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Dad Called Out After Punishing Wife’s Teen Niece For Making Joke About His Manhood At Party

angry man yells and gestures at unseen person with hand up
Oliver Rossi/Getty Images

When marrying someone with a child, the adjustment can be difficult. But when you get married, your spouse’s relatives are your relatives.

Your spouse’s nieces and nephews are your nieces and nephews.

But what if you dislike them?

A father of two turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

PlayfulSandwich3232 asked:

“AITA for punishing my ‘stepdaughter’ for a joke?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“My wife and I have been married for 10 years. We have a 9-year-old son together. My wife also has an ‘adopted daughter’ (16, female).”

“It’s not really her daughter and she is not exactly adopted, technically it’s my wife’s niece.”

“Her parents abandoned her and my wife took her in.”

“She is the brattiest, rudest, most annoying child, but I try to tolerate her because it means a lot to my wife.”

“Anyway yesterday was my son’s 9th birthday and we threw a small party, family only. My son insisted that we play a game in which we have to say what superpower we want to have and he would tell us what weakness we would have.”

“When it was my turn I told him that I want to be invisible, he said you will be invisible but your penis won’t be.”

“My stepdaughter then chimed in and said ‘good you will still be very hard to notice then, well that’s just what mom said’ and bursted out laughing.”

“My son made a harmless joke, she turned it into an insult.”

“I grabbed her phone and laptop and told her she is grounded for 2 weeks and can’t have her phone back for a month.”

“My wife thinks I overreacted to a kid’s joke and I’m an a**hole, but she embarrased me in front of everyone and I believe she deserves her punishment.”

The OP summed up their situation.

“I might be an a**hole because my stepdaughter made a joke and I punished her, but the punishment might be too much.”

“I’m giving her a comfortable life and a family. I’d say I’m a good stepdad.”

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

Most Redditors felt the OP was the a**hole (YTA)…

“Yeah YTA. I mean, clearly you’re always just itching for an excuse to be mean to this girl.”

“The fact you went through so much effort to detail your relation to her when it has nothing to do with the incident just shows you’re an AH.”

“She made a joke. Was it appropriate? Not really, but you can have a conversation about that.”

“And did you punish your son for saying something that’s pretty inappropriate in front of a bunch of people? 9-year-olds shouldn’t be talking candidly about anyone’s penis in public like that.” ~ Walnut25993

“No, no, you clearly don’t get it. She made the joke in front of everyone and HUMILIATED him by insinuating that he has a tiny pee-pee. In front of EVERYONE.”

“‘Everyone’, of course, being OP’s 9-year-old son (who shouldn’t care about the size/quality of his father’s [penis]) and OP’s wife (who is the biological mother of the son and therefore likes OP’s penis at least well enough to let him impregnate her with it.”

“For real though, OP is acting more immature than the teenager who ’embarrassed’ him.”

“All he’s done by blowing this so wildly out of proportion is ruin his son’s 9th birthday and proven that he is so extremely insecure about his dick/sexual performance/ability to satisfy his wife sexually that a 16-year-old girl’s generic mockery is enough to thoroughly humiliate him.”

“He’s also shown that if this teenager ever wants to get under his skin, literally all she has to do is imply that he has a small [member]. OP got played by a 16-year-old girl using the dumbest, most stereotypical troll insult in the world.”

“What will grounding her and taking away her phone/laptop even accomplish? How is that a productive punishment in any way that isn’t just 100% vindictive and power-tripping? YTA.” ~ DumpstahKat

“YTA. This child has been part of your life for 10 years and you do not consider her part of your family? She is just as much your daughter as she is your wife’s at this point.”

“Either way, you SERIOUSLY overreacted. 15/16 year old girls can be callous brats. Her comment was rude.”

“Your butt-hurt overreaction made you look like a massive AH to the rest of the family. Had you simply rolled your eyes, shook your head and moved on, everyone would have forgotten about it.”

“Then, dealt out the consequence later.”

“The consequence should be for rudeness. Not your embarrassment. Kids embarrass us.”

“Today, sit down with your wife and discuss an appropriate consequence. Honestly? Additional chores for a period of time will carry MUCH more weight than grounding.”

“Losing her phone for a month? Do you have ANY idea how much phones are used these days in the classroom? Like DAILY, my daughters are expected to scan QR codes.”

