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Playground dad gets called 'predator' while watching his daughters. AITA? MAJOR UPDATES.

Playground dad gets called 'predator' while watching his daughters. AITA? MAJOR UPDATES.


When this man is furious about an accusation at the playground, he asks Reddit:

"I got called a predator today while watching my daughters at the park. AITA?"

So yeah, basically what it says on the tin. I’m a stay at home dad to two daughters; a seven year old and a four year old. I love being a stay at home dad and husband. I love being a homemaker, essentially.

Cooking, cleaning, and of course looking after my girls turned out to be my passion. The only thing about it I don’t enjoy is the stigma.

When I first told my friends, they made jokes about me being a beta or a boywife. Thankfully, they don’t say shit like that anymore, but that really represents society’s knee jerk reactions to men who stay home and/or take care of kids.

We’re automatically seen as weak; less of a man just because I took on traditionally women’s duties. And that’s the better side of the assumptions.

Today, I look my girls to the park, and some woman was also there with her kid. I was watching my girls play on the playground, and I noticed this woman wasn’t paying attention to her maybe ten year old kid on the swings, she was looking at me.

She kept stealing glances, and I thought at first that she was just looking around for some reason, but then she came over to me and said something like “Excuse me sir, why are you looking at those little girls?”

I said to her “I’m their father. Is there an issue ma’am?” She scoffed at me, and said “Yeah right. Stop being a creep and just leave these girls alone or I’ll call the cops!”

I was a little freaked out at the mention of cops, so I quickly gathered my girls and headed home. Thankfully, I don’t think the woman did anything, because I haven’t had anymore trouble today.

The worst part of all of this is that, had I been a woman, I might have made a mom-friend. I’m not alone in this either. I have a buddy who works at a daycare, and he’s literally not allowed to be alone with the kids for any reason, while his female colleagues get pretty much free rein.

We really need to normalize men taking childcare roles. Thanks for coming to my ted talk lol.

Before we provide OP's major update, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

kajussframw writes:

My friend is a very pale white dude with an adopted black daughter. She's 3 and developmentally delayed. One time he was trying to put her in the car and she was throwing an absolute fit and his wife who is black was still inside.

So a guy saw a white dude with a black kid that was screaming and kicking "I want my mommy" as he was trying to put her in his car and nearly fought him. Luckily she's dad's wallpaper so he showed the guy and he backed off.

Honestly I don't blame either one in that situation because from the outside it looked bad and you can't be too careful but I also understand being upset that you're assumed to be kidnapping your child. It's hard.

bisbeeblue writes:

I never realized how different a culture could be until I moved to Scandinavia. A Danish coworker had a baby a year ago and her boyfriend is the primary caretaker right now - he’s taking a longer parental leave than she is.

They both grew up with their dads as primary caretakers (dads were artists/worked from home) while their moms worked outside the home. They wanted their kid to experience the same. On the street here you see men of all ages, backgrounds, out alone their babies, kids, grandkids. It’s so exceedingly normal.

princecoco writes:

I have 2 sons, and thankfully, I have never been accused of being a predator when with them, but I have a similar story as a professional.

I am a psychologist and behaviour analyst, and I have several children with disabilities clients with very high needs, including Autism Spectrum Disorder level 3.

As part of a program I designed for one client, they attended a local public pool for exercise several times a week. Learning water safety and gross motor skills, and he loves it, so it's a positive part of his regular schedule.

Normally I have some staff take him, and due to his particular needs, outside of our day center or in his home, generally he has 2 support staff with him at all times (it's 1:1 24/7 otherwise) because he is a runner and quite the escape artist.

On this day in particular, I went myself to assess his progress. So my (male) staff member is in the pool with him, and I'm standing by the pool making notes and generally interacting from the sidelines as he happily motors about (for the record his swimming skills were coming along very nicely).

A part of documenting progress is often photographs or video. The pool was mostly empty, aside from a small group of quite young children doing a swimming class at the opposite end to where we were, and I took care to angle my picture taking away from them to ensure the only people in my shots were my client and my staff member.

I think I got 2 or 3 photos on my phone before the swim class coach and 2 angry mothers were jumping down my throat for being a pervert, photographing under-age children, and claiming I couldn't take photos at the public pool (I absolutely could).

