‘Kids Live With Their Dad’ | #parenting

Commenters praised a woman who called out her sister’s parenting advice by reminding her that her kids chose to live with their father—her ex.

The anonymous woman, known as u/throwaway0292720, posted about the incident in Reddit’s popular “Am I The A**hole” forum where it received more than 15,400 upvotes and 1,400 comments. The post can be found here.

Custody Around the Country

In the United States, a custodial parent has full custody of a child including being held responsible for their care and financial and medical support.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 80 percent of the 12.9 million custodial parents in 2018 were mothers and about one in five were fathers. Of custodial fathers, more than half were 40 years or older, compared to about 40 percent of women.

Commenters slammed a woman’s sister for being so strict on her two teenagers. “She just doesn’t want to hear the truth and would rather think she is a flawless parent despite the evidence,” one commenter said of the situation.

Typically courts will ask the child their preference, although judges are not required to choose the child’s desired guardian.


In the post titled “AITA for telling my sister there’s a reason her kids chose to live with their dad?” the 32-year-old woman said she has a 14-year-old daughter named Jess.

She explained that her father—Jess’ dad—died when she was young leaving the two of them to have a close relationship.

“Around a week ago she asked me if I could take her to the movies on a date with a guy in her class,” the post read. “I know the guy distantly because they’ve done some extracurriculars together and I was thrilled he was my daughter’s first ‘boyfriend.'”

The woman said she drove Jess to the movie and they hung out at the house afterward.

“He was extremely polite and maybe it’s just the mum inside me but I couldn’t be happier for her,” the post read.

But during morning coffee with her older sister, they began talking about Jess and her date. The woman added that her sister has two teenagers, 16 and 17, who live almost full time with their dad.

‘She Would Take Away Their Doors’

“They had a very messy divorce around three years ago, and both kids choose to live with their dad,” the post read. “The reason for this was because my sister was extremely overbearing on them.”

She said her sister believed her kids should have no privacy and that she “should run their lives” until they were older.

“I know she had many arguments with them because she would take away their doors, not let them hang out with friends, search through their phones every night etc,” the post read. “This was the primary reason for her divorce, although she won’t admit that. While I love her, as someone who grew up with little privacy I fully understand why her kids don’t want to live with her.”

‘Terrible Mother’

During the conversation about Jess’ date, the woman’s sister laughed before realizing she was serious. She then told the woman she was a “terrible mother” for allowing her daughter to “walk all over” her and for “not setting boundaries.”

Her sister continued, telling the woman she was being “lazy and neglectful” for allowing her 14-year-old to go out alone.

“She also said ‘I would never allow my kids to do that,'” the post read. “So I replied by saying ‘that’s exactly why your kids live with their dad.'”

Although the woman thought she was telling her sister “what she needed to hear,” her sister told her to leave the house. But after getting home, the woman said she wondered if her comment actually crossed a line.

Redditor Reactions

More than 1,400 users commented on the post, many praising the woman for calling out her sister when she offered unsolicited parenting advice.

“Your sister thinks ‘holding boundaries’ is the same thing as ‘making demands,’ and she’ll eventually learn that her children aren’t accessories to treat as she wishes without consequence,” another user commented.

“She opened things up to such a comment when she decided it was okay for her to criticize your parenting,” another wrote. “She just doesn’t want to hear the truth and would rather think she is a flawless parent despite the evidence.”

“NTA. A hit dog hollers,” one user commented. “She was only upset by what you said because deep down she knows it’s the truth and doesn’t want to admit it to herself or anyone else.”

“You are providing your child with a safe environment in which she can grow and explore. Your sister is the poster child of helicopter parents,” another user commented. “I applaud her kids for choosing to live with her dad. Good on you for telling your sister like it is.”

Newsweek reached out to u/throwaway0292720 for comment.

In another viral Reddit post, a woman was praised for “keeping her children” from their dad after she came home from a trip to find the place a mess.

Another woman received support for “ruining” her husband’s birthday dinner, and a man was supported for sharing a family secret and “ruining” his brother’s family.

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