Thousands of internet commentators have been conflicted after a father explained why he took his two teenage daughters away from a recent family vacation.
In a viral reddit post published on r/AmITeA**hole, Redditor u/Throwra537477 (aka the original poster or OP) said he was furious at the way his daughters treated his wheelchair-bound stepdaughter and the heated aftermath of his decision to end their vacation time early.
Titled, “[Am I the a**hole] for driving my daughters home in the middle of vacation after disfellowshipping their stepsister?” after has received more than 8,000 votes and 2,000 comments in the past nine hours.
Beginning with explaining that he has two daughters, ages 14 and 16, and that his wife has an 11-year-old daughter who uses a wheelchair, the original poster said there had been tension between the three girls for some time, but added admit the worst was over.
Or so he thought.
“I thought I was getting better… but days ago, and while we were at a beach resort for… [four] to dawn, [my stepdaughter] stayed with us while the girls went out,” OP wrote. “During our [second] That day I saw the girls getting ready…I asked them to take her and they were ‘unsure’ at first, but then took her.”
“An hour later my wife came to me and said…the girls left her by one of the benches and told her to wait [five minutes] until she [got] ice cream but didn’t come back,” OP continued. “We went there right away [and] found it [my stepdaughter] sitting alone.”
“I got so mad at them, especially after she admitted they left her there,” OP added. “I told them the holiday was over for THEM and had them pack their things and take them home. They both cried and begged in the car… I dropped the girls off… then I went back and resumed the holiday .”
In the United States, 40 percent of families (couples with children) have at least one child from a previous relationship, according to Pew Research Center.
But while the US Census Bureau reports that more than 1,300 stepfamilies are formed every day, the growing prevalence of blended families has not made combining two autonomous, nuclear units into one happy family any easier.
Very Well Family, a leading parenting website, states that very few blended families mesh without problems, and the majority of them face four common problems, including sibling rivalry and a stark lack of family ties.
Despite the parents’ desire for step-siblings to become fast friends, young teens and teens often find it difficult to accept new siblings, and even harder to see them as more than unwanted roommates.
Very Well Family, along with other outlets such as Marriage.com and Psychology Todayrecommends that remarried parents allow children to bond at their own pace and understand that the deep bond for their children may never bloom†
“Trying to force stepsiblings to hang out will inevitably backfire,” Sylvia Smith, the author of Marriage.com, wrote in 2020.
“Your kids and stepchildren may learn to be polite and spend some time together, but they won’t be the best of friends, and that’s okay,” Smith added.
In the comment section of the viral Reddit post, Redditors echoed this sentiment, claiming that while both teens were wrong about abandoning their stepsister and getting punished, the original poster instigated the issue by forcing his daughters to try to band to have with a child they had. are both much older than .
“Are you sure this is because [your stepdaughter] has a disability or is it because she’s the stepsister?” asked Redditor u/dck133 in the top commentary of the post, which has received more than 10,000 votes.
“Yes, leaving her there alone was bad and yes, you should have punished them for that,” they continued. “But you shouldn’t force them to be friends either. Let them build a relationship at their own pace.’
“Also – she’s not only a stepsister, but a MUCH YOUNGER stepsister,” Redditor u/SnooBananas8836 agreed, receiving more than 6,000 votes. “Not 16 years old [wants] to hang out with an eleven-year-old.”
Redditor u/Rough_Elk_3952, whose comment has received more than 9,000 votes, offered a similar response.
“Here’s the Thing: You’re a Great Step-Dad and Advocate” [your stepdaughter]’ they wrote. “And your daughters had to be punished for essentially abandoning a young child, especially with a disability.
“But forcing them to hang out with… [their stepsister] will not bind them. They’ll just blame her, even if it’s not her fault,” they added. “16 and 11 are two pretty different stages, and…I’m not entirely shocked that they feel more like they’re babysitting than 3 teens hanging out.”
news week contacted u/Throwra537477 for comment.