“Those words are mean and hurtful and maybe deserve a weekend grounding.”
“But honestly I’d bet the ‘why’ in this situation is a combination of surprise, hurt that something was being kept from her, and reflection of her friends’ reactions.”
“I’d do my best to make sure that it’s clear that any punishment is for the language used and the disrespect it infers.”
“Then separately enter some tough conversations about the validity of peoples’ life choices, and try to undertake those in an entirely positive manner.” ~ Laetha
Others pointed toward the daughter’s point of view.
“YTA for a multitude of reasons.”
“You just punished your daughter for reacting to being bullied. Wonderful parenting there.”
“You are siding with your SIL over your child.”
“First, your SIL did not have any privacy violated.”
“She chose to engage in that profession, where she was filmed having sex on camera.”
“Once that was filmed, it was out there forever, so when it resurfaces, it is not a violation of privacy.”
“It is just your documented past coming back.”
‘”I grounded her for three months and took away her internet.”‘
“So you punished your child for 90 days for reacting poorly to being bullied.”
“In what way do you possibly think you aren’t an a**hole here?” ~ TheCharismaticWeasel
“She’s probably being tortured at school because of that.”
“She’s allowed to be angry.”
“Maybe the language was a bit harsh but after what she’s been doing through it’s pretty understandable.” ~ thatonegirlherelol
“And she has reason to feel betrayed by her family.”
“Nobody told her the aunt was working in adult films, so she posted a picture of a p*rn star on her social media – completely unprepared for the probably very cruel reaction this got her in school.” ~ giuliettazoccola
Commenters were concerned for the daughter’s well-being.
“I really hope OP’s daughter is okay.”
“Kids in high school can be terrible to each other and sometimes show absolutely no empathy.”
“I can’t even imagine the kind of sh*t they’re saying to her about this, and it worries me that these kids might push her to the point of self-harm.”
“OP, please talk with your daughter and make sure she’s okay, I bet she hasn’t told her parents a fraction of what’s actually going on at school.”
“Stop punishing her and take care of her.” ~ theOperentice
“3 months is too much for this.”
“She was venting to you in private; if you want her to be open about her feelings with you punishing her for the way she expresses it will not further the development of the conversational channels.”
“A night without her game to think about the whole situation and come up with a solution would have been more constructive” ~ Baltusrol
Some felt that this will have lasting consequences.
“I would change my opinion if she said it to the aunt directly but she was having a private conversation with her mother.”
“Good luck getting her to ever do that with you again… she is gonna remember this next time you wanna have any talk with her.” ~ tortoise_not_a_hare
“OP, you will ruin relationships with your daughter acting like this.”
“You should go to her and explain that you were wrong and acted out of anger because these words were so hurtful to hear.”
“And say that you are sorry and that you understand now how hurt must be for your daughter to hear words like this directed towards her at school.”
“You ask her what else does she have to hear.”
“How does she feel about it and how can you support her during this time? Empathize with her.”
“Make this a bonding experience instead of alienating one.”
“And you lift the punishment altogether as an exception because she’s going through a lot but advise her that she will indeed be punished if she repeats these words again.” ~ Kartofeleva
Others also felt that a lesson could be taught here.
“It is a teachable moment for sure.”
“I think some type of punishment is in order for lashing out at family members but 3 months is silly.”
“There is a right and wrong way to handle being hurt and if there is no punishment for her words then she isn’t going to learn a right and wrong way to express herself.”
“Though it is a sticky situation because her peers are harassing her and it’s not her fault.”
“As progressive as people want to be though, high schoolers suck.”
“Slut shaming is definitely a thing and she’s probably receiving plenty of it.”
“She does need to be made aware that just because it’s happening to her doesn’t make it okay to lash out at her family members.”
“Though maybe you do that after she’s vented.” ~ Gosupanda
OP did return for some final thoughts.
“Seems like my husband is right and I went too far with the punishment.”
“I just never imagined those hurtful words coming from her mouth.”
“I’m going to scale it back to two or three weeks or something like that.”
“Will decide with the husband later.”
“We’re definitely concerned for our daughter about what’s happening at school and we’re looking into therapy.”
“For clarification, as for my SIL’s privacy, she didn’t consent to have her real name revealed to the world or have her films and her personal information be passed around by 14yo boys.”
Bullying has so many names.
Whether it’s happening to a nine-year-old child, a grown adult, or someone near the end of their days it is wrong.
It is cruel.
Be patient with the people in your life fighting the battle, but remember that helping someone sometimes means helping them deal with problems constructively.