I'm standing there, in my company uniform, tablet and stylus in one hand mid notation, phone in camera mode in the other, actively talking with both the client and the staff member in the pool, and they just ran up on me screaming. It was absolutely wild.

Not wanting to distress the client, I quickly just apologised, tried to explain what I was doing (they were having none of it) and they demanded I delete the photos in front of them.

At this point I figured further confrontation wasn't going to be helpful, so I did as they asked and went and sat down away from the pool and finished my notes there (I retrieved the photos for my report from the deleted folder later anyway, so no big deal there lol).

Meanwhile, I know full well that my female staff take photos of clients at that pool all the time, and have never had an issue.

pandi7 writes:

I had something similar. And something the other way round. Was at a fun fair with my kids. They were 6 and 10 at the time. They were going down some inflatable slide thing.

I purposely stood in front of the bit they were going down. Had my phone out. Some bloke rocks up to me and demands that I stop taking pictures of kids and that I was a nonce.

I said They were my kids. Didn't cut any ice. So I just waited for my kids to come back to me. Then told him to get fd. His face was a picture.

Another time we were at a kids indoor soft play area. Was at the top of the slide with the. As it was quite steep. Some other child (quite young, about 3-4) was also at the top of the slide and was crying.

No parent anywhere. Some mums asks me if this child was mine. I said no. The 2 next to me were. She then proclaims that I should be helpithis crying child. I pointed out I was a man. And would instantly labelled a fiddler if I tried to help

You can win if you are a bloke. Sad state of affairs

OP then offers this update:

Yeah, it really is a shit situation. If my girls were approached/being stared at by a strange person, I’d want some bystander to step in, but being that “strange person” isn’t fun at all.

I had a similar experience at a pool, some rando started taking pictures of me with my older daughter. Thankfully my wife was there to smooth over the situation before cops got involved, and she did make the rando delete the pictures.

I’ve been blessed to never have to deal with the cops regarding my girls, though I carry a pic of me with them when they were younger in my wallet just in case. I’m sorry to hear about what you’ve experienced, but please keep telling them.

These stories of prejudice against dads caring for their kids need to be shared, so that eventually society can wake up and stop being dicks about it.

As I said in a comment, the problem isn’t necessarily people looking out for kids, but people making assumptions and acting on them without stopping to verify that they’re dealing with a genuine creeper rather than a parent/guardian.

Readers continued to weigh in on OP's situation:

strawberrypeachies writes:

My biggest fear is that my husband would have the same treatment. I remember reading a story here where there was a young couple out for a walk at a park. The mom went to use the public bathroom, the dad stayed with the baby.

Some random woman came around and started screaming in hysterics that the man stole his own baby, and managed to get a bunch of strangers held the dad down while she kidnapped the child.

The mom came out of the bathroom, hearing all of this. The husband yelled to her about the woman kidnapping their child, she screamed back at the crowd to call the cops as she gave chase to the woman approaching the parking lot.

Managed to wrangle the baby from the woman who skittered off to the parking lot and was never seen again. The entire crowd of people holding the husband down felt awful that they misunderstood the situation, and almost let the real kidnapper get away.

I have no idea if that story was fake or not, but I think about it all the time. Would something like that happen to my husband around some mixed coloured kids? Would something like what you went through happen to him?

It's so sad to me that an absent father is normalized over an active father. Don't stop doing what you're doing though, you're giving those girls a great childhood! Keep up the good work!

lillyboro writes:

This struck a nerve in me. Nowadays people have extremely bad mindsets. And these people who called you a predator are the worst.

I can't stress enough how wierd people has made this. A child can't even walk with an adult nowadays or play games with each other. Im a child and I love playing online games with people regardless of age. But everywhere I see people unfriend me because of this weird thing people made nowadays.

Just because I play games with some adults people automatically assume they are "predators". And I see this problem happening in reddit too where people make posts such as "a 30 year old has no business being friends with a 17 year old" and these posts get so many likes.

We are all humans . Why can't we just co exist happily with each other disregarding age? Does everything has to be about sex? No right?

Im really sorry this happened with you. I have my utmost sympathy with you. You are a good father. God only knows what kind of parents they are or will become.

Any thoughts on OP's dilemma? What would YOU have done in his situation?

Sources: Reddit
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