Mom Blames Daughter’s Mental Issues on Her Being “Weaker” than Her Sister

What is the best parenting style?

Authoritative parenting, and that’s according to experts. Parents who practice this parenting style are in tune with and supportive of their children’s needs. They encourage open and honest communication while inculcating the right moral values and behavior in their kids.

Of course, they also have rules and standards to follow at home. But, they create and enforce these with love, unlike authoritarian parents who rule over their families with cold strictness and narrow-minded perception.

Photo: YouTube/Sprouts

Authoritative parents have the following traits:

  • They are sensitive and responsive to their child’s needs.
  • They always communicate with their child and take into consideration his thoughts, point of view, and opinion.
  • They are not overprotective of their child and allow him to make mistakes from which he can learn valuable lessons and strengthen his spirit.
  • They encourage independence and proper reasoning.
  • They are highly involved in their child’s growth and progress.

Excuses are what these parents have for their eldest daughter’s struggle with mental health issues. This mom, who published their family’s story on Reddit’s r/AmItheA–hole forum, thought she could get the AITA community’s sympathy and support by presenting herself and her husband as victims with a horrible past.

Photo: YouTube/Sprouts

But Reddit users did not buy her excuses and slammed her and her husband for terrible parenting and attitude toward their eldest daughter, who suffered the most in their hands.

Here is OP’s post under the username u/Momwithguilt196008: “Me (62) and my oldest daughter (f28) always have had a rough relationship. I had PTSD after fleeing my home country, and, looking back, I might’ve also had postpartum depression after she was born. I admit I’ve been very hard and strict with her, more than I did with her younger sister/my youngest daughter (24). I raised my daughter with outdated non-western principles, I see that now. But back then it seemed right because I was raised the same way.”

At present, her eldest daughter is studying to obtain her master’s degree. However, she frequently suffers from depression, but she has been refusing to discuss it with her mother.

Photo: Pexels/Mikhail Nilov

According to OP, “Today she was upset about her grades. She’s a Master’s student. She passed all her exams, but she gets very upset and frustrated when she doesn’t get the highest score. I was trying to calm her down and cheer her on. At one point, I asked her: ‘why are you like this?’ She got furious and told me that me and her dad were the reason why. That her whole life she had to earn our approval.”

She reminded OP how she and her father got furious with her in the past when she didn’t meet their expectations. They didn’t talk to her for two weeks and they didn’t allow her to join them at the dinner table.

OP continued her post, “I’m very embarrassed looking back at it, and when she brought it up, I got tears thinking that I did that to my child. I told her that, looking back, we see that negative reinforcement wasn’t the right way. I told her that we fled our home and started over elsewhere for her future, so it was/is really important to us that she and her sister get high degrees, a good job, and a good salary so they have a better life than we had. It was frustrating to us to see that she could do better than average or middle and we handled it wrongly.”

Photo: YouTube/Sprouts

However, she just added insult to the injury by the things she said next: “I then said: ‘But we could’ve never known it would have such effects on your mental health when you got older. Your sister was raised the same way and isn’t so insecure, so it’s also you a little bit – you as a person.'”

Her eldest daughter exploded at that point; her parents were blaming her personality, which was why she didn’t grow up like her younger sister, who is self-confident, smarter, and happy. She told OP that her whole life has been about pleasing her parents and chasing after their love, but they think less of her than her younger sister.

Yes, in spite of all her efforts, they have been showing her younger sister more love and consideration. They were less strict with her, allowing her to have time with friends while their oldest lived a lonely life.

Photo: YouTube/Sprouts

Nonetheless, OP remained in her defensive mode as she wrote, “I know we made horrible mistakes, and I’m ashamed of some of the things I’ve done. But I feel that it’s true. Her sister was pushed the same way and isn’t so insecure to the point it affects her mental health. She isn’t insecure at all. My husband said there was no reason to bring that up. I believe it’s not completely our parenting style that caused her depression.”

And she further justified her parenting with the following words in a recent edit: “I understand the confusion about how strict we were with her little sister. I admit that her sister was given more freedom when it comes to social life. She was allowed to hang out with her friends outside of school more than her older sister. When it comes to school and grades, we were as strict, but my youngest did better in high school than her older sister. That’s also why my youngest was allowed to go out more, and we would not let the oldest go out either, as punishment or because we felt she needed to study more.”

What did she get from this kind of narrow-minded post? The AITA members blasted her and her husband!

Photo: YouTube/Sprouts

CanterCircles commented, “‘We didn’t do a great job raising you and made you feel like you were never good enough. But like, it’s still mostly your fault that you weren’t and still aren’t good enough.’ That’s what she heard. And yes. YTA.”

Likewise, ladynox25 wrote, “Agreed. She knows OP’s love always has been conditional, and OP just proved that it still is. YTA.”

Meanwhile, A1sauc3d pointed out, “Yup, doesn’t matter how much of it is nature and how much is nurture. OP is responsible for both. I mean, so is her husband, but certainly not her daughter. The daughter is responsible for her actions, but her PTSD and depression and anxiety are not something you can blame her for. She didn’t ask for any of this, and it sounds like she’s trying her best to make the most of it and be successful and make her parents proud despite it all. And she deserves a whole lot of credit for that, OP.”

And here’s another angry slam from producerofconfusion, “The thing is — and OP won’t allow herself to see this — part of why younger daughter did better (or, in her words, was ‘smarter’ because, clearly, schoolwork is the best test of intelligence) was because she had f-cking social support and ways to blow off stress with her friends. The older daughter would make a mistake by falling short of insane expectations and be forced to cope with it alone, compounding her misery. My heart breaks for the girl.”

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