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Dad throws teen's dinner in the garbage after she insults him, 'provide for yourself.'

Dad throws teen's dinner in the garbage after she insults him, 'provide for yourself.'


There is no time in life as emotionally turbulent as the teen years.

Every slight, every insecurity, and every dramatic moment is turned up to ten for a teen dealing with massive hormonal changes. And few people know this as well as the parents of teenagers.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a dad asked if he was wrong for matching his teen daughter's energy and throwing away her food.

He wrote:

AITA for dumping my teenage daughter's dinner in the trash after she was rude to me?

I'm (44) a single dad to two kids 'Audrey' (16) and 'Emily' (12). We have a great relationship but Audrey can sometimes be rude and demeaning, saying cruel things casually when she's displeased about something or in a bad mood. Emily (her little sister) looks up to her, often mimicking her behavior which obviously worries me.

I cooked a nice Sunday dinner and Audrey stormed downstairs in a bad mood for who knows what reason. She was being a downer whereas Emily and I were cheerful. I asked her to improve her mood please instead of ruining the dinner, she unleashed her anger. To quote her elegant words: 'can you stop lecturing for once, you're annoying as f*#k and seriously you're the one who ruins everything.'

I stood up, took her plate, and dumped it in the trashcan. I told her since she can't bother to show me any basic respect, she should start providing for herself from now on. She said she'll make cereal and maybe I was an AH, I said no that's my milk and she should get a job to get her own groceries.

I don't feel like I yelled at her, I felt I spoke calmly but when she realized I was being serious, she got upset and started crying and ran to her room. We haven't talked since. Obviously, she's mad at me but now my younger daughter is mad at me too, saying I acted like a huge jerk to her sister.

I of course don't see it that way, I don't tolerate being spoken to with such disrespect and it did hurt me a lot hearing Audrey say these things to me that were uncalled for. So was I the a**hole? Obviously not winning any 'dad of the year' award but will I be winning any 'AH of the year' award?

EDIT: forgot to include that my daughter also made a snide comment about the food not looking good, which was what triggered me to throw her plate away I did ask her, twice, at the beginning what was wrong and why she was in such a bad mood. Her response was a sarcastic 'you wouldn't get it.' I asked why not, she just sighed.

EDIT 2: Of course, I'm not going to starve her. I was just trying to make a point to her.

People felt strongly about this scenario.

TheParentsDidIt wrote:

YTA. It is pretty clear where you went wrong as well: “I asked her to improve her mood please instead of ruining the dinner”

If someone is in a bad mood asking them to not be in a bad mood and accusing them of ruining something is probably not the right approach.

trippinonpixiedust wrote:

YTA. Throwing away/withholding food should never be used as a punishment or used to make a point. You’re a grown adult who apparently can’t regulate your emotions (ex. throwing her food away cause you’re mad), how do you expect your kid to?

Should she talk to you that way? No. But she’s probably going through something and could use some grace. I’m sure you have a lot on your plate also but you’re the adult, she’s your kid. I’d apologize and work on your communication skills.

elsie78 wrote:

YTA. You elevated this to a level it didn't need to be and you're withholding food. That's not okay, EVER.

She can be in a bad mood. That's okay. If you don't want to deal with it at the table then have her take her dinner to her room. Go give her another plate, admit you were wrong and see if there's anything she may need to talk about...

Addressing your edits, oh my....

Edit 1: you didn't need to react to her comment at all. Or, tell her to go make herself something else.

Edit 2: You're dad, she's a teen girl. There will be many things you really WON'T get, or that she doesn't feel comfortable talking about. Please make sure she has an older female she can confide in, or a therapist.

Edit 3: what point was that, exactly? That you're willing to cut her off on a dime, when she displeases you? That your providing basic necessities is conditional? None of your edits helped your case, my original Y T A stands.

sunnydays0306 wrote:

YTA - punishment did not make sense for the crime. As a parent, you need to think of another way to get your point across and help her learn that speaking that way to people is not ok.

I tell my kids “you’re allowed to be angry and feel your feelings, but you may not hurt others with your words or physically. Please go take some time alone until you are ready to be around others”. And also leaving it open for us to discuss later and get to the bottom of why they are angry. Obviously, if they hurt someone when they are mad there are consequences- but ones that make sense.

It sounds like this is a recurring issue - have you tried talking to her about what’s going on, or maybe finding a professional for her to talk to? Withholding food as punishment is never a good idea and it will get you absolutely nowhere with your kid.

After receiving a lot of criticism, OP jumped on with a short but succinct update.

UPDATE: vast majority of you think I'm the AH. I'll apologize and give her her cereal.

Sources: Reddit
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