“I give my daughter the choice on what she wants to do everyday, using when she’s in the kids club to do what I want to do, I let her choose her meals from the buffet though insist on at least a certain amount of salad, and as we’re on holiday, I’ve increased her bedtime by an hour so she can go to the kids disco every evening. I thought all of this was pretty reasonable, but my dad and stepmum asked me to change my rules on the morning of day 3 of the holiday,” wrote a single mom with a Reddit account name u/Hollyivyginge.
Just recently, she posted on Reddit’s r/AmITheA**hole about the tension that built up between her and her father, along with her stepmom, due to opposing parenting styles.
According to the OP, she and her 6-year-old daughter went on a family vacation with her father, stepmom, and three brothers — two of them are adults, while the youngest is just 8 years old.
OP is more relaxed in handling her daughter compared to her parents. And during the holiday vacation, the difference in their parenting styles became more apparent and caused a serious issue.
OP further related on her post, “I thought all of this was pretty reasonable, but my dad and stepmum asked me to change my rules. Their reasoning for this is that their son is jealous that he couldn’t have pizza for dinner, doesn’t get to go to the disco…and didn’t get to go to the beach because they wanted to go to the markets. I outright refused…and I told them that it didn’t feel fair for me to start limiting my daughter’s holiday when she’s had no problems herself.”
Angered by her refusal to adopt their parenting style, OP’s father and his wife started dining at a separate table and going off to their own activities. One of her adult brothers joined OP, while the other joined their parents, since OP and her father both shouldered the vacation expenses.
And so, instead of spending the holidays all together as one big family, they ended up in a Cold War.
Is OP the parent to blame?
Many Reddit users did not think so; in fact they appreciate OP’s parenting style!
“You’re clearly NTA (Not the A–hole) – they’re being bizarrely authoritarian for no practical reason and are angry that you’ve shown them up. If your child can eat pizza (with salad, and on holiday) and can go to the (explicitly for children) disco, then why can’t theirs? If they had a good reason, they’d explain it to their child, if they don’t they just look bad. Because they actually are bad,” comments one Reddit user.
“Once when I was a little kid (maybe 5 or 6), my mom took me to a diner for breakfast. I asked my mom if I could have a chocolate milkshake for breakfast, never expecting her to say yes. I guess she was just in a “why not” type of mood because normally that would never fly, but she let me have it. I’m 29 now and still think about that milkshake and that day in general sometimes. It is so vivid that if I walked into that diner I am 100% certain I would be able to point out the exact booth we sat in. Breaking the rules now and then can create really good memories,” another individual relates fondly.
And this Reddit commenter is proud to support OP: “That’s what we did too, encourage them to try new foods, but give them choice in their meals. I know from my own childhood that force feeding / not being allowed to leave the table / being denied other food and just served the same meal multiple times until you got hungry enough to eat it / being hit until you eat it, etc result in an adult with an exceptionally fussy attitude to food. My sisters and myself are proof of that. OP sounds like she is a great parent and her own (step) parents are on a power trip with their poor 8-year-old son and for no clear reason.”