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Mom forces teen daughter to accommodate son's allergy for bday dinner, 'he'd be fine home alone.' AITA?

Mom forces teen daughter to accommodate son's allergy for bday dinner, 'he'd be fine home alone.' AITA?


"AITA for making my daughter choose a different restaurant for her birthday meal than the one she really wanted?"

My (39f) daughter very recently had her 17th birthday. My husband (42m) and I told her to pick out a restaurant that she'd like us to take her to for her birthday. She chose a seafood restaurant that we'd never been to. In looking over the menu I saw that the vast majority of the dishes contained shellfish. There were a few fish entrees, as well as some surf and turf. But there were only a couple of non-seafood dishes.

Our son (15m) is deathly allergic to shellfish. He also can't stand fish. There were only a couple of dishes there that he could actually eat. I didn't want to take him there because I knew that he wouldn't really enjoy his meal and I was worried about cross contamination.

I told my daughter that this restaurant wouldn't work and that she would have to pick out a different one. My son said that he would be fine just staying home; that we could use the money that we would have spent on his meal to just order him a pizza instead. My husband also insisted that since it was our daughter's birthday that she should be able to choose the restaurant, and that our son would be fine home alone with pizza and videogames.

But here's the thing; we can only afford to go out as a family every so often. When we splurge on a restaurant meal, I want BOTH of our children there. I insisted and my daughter chose a different place and we had a nice meal AS A FAMILY. But she is still a little salty that she didn't get to have her first choice of restaurants.

Most people I've asked say I'm wrong. But, again, we can only afford to go out every so often. Is it so wrong that I wanted to do it as a family? My daughter still had a nice birthday meal.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

UnhingedLawyer said:

YTA for a lot of reasons. First, if you were going to put parameters on her choice, you should have told her that beforehand. Second, you seem more hung up on the fact that your son wouldn’t like the food than his allergy. Your son’s preferences are irrelevant.

This is your daughter’s day. He seems to understand that, but you don’t. Third, if you were really concerned about cross-contamination, you could have called ahead to discuss your concerns and see what precautions the restaurant would be willing to take. If that isn’t satisfying (which would be perfectly understandable), your son offered to stay home.

I get that you want to have a family meal, but all you have done is tell your daughter that she is not worth individual celebration. This could have been a great opportunity for you and your husband to have individual time with your 17-year-old— a rare opportunity. Instead, you squandered that, created unnecessary conflict, and possibly formed resentment between your daughter and her brother.

BulbasaurRanch said:

Well, I mean I get it but YTA. Your daughter didn’t get what she wanted for her birthday. Your husband had no problem with it. Your son had no problem with it. Essentially, you decided what you wanted was more important than anyone else, and would you look at that, you got what you wanted - because your word in law, f-k the birthday girls choice, right?

You were upset about the location choice on behalf of your son, who wasn’t upset about it at all. You made your daughters birthday about your wants. Why even pretend she had a choice in where to go? You dangled the illusion of choice in front of her, then overruled her in favour of what you wanted anyways.

ElementalHelp said:

YTA. Your son was fine with staying home. Your husband was fine with your son staying home. It's your daughter's birthday. But you chose to center a day that is supposed to be about your daughter on your son's needs.

Does your daughter ever get to enjoy the seafood she likes? Or does she have to wait to get away from you and your controlling tendencies and move away from you in order to do that? Sounds like the latter. I wonder how often she'll actually call home when she leaves, given your relentless need to prioritize her brother (when literally nobody is asking you to).

Ok_Conversation9750 said:

YTA. Your son offered an easy solution, but you rejected that. I get that you can only afford to go out as a family a limited number of times, but geez - it's her birthday dinner! You told her to pick out the restaurant she wanted. Might as well just asked your son where he wanted to go for her birthday. "Most people I've asked say I'm wrong" - that's because you ARE WRONG.

Rohini_rambles said:

Do you make your sons birthday all about your daughter? Do you tell him to restrain himself and deprive himself of what he wants to make sure your daughter gets what she wants? YTA your daughter probably has never had a day that's just for her since ce you had yours on, right? You sound like the kind off parent who gets cut off when the kid is 18, and you have nO iDEa why your child was soooo uPsEt.

If you can't go out, them don't do it on the kids birthday then tell her no. She probably can't eat seafood ever because of her brother. Don't throw away one child because the other is more needy, or more special. You're being a bad parent to your daughter. You're also being a bad parent to your son, because you're trying to corrupt his sense of what is entitled behaviors and what isn't. Do better. You have two kids. BOTH ARE SPECIAL.

New-Conversation-88 said:

YTA. Why give her a choice then veto it? As an epipen carrier I understand allergies. I don't stop family or friends from eating where I can't. If I can't go it's a spoil me night with my food. However it was her birthday. Hers not yours or her brothers. Her and brother seemed fine. I'm sure he said happy birthday. Next time don't bother asking just arrange what you want. Then wonder in the future why she may not want to do what you want and doesn't have huge amounts of contact.

No one was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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