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Dad Backed for Wanting to Throw ‘Grounded’ Child Party Against Mom’s Wishes

The internet has defended a man who wanted to throw his “grounded” teen daughter a birthday party against her mom’s wishes.

Published on Reddit’s r/AmITheA****** forum, a mother under the anonymous username u/throw9779965 shared her story to receive feedback from the “AITA” community.

The original poster (OP) began her story by saying that her 15-year-old daughter has been grounded for reasons she didn’t discuss in her post. Her daughter had two punishments: She can’t go out for four days and her birthday party was canceled. The OP also mentioned that she allowed her daughter to keep her electronics.

Recently, her ex called and asked why she decided to cancel the party. When she stated her reasoning, he said that he would throw the party instead. The OP refused, repeating to him that she was grounded.

Dad throwing daughter "cancelled" birthday party
Above, co-parenting exes disagree on their daughter’s punishment. Published to Reddit’s r/AmITheA****** forum, a father has been backed for wanting to throw his “grounded” teen daughter a birthday party against her mom’s wishes.
monkeybusinessimages/iStock / Getty Images Plus

She said, “He called me [ridiculous] but I told him that he was encouraging bad behavior and acting like the cool parent instead of working with me on fixing these behavioral issues. He said that since he’s also the parent then I cannot stop him from throwing her a party and he’ll do it tomorrow. We got into a big argument and my husband agrees that my ex is being an enabler.”

She believes that her ex is “undermining” her parenting.

Newsweek has reached out to u/throw9779965 for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.

Newsweek has published several articles regarding parenting, including how “peaceful parenting” can create positive parent-child relationships, the 11 parenting tips you’d wish you’d known sooner and tips on how to deal with “promzilla” teens.

Enablers within a parenting relationship

An “enabler” is a person who allows someone to continue in dangerous or detrimental behavior, relationship therapist Lia Huynh told Newsweek.

Huynh discussed the “enabler” red flags to look out for. “An enabler may make excuses for the person, not set boundaries or allow them to experience consequences for their actions. In turn, the person has no reason to change and continues in these detrimental behaviors.”

She explained to Newsweek that it can be hard to co-parent if two people are no longer in a marital relationship. She suggested that the woman and her ex discuss a compromise.

“If she has tried and he won’t work with her, I would hold on to my own decision to do what’s best for my daughter even if she is not happy about it, and despite what her dad does. I would make sure I am working extra hard to have a healthy relationship with my daughter. Mother can’t control what dad does but she can control how she parents her daughter,” she told Newsweek.

Redditor reactions

“[You’re the a******]. What kind of punishment [lets] a child still have access to their electronics but doesn’t let them celebrate their birthday? That’s ridiculous,” u/NUT-me-SHELL wrote, receiving the top comment of over 27,000 upvotes.

U/JeepersCreepers74 wrote, “[You’re the a******]. If your daughter did something bad enough that it warrants cancelling a birthday party and grounding her on her birthday, then it’s bad enough that you and your ex need to discuss the appropriate punishment before giving it and generally get on the same page.

“You didn’t do this. You acted unilaterally in deciding how to deal with her and he is merely doing the exact same thing. In other words, you undermined his parenting, too,” the commenter continued.

“There isn’t much my kid could do that would warrant canceling their birthday party, while still allowing them to keep their electronics,” u/bolivia_422 explained, “So it really seems like a bit of a reach to connect the punishment with their birthday that happens once a year. [You’re the a******] because this seems like a decision made out of spite and anger and not a punishment that should be a teachable moment.”

U/Cynthia_Castillo677 questioned, “[You’re the a******]. Punishments are fine when warranted, but that doesn’t include taking away special occasions/holidays. What is wrong with you? I knew a girl whose mom took away holidays as a ‘punishment.’ Said girl is no longer in contact with her parents and that is indeed part of the reason. Because seriously, who the f*** does that?”

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via [email protected] We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

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