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Dad grounds stepdaughter after she humiliates him at brother's birthday, mom disagrees.

Dad grounds stepdaughter after she humiliates him at brother's birthday, mom disagrees.


A good joke can lighten the mood, but a bad joke can absolutely ruin the vibe. Particularly, if people overreact to it.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for punishing his stepdaughter for a joke. He wrote:

"AITA for punishing my 'stepdaughter' for a joke?"

My wife and I have been married for 10 years. We have a 9yo son together. My wife also has an "adopted daughter"(16F). It's not really her daughter and she is not exactly adopted, technically it's my wife's niece. Her parents abandoned her and my wife took her in. She is the brattiest, rudest, most annoying child but I try to tolerate her because it means a lot to my wife.

Anyway, yesterday was my son's 9th birthday and we threw a small party, family only. My son insisted that we play a game in which we have to say what superpower we want to have and he would tell us what weakness we would have. When it was my turn I told him that I want to be invisible, he said you will be invisible but your p*nis won't be.

My stepdaughter then chimed in and said "good you will still be very hard to notice then, well that's just what mom said" and burst out laughing. I grabbed her phone and laptop and told her she is grounded for two weeks and can't have her phone back for a month. My wife thinks I overreacted to a kid's joke and I'm an AH but she embarrassed me in front of everyone and I believe she deserves her punishment.

The internet had a lot to say about this situation.

UnequalPenguin wrote:

Well she was hoping for a reaction and you exceeded her expectations. Nice job!

Jesus, you don't have to like that your wife is trying to help her abandoned, troubled kid, and I was almost gonna root for you, but if the worst thing she's done is make a crass joke about you and her mom (well look at that, she didn't even put quotation marks around her """step-mother"""), then she's not worse than a healthy teen.

Stop being such a cranky, judgemental grump for two seconds and learn to laugh a little. No wonder your step-daughter thinks you need to be taken down a couple notches, I do too. YTA.

Adventurous-Try1728 wrote:

This child has been part of your life for 10 years and you do not consider her part of your family? She is just as much your daughter as she is your wife's at this point. Either way, you SERIOUSLY overreacted. 15/16 year old girls can be callous brats. Her comment was rude.

Your butt-hurt overreaction made you look like a massive AH to the rest of the family. Had you simply rolled your eyes, shook your head and moved on, everyone would have forgotten about it. Then, deal with the consequences later. The consequence should be for rudeness. Not your embarrassment. Kids embarrass us. Today sit down with your wife and discuss an appropriate consequence.

Honestly? Additional chores for a period of time will carry MUCH more weight than grounding. Losing her phone for a month? Do you have ANY idea how much phones are used these days in the classroom? Like DAILY my daughters are expected to scan QR codes. I can see a week. She'll be able to navigate around it for a week, but a month? That is overly harsh.

Hadtosignuptofothis wrote:

YTA, FFS. She joked that your penis was small, which in the context of that stupid game was both appropriate and funny and you went completely off the reservations. Just so we’re clear because of your massive overreaction everyone at the party and reading this now thinks your penis is small.

Also, check what it means to choose invisibility as a super power. Also your 9 year old singling that body part out really has me questioning you all together.

Phillygirl2018 wrote:

Uh, your SON is the one who should be punished! Wtf is a nine yo doing making such a comment to his father!! You’re invisible but for your penis?!! He invited such a retort from anyone! Your daughter just took the bait. Since you evidently approved of this game, you should have just laughed it off. YTA.

jance wrote:

Well, she should be showing a bit more respect to her elders. Especially considering you guys took her in after she was abandoned. That being said, it sounds like you just don't like her, at all. And I wonder if your son had made the same sort of joke, would you have given him the same sort of punishment?

Seems a little severe to me. Probably would have been better to just throw a joke right back at her instead going to grounding her for two weeks. YTA.

OP is clearly TA here, he needs to lighten up and see the big picture.

Sources: Reddit
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