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Teen Forbidden From Taking Sign Language Classes To Communicate With Hard Of Hearing Uncle

A mother and daughter sit apart, not speaking

Making sure a child is learning and growing in many aspects of life can be a daunting challenge.

Nobody wants to spread their kid too thin.

But their is so much to learn.

And so many activities to participate in.

And so little time.

Case in point…

Redditor MysteriousGlittering wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA because I told my daughter she can’t learn sign language?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My daughter is almost 13 and she wants to learn sign language.”

“It’s not offered at her school and she would need to go to the local community college to take the course there with a bunch of adults.”

“She obviously needs parental approval to enroll as well.”

“For their extracurricular activities I feel it’s important for my kids to have some kind of physical activity or sport to keep them healthy, and taking this course would interfere with her riding lessons which would need to be moved around.”

“She already added on rock climbing this upcoming year which is also eating up a bit of her time since she wants to go two or three times a week which I wasn’t expecting.”

“She’s saying she can manage doing all of it but I know her riding is getting out on a back burner and she’s not going to compete at the level she has been if she does all these extra activities.”

“There is also a lot going on for us and finances and debt are an issue which she doesn’t know much about to not worry the kids.”

“The local community college tuition isn’t extreme, but it would be a couple hundred dollars for a class and that’s not in the budget right now.”

“My husband feels we should let her take the class and we can pull the money from somewhere else, and that if her ridding suffers then either she will learn she needs to drop something else.”

“And be content with the outcome for the level of effort she made, or drop riding for other interests.”

“Then apparently she complained to my brother since I said no, and in private he offered to pay for her class because she wants to take it so badly.”

“Now I just feel embarrassed that he’s getting involved in our business and that she’s complaining to everyone that I’m a terrible mother.”

“She only wants to take the class because my brother is also learning sign language right now and she’s decided to do everything he does.”

“So maybe this will blow over if I tell her she can take the course next school year.”

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

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

Many Redditors declared OP WAS the A**hole.

“Does she even want to have riding lessons and compete?”

“Because it’s sounds little more like ‘I want her to compete because that’s how I planned and this is what I want.'”

“She’s 13. She’s ready to hear that all of her extra activities cost money and it’s getting too much.”

“Tell her and let her choose what SHE wants.”

“Maybe she’ll resign from sign lessons.”

“Maybe from horse riding… she’s old enough to decide and it looks like she really likes rock climbing so there is ‘some kind of physical activity.'”

“You’re just stuck on those riding lessons.”

“A bit for YTA for not letting her choose.”  ~ Schrodingerstheory

“Yep. YTA. She’s an A.”

“Her own projected ambitions are more important than what her daughter wants.”  ~ Schrodingerstheory

“Which is extra bonkers when you think of the fact that even just mediocre sign language would be amazing for her to have on a resume in literally any industry she could possibly get into.”

“While horse riding would only give her an advantage in very specific situations and would rely on her being one of the best competitors in her area.”  ~ SnakesInYerPants

“My daughter rides and competes – she ‘loves’ it.”

“She plans to major in psychology in college and go on to a career in equine-assisted therapy.”

“That said, it is crazy expensive, especially competing (and to be good, you need to lesson a few times a week).”

“I would bet anything that one month of lessons alone costs far more than A[merican] S[ign] L[anguage] at community college.”

“So, YTA.”

“Your family is in debt but you’re forcing your daughter to ride and compete rather than pursue ASL.”  ~ tanyafd

“Yep, we heard this same song a few months ago from the Mom who wanted to force her daughter to continue dance lessons and poo-pooed the daughter’s interest in learning a new language.”

“So for the excuse of not having the money.”

“Ok, we’ll let you slide on that one, but the solution has already been proposed to let her know that she will need to drop another activity, and she *might* to give up riding. Quelle horreur!”

