I am the very proud father of three children, and an uncle to a fourth.
They are an endless font of delight, wonderment and frustration.
Quite rudely, the children have refused to stay at their previous adorable ages and have grown without regard to either my, or my wife’s feelings.
So, what do we do when the daughter we doted on suddenly is dressing in revealing outfits or the son doesn’t want to listen to dad’s advice anymore?
That was the problem facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) NoLikePicture when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some outside thoughts.
“AITA for telling my daughter that I find her pictures inappropriate?“
He began with the basics.
“My wife and I have 3 daughters: 24, 21, and 18.”
“They are the only 4 people I follow on Instagram.”
“The only reason I even have an Instagram is because that’s where my daughters post most of their pictures. I only go on it every few months and that’s just to binge like all of my daughters’ recent picture posts.”
Everything was fine until,
“Since last year, however, my daughter 21 has been posting pictures of herself in different attires that I find inappropriate.”
“(Emphasis on I – because I see what the young women are wearing these days, so what I find inappropriate you may find mild.)”
“There was only one conversation we had where I asked why the sudden change in attire and she replied that, that was her new style.”
“I said oh okay and sometime later, I quietly unfollowed her because I didn’t want to keep seeing those types of pictures of her on my homepage.”
“I would get on Instagram, binge-like my other two daughter’s pictures, and get off.”
“My daughter called me earlier and she was upset because she noticed I had unfollowed her and that I was liking her sister’s pictures and not hers.”
“I was surprised that she even cared because my daughters have quite a number of followers and likes on their pictures from their friends and other family members.”
“I told her that I unfollowed because I found the pictures she posted there quite inappropriate. And I pointed out that I still hearted the pictures that she put on Facebook.”
“She said that if the way she was dressing bothered me I should have said something.”
“I told her that I didn’t want to say anything because she was an adult and that my opinion shouldn’t affect the way she dressed.”
“And that just because I found her pictures inappropriate didn’t mean that I loved her any less. I just didn’t want to see them.”
“My daughter hung up very upset and my wife angrily said that I shouldn’t have said that I found our daughter’s pictures ‘inappropriate’ and that I should call back and apologize…”
“No. Absolutely not.”
“At that point I was just tired and fed up, I told my wife I’m done with this whole thing and walked away.”
OP was left to wonder.
“My wife is still upset so I wonder if I did something to make me TA.”
“Tl;dr – My daughter is upset that I didn’t tell her that I found her pictures inappropriate. My wife is upset that I told our daughter that her pictures were inappropriate.”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for some outside opinions.
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: NTA
Some were impressed with how he handled the situation.
“NTA – I think you handled it very tactfully.”
“You did what you needed to stop seeing her pictures and you also didn’t stifle her freedom and let her do what she wants.” ~ lumpthefoff
Others came to daughter’s defense.
“I mean, daughter almost seems more hurt that he didn’t come to her about it than anything.”
“If she has a good relationship with him she may still want his input on things like that.” ~ Outrageous-Runner
“What did the daughter do?”
“She noticed her dad not following her… She asked him why… She told him he should have told her if it bothered him… And she hung up upset…”
“Nothing about that is bad behavior???”
“The phone call didn’t start off with her being mad about him finding her outfit inappropriate, she didn’t know this.”
“She noticed her dad not following her… So she cares about her dad???”
“She asked him why he didn’t say anything… So she cares about his opinion???”
“And this is all new info to her, so of course she’s upset???”
“She wasn’t the one saying he shouldn’t have found her outfits inappropriate, she asked him why he didn’t say anything.”
“She’s not doing anything bad here…” ~ DreamsOfWishes
While there were many who felt OP was in an unfair position.
“Pretty much no-win for him, though. If he said something, he’s too controlling. If he didn’t, apparently that’s wrong too.” ~ Retlifon
“On top of that instead of making it a big deal he just quietly unfollows her because he knows his opinion isn’t needed because daughter should dress however she wants but he was uncomfortable seeing those pictures.”
“Honestly it sounds like they were at least mildly provocative if thirst trappy?”
“Which I can 100% understand how that can be uncomfortable for a parent.”
“My Dad, who on the other hand is an a**hole who has said so many hurtful things to myself and others? We don’t have a relationship anymore.”
“I finally told him I didn’t want to hear his opinion anymore.”
“((This one was racist comment about Muslims.))”
“We haven’t spoken in 4 years since I finally stood my ground.”
“Funny how it wasn’t me I was standing up for after 30+ years of criticism, it was for other people.”
“And the straw that broke the camel’s back instead of for myself.”
“OP handled this with grace and à kindly as he could when she brought it up.”
“While she may be upset about it, he still couldn’t have done anything better.”
“Kinda weird that she is checking her Dad’s likes out though.” ~ CeelaChathArrna
For some, the argument was a logical one.
“Exactly, it doesn’t matter if he’s her father.”
“If we look at it objectively, does anyone need to justify their actions to someone if they unfollow them?”
“Is she going to question every single person who unfollows her or doesn’t like her photos?” ~
Some felt the situation could have been avoided with better communication.
“I think just changing the wording may have helped.”
“Inappropriate implies judgment (which OP was not trying to do).”
“I think that if he explained to her as it was uncomfortable to see his daughter in her new style.”
“He didn’t want to make her feel judged or like her attire was wrong, so he unfollowed her.”
“There are definitely clothes dads don’t want to see thier daughters in.”
“He acknowledged that it was his issue and did not do anything to make the daughter feel bad.”
“I honestly think this was the best way to handle things.” ~ Conscious_Ad_9785
“NAH, but I think you need to sit and really talk to your daughter.”
“I think it’s great that you respect your daughter enough to try not to meddle in her choices regarding her body. And the way you handled the instagram situation is more mature than most people on the internet.”
“That said, judging by how she reacted to the fact that you didn’t talk to her first, I think she feels hurt that you didn’t try to communicate your feelings to her.”
“Sounds to me that she might value your opinion more than you might realize.”
“Maybe try to meet up for coffee and hash things out.”
“Ask her how she would have felt had you talked to her about this first, and ask how you both can communicate better going forward.” ~ Fluid_Response_6062
There was even an explanation of how the situation could have unfolded differently.
“NTA. If we play out the situation the way that your daughter claims to have wanted:”
“OP: Why the sudden change in attire?”
“Daughter: That’s my new style”
“OP: I don’t like it, I feel like it’s inappropriate”
“Daughter: That’s none of your business”
“OP: Well, I just don’t want to see it”
“Daughter: I’m an adult, I’m not going to change my style for you”
“OP: Ok, I’ll just stop following you”
“Daughter: So this is an ultimatum? I need to dress the way you want me to or else you don’t want to see me?”
“OP: I still want to see you, just not those pictures with you in inappropriate outfits”
“Daughter: I’m going on AITA and asking the internet what they think about a father giving an ultimatum to his grown daughter about dressing in perfectly reasonable outfits”
“Redditors: Your dad is afraid of women’s sexuality and is an AH for trying to control your behavior with an ultimatum”
“Look, I strongly believe that people should have the right to dress how they want. But part of freedom of expression is the fact that some people will not approve.”
“And what I have always said to people who do not approve of images (admittedly, usually images on TV or in art galleries) is simply: If you don’t like it, don’t look” ~ DinaFelice
Time moves forward despite our best efforts to stop it.
We have to accept that our children grow just as we did, and – just as the father in this piece did – we need to accept that they are not who they were, and set our own boundaries accordingly.