“I can see a week. She’ll be able to navigate around it for a week, but a month? That is overly harsh.” ~ Adventurous-Try1728

“I think he’s doing this because he doesn’t like her at all. The fact that he even used a word like tolerate to describe the situation shows he doesn’t want her around.” ~ Funky_Armadillo_8670

“No, no, he TRIES to tolerate her. You forgot that part.” ~ chronoventer

“Do you and your son typically make jokes like this? Have you ever considered that you might be making your 16-year-old live-in clearly not-daughter uncomfortable?”

“I would argue that this girl has probably been through a ton, being abandoned by her family and now having to live with a man who clearly doesn’t like her.”

“It must be incredibly uncomfortable and difficult for her. And add teenage hormones to that. Yikes.”

“Yes, YTA.” ~ LotsofCatsFI

“YTA. Let’s just be real—from the way you’ve written this, it’s obvious you don’t like this child.”

“She will never win with you—your son could have made that joke, and you would’ve laughed.”

“You just don’t like her, and that’s why you didn’t like the joke.” ~ s4febook

“YTA, because the joke was inappropriate—but you are an adult, and the punishment was extreme instead of taking her aside and asking for an apology AFTER explaining why size jokes about genitals are inappropriate for anyone.”

“I’d say everyone sucks, but of course, you are the bigger a-hole by MILES.”

“Personally, I think you hate your wife’s child—which this girl is. Does not matter if adopted or taken in – it’s obvious the two see each other as mother/daughter.”

“The fact you refuse even to acknowledge that is sick.”

“You need some serious therapy—and the girl does too if you’ve treated her like this since she came into your home.”

“And the fact you are insisting on pointing out ‘she’s not my stepdaughter’ despite evidence to the contrary, it’s surprising she isn’t worse towards you because it’s obvious you don’t give a crap about her outside the fact her mom loves her.”

“You freely admit you barely tolerate her.”

“Why did you get in this relationship if you weren’t willing to take your wife with the child?” ~ stormrunner1981

…while some decided OP’s anger was justified (NTA)…

“Neither the 9-year-old OR the teen was appropriate. How would it go over if it had been a teen boy making a crass comment about the mother’s vagina?”

“Inappropriate. Those comments don’t belong in a family setting. NTA.” ~ whatgoesaround—

“NTA. Given how you describe your stepdaughter’s behavior, you did right by punishing her for her misandrist attempt to shame you.” ~ DriverAlternative958

“NTA. You don’t joke about someone else’s genitalia unless you know they’d be okay with it. Not only is it inappropriate and gross, it’s also a great way to get in trouble at school or in a workplace.”

“All the people voting y t a wouldn’t be voting that way if the genders were reversed.” ~ New-Number-7810

…but others weren’t willing to let any party off the hook (ESH).

“ESH. Your 9-year-old son shouldn’t be making d*ck jokes.”

“Your 16-year-old daughter shouldn’t be body shaming or making comments about the size of your cock.”

“Your wife shouldn’t be sitting there in silence, tacitly agreeing.”

“You shouldn’t be putting a bunch of adjectives and modifiers on your daughter.”

“You have a very sick dynamic going on in your family. It’s not healthy for you to view your daughter with such naked contempt.”

“It’s not good for her to know how unwanted she is. It’s not good for your wife to be ignoring all this.”

“It’s not good for your son to be growing up in this environment where he’s basically pitted against her.”

“Y’all need counselling, individual and family.” ~ Cent1234

“ESH. It was a rude joke and had consequences. You and your wife should have discussed the consequences.”

“Your son’s comment was also rude, but apparently, you don’t care?”

“You ‘try to tolerate’ a child who has been part of your family for ten years? Something tells me you are getting back what you are giving off.” ~ thisisstupid94

“ESH. But all you likely managed to do here was convince her that her joke hit too hard because it was close to reality rather than just a bad-taste joke.”

“I don’t know how adults can be so clueless.” ~ PurpleMarsAlien

“Leaning toward everyone sucks (ESH) here cause I find it unlikely mom doesn’t know you treat her daughter differently which means she’s allowing it by staying with you.”

“You just suck for being so insecure about your [member] you have to bully and dominate children to feel powerful in compensation.”

“I’m mocking him for being so insecure about his size he has to attack a child, not his size.”  ~ Equal_Frame9988

“ESH. The joke was in poor taste, but you overreacted here a LOT.” ~ thirdtryisthecharm

It sounds like family counseling is the way forward here.

OP’s dislike for his ‘stepdaughter’ is clear from his storytelling and insistence on repeatedly pointing out how he’s not related to her and his contempt for his wife’s relationship with her.

This family needs help that Reddit can’t provide.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.