Parenting is difficult. On one hand, you want to encourage your children to grow into confident adults. But you also don’t want to lie to them.
Redditor lonelygotherd had an incident with her daughter that left her wondering if she did the right thing. The original poster (OP) said something upsetting, but isn’t sure being honest is the worst thing in the world.
To figure out where she stands, OP took her story to the “Am I the A**holes” (AITA) subReddit to be judged.
“AITA for saying I didn’t like my daughter’s outfit?”
This is what happened between the parent and child:
“My 16 year old daughter has a kind of eclectic and unusual fashion sense. She’s also the most self-confidant young woman I’ve ever met so it works for her.”
“To be perfectly honest I haven’t really cared for most of her outfits but I reconcile myself with the fact that she’s happy and I’m not the one who has to wear the outfit.”
“I normally don’t tell her how I feel about her clothes because I remember my mom being a harpy about my clothes when I was a teenager and she never kept her opinions to herself, she could actually be downright cruel about it.”
“It left me with a lot of body positivity issues that I’m still finding it hard to get over.”
“Normally ‘Sara’ doesn’t ask me for my opinion, I guess she hears how her grandma was towards me (and sometimes still is) and how her friends parents are and doesn’t want me to do it to her.”
“She recently tried something new with her clothes and her look and came to me for my opinion. I knew if she was coming to me it was important to her.”
“I won’t get into what style of dress and make-up she was sporting because it’s not my intention to make anyone feel badly but its a style that I really, really, really don’t care for.”
“I’ve read the history on it and I respect what the original wearers were going for but I feel like its sort of become overblown and has lost the message. But, that said, my daughter babysits and makes her own money and she bought the clothes herself so I can’t tell her not to wear them.”
“At first I have her a general, ‘looks good, where you heading?’ but she wanted me to be specific, what did I think about such and such, did I think it looked good. Again, trying to be vague but supportive I told her, ‘you wear it all very nicely and everything looks nice together’.”
“Like most 16-year-olds she is very determined and she told me she wanted my honest opinion and she wasn’t going to let me go until I told her exactly how I feel.”
“So I told her I really, really, really hate the style of clothing/the look she was sporting, that I’ve always disliked that kind of fashion, that while the outfit looked good on her I just did not like it.”
“I also told her that I wasn’t going to make her change her clothes because it wasn’t my place to dictate how she wants to look, but if she wanted my honest opinion, I didn’t like it at all.”
“She basically lashed out at me, told me I was ruining her life, that I was trying to stifle her creativity, how I needed to be more supportive, how I was…just like grandma (won’t lie, that one stung), and stormed out of the house to meet her friends at the mall.”
“Was I the a**hole for being honest?”
On the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit people explain their situation and their reaction and are judged based on what they do or in this case, are considering.
This is done by fellow users who include one of the following in their comment:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
OP was doing a lot of heavy lifting, offering positive comments and thinking about her daughter’s feelings far more than it sounds like her daughter was considering hers.
She didn’t give any kind of criticism until pushed.
OP was NTA to give an honest answer, especially the very mild one she explained.
“NTA, there’s a life lesson here, don’t ask for an honest opinion if you don’t really want an honest opinion.” – Dyeith95
“Also, I may get downvoted for this, but OP is a MOM. She shouldn’t be a fashion nazi like grandma, but she does have a duty to at least discuss with her daughter if she believes her fashion ends up harming her directly or indirectly.”
“‘I also told her that I wasn’t going to make her change her clothes because it wasn’t my place to dictate how she wants to look, but if she wanted my honest opinion, I didn’t like it at all.’”
“The way her daughter lashed out at her and tried to hurt her, that’s really not acceptable. OP, you may not want to do it, but you have to put the foot down and tell her that kind if disrespectful behavior is not acceptable.”
“She should learn that from you first, not outside the family.” – jukindarules
“Support doesn’t mean complete and total, enthusiastic agreement. You can dislike her style, but you didn’t tell her so until she asked for details.” – PinkGhostPandemic
“NTA. I will say based on your title, I was prepared to say something else.”
“You tried to be diplomatic and support her. This is a good lesson for her to learn that if you continue to push people for an ‘honest’ answer, then you need to be prepared for what that might be.”
“Sometimes honesty is not the answer we want to hear.” – litt3lli0n
Most of the comments were in agreement that OP did nothing wrong. Many actually reassured her that this might be just teenage angst.
What OP can do going forward is try to ensure her daughter learns the appropriate lesson from this.
“NTA – Have another sit-down with her and tell her you love her and support her individuality, which is why you don’t dictate her clothing choices, but she did ask for your specific and detailed opinion, and you’re sorry that your opinion wasn’t expressed more gently.”
“Your distaste was intended to be directed at the clothing, not her.”
“When I met my husband we watched a movie I absolutely hated. When he asked what I thought I replied with ‘It’s not a movie I would have chosen for myself.’”
“That was the politest way I could think of to say that I didn’t like it and now it’s an inside joke.”
“Hopefully she’ll mature a bit, but she’s only 16 and I likely would have had a similar reaction at that age. Don’t take it too personally mom. You sound like you’re doing fine.” – Jennabear82
OP’s daughter is likely going through a rebellious phase and was looking for a reason to hate her mom’s opinion. Doesn’t make it right—in fact, it really hurt OP.
The daughter needs to reflect on why she really pushed for the opinion when she had a positive comment already.