“The excuse about a 13 year old attending college with adults is a stronger justification but by talking to the college and the instructor and taking some precautions (making sure she has safe transportation there and back) you could probably ameliorate that situation.”

“Final verdict YTA.”

“And don’t be surprised if later on she learns at least *one* sign that involves one finger.”  ~ Downtown_Evidence_46

“Yeah op is TA.”

“I hang out with Deaf folks a lot and something I hear heartbreakingly often is that they aren’t close with their hearing family who never bothered learning sign.”

“Learning even minimal ASL goes a long way.”

“Plus, this could lead to a career as an interpreter for the daughter, and it sounds like she isn’t showing signs of a pro barrel racer or anything.”  ~ Haunting-Weakness412

“Totally ‘jumping’ on the top comment.”

“YTA. One of the things u/MysteriousGlittering is complaining about is a few hundred dollars about is cost.”


“Are you effing kidding me?”

“You just bought your daughter a new jumper horse?”

“How much was that? 10k? 20? 50?”

“If you really want her to be competitive it had to be at least 50.”

“So as a former jumper and Dad to 2 of them let’s break down some costs for redditors…”

“Board: 7-800/mo Training: 5-700/mo Farrier: 150-200/ every 6ish weeks Grain/supplements: 100/mo”

“A good jumping saddle is about 5k. Pair of boots is 500. Just got my youngest a new 700 bridle for X-mas.”

“Shows? I plan on 500 for a local show and at least 2000 (per kid) for an away show.”

“If OP is competing higher levels (ie underclasses at a GP show…definitely more expensive.)”

“Let your kid take the course, half lease your horse and take pressure off both financially and competitively.”

“You are a big AH.”  ~ thesnowsnake

“This is such ‘horse mom’ nonsense. I rode competitively when I was a kid/teen and long after I stopped loving it and wanting to spend my time on it my mom pushed me because she loved horses and didn’t have an outlet for it.”

“Anyone who wants to talk about money being tight but in the same breath talking about riding isn’t grounded in reality.”

“Horses are expensive, gear is expensive, competition is expensive, training is expensive.”

“Unless the daughter is at an elite level where scholarships and recruitment by college teams is on the table, a college level language credit is a much better investment in her future.”  ~ ruinedbymovies

“YTA, let her pick her activities and there’s nothing wrong with her interest in cognitive/academic activities over physical ones.”

“The point of physical activity should be to enjoy being physical throughout your life but so many parents turn their kids off of it.”

“She can maybe turn this ASL into a career, she can open up communication with others, she’s developing her brain in important ways and she could use translating to help her through school.”

“It would be an asset to her in most jobs and it would be amazing if she ever wanted to work with kids or families in the health and edu action systems as an advocate with the hearing population.”  ~ Much2learn_2day

“And a community college ASL class is ‘not in the budget right now,’ but riding is known to be a very affordable hobby.”

“YTA, OP. Stop trying to vicariously live through your child.”

“She is old enough to decide what extracurricular activities she’s interested in, and try new things to find out what her interests are.”

“You’re stifling her development for your own personal reasons.”

“Get your own hobbies instead of assigning them to your family.”  ~ punitive_tourniquet

“OP also just bought a horse for her daughter’s riding (a hobby which seems from the comments only for OP’s benefit, not the daughter’s).”

“Horses are extremely expensive to buy and care for, so money doesn’t seem to be the real issue here.”

“Sell the horse and let your daughter take sign language classes. YTA.”  ~ cupcakesandglitter

“YTA because you’re deciding that riding is more important than her new interest.”

“Explain to her that you can’t afford riding, rock climbing, and sign language.”

“If money is truly the problem, then communicate that to her!”

“And then have her start learning sign language from online courses and YouTube videos.”

“Then she can fit it in her to schedule without it breaking the budget.”  ~ Archer4040

Well OP, Reddit is pretty clear how they feel about your choices.

Maybe it’s time for a serious family chat.

Sign language is an incredible language to know.

Good luck.