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Man snaps at 'rude' teen daughter for not being more welcoming to grieving aunt. UPDATED

Man snaps at 'rude' teen daughter for not being more welcoming to grieving aunt. UPDATED


Grief shows up in really different ways for different people. Personality, cultural upbringing, and overall mental health are all going to affect how someone shows (or actively hides) their feelings of grief.

Assuming someone is okay simply because they're not crying can be a major mistake. But when you're in the throes of grief yourself, it can be exceedingly difficult to have patience for the ways other people express it.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for dismissing his 'rude' teen daughter's feelings.

He wrote:

AITA for dismissing my rude teen daughter’s feelings?

Hi, am I out of line? I’m F45, and my daughter is 18. Recently, my terminally ill aunt died a week after summer break started. (After a few months of her quick deterioration and just a few days of being in hospice because she had no response to treatment.)

My daughter has always been a closed-off, reserved person. However, she’s a little immature when she doesn’t get what she wants, and is very snide and in your face sometimes during those occasions. When my aunt died, my sister came over and has been here ever since, for about four weeks now, when we arranged the funeral and reception.

My daughter did not cry or look upset at all, even though she’d sometimes go to look after her great aunt on the days her great uncle needed to go out, since she was bed-bound and completely paralyzed and unable to speak. You’d expect some sort of reaction, right? But she had none. She’d avoid her great aunt a lot, and never talked to me about her.

I assumed she was just detached as a lot of children usually are, and left her alone. However, since her aunt and her three young children came to stay, she has been very bratty, and complains when she has to clean up after them because they’re quite spoiled. She’s like this every time they come to stay, because my sister is quite an unhygienic person and she and her children have had lice for years.

She didn’t say anything to them since my aunt is grieving, so she hides in her room for the whole day because she feels “stuffy” and “repulsed.” Always asking me when they will leave. I understand why she feels this way, I don’t like how the children and my sister crowd my home and not clean up after themselves. But they’re family, and we’re grieving even if she’s not.

She even hated the reception, not serving the guests (family and family friends.) and looking annoyed when I told her to, as she said she just wanted to “sit there.” It was very embarrassing for me. All she needed to do was hand out water.

I told her not to be too mean, as they’re family and her aunt is grieving, but she, being immature, narrowed her eyes at me and told me she feels trapped in this house, wanting space, before she went back to her room, even when I ask her to come downstairs and spend time with me. She’s usually a sweet girl.

Very smart and mature, even emotionally, and very perceptive, but for the past few weeks she’s been more reclusive and bratty than usual, even more so than other times when her aunt has been around. Am I right in being dismissive of her attitude and “feelings?' It seems to me, as of recently, there’s been a bad change in her.

Even if she doesn’t care about her great aunt dying, someone who has taken care of her before developing this illness and who she has known since she was young, she should at least think of her aunt’s needs. Honestly, I’m quite annoyed. My mother told me I should just leave her alone to herself, but she needs to be kinder.

People didn't hold back their thoughts on OP's perspective.

Buttersgood wrote:

YTA - It isn’t your daughter’s job to be an unpaid maid to a family so unhygienic they carry lice. That is absolutely repulsive and places your entire household at risk—and obviously, it isn’t just their “grief” if this is how they live. I wouldn’t want to be around that level of mental illness or neglect either — why don’t you try cleaning up after them and get lice and see how you like it?

And also: who “likes” a funeral reception? What kind of demented better homes and gardens party planet are you living on? Stop alienating your daughter for no reason because “family” is no excuse for what you describe. YTA.

Shitsuri wrote:

'As of recently, there’s been a bad change in her. Even if she doesn’t care about her great aunt dying.'

Hmmmmmm. You don't think her bad attitude could be related to her great aunt dying? That's kind of obtuse. Let's not even address the fact that she's probably also paranoid she'll get head lice.

ParsimoniousSalad wrote:

YTA. I'm sorry for your loss. BUT even through just what you've written I can tell that your aunt's passing HAS affected your daughter. Just because she doesn't grieve in the way you expect her to doesn't mean she's cold or uncaring. And why should she be expected to clean up after your sister's lice-ridden messy family (I'm not trying to be insulting, just descriptive)?

Can't you speak to your sister about managing her children better? Why do you expect your 18yo daughter to be more of a responsible adult than your sister who is the mother of the children?? I don't think it's your daughter who needs to be kinder.

EDIT: and btw, saying she felt 'stuffy' out in the house sounds like a possible physiological reaction to your sister's family's lack of hygiene. In other words, it can be physical too, not just an emotional reaction.

sheramom4 wrote:

YTA. Your expectations of your daughter are that one, she would be a caregiver for a dying woman. Two, that she will now act as a maid and nanny for your sister's unhygienic and spoiled children. Three, that she would serve guests at a funeral reception she was not hosting. Four, that she would emote on command or at least in a way that suits you.

Your sister has needs all right. The need to move out of your house and take her kids with her. Why has she been there for a month and why haven't you set some boundaries for the well-being of your teenager?

Mysterious-System680 wrote:

'However, since her aunt and her three young children came to stay, she has been very bratty, and complains when she has to clean up after them because they’re quite spoiled.'

Did your daughter invite your sister and her three kids to stay with you? If not, she shouldn’t have to clean up after them. You shouldn’t even be letting them into the house if they’ve got lice. Go grieve with your sister in her home. YTA.

After getting thoroughly called out, OP jumped on with an update.

UPDATED: Hello, everyone. Thank you for all the comments you’ve left, they have really opened my eyes to a lot of the stuff I had a responsibility to notice, but did not. I admit that tradition has influenced a lot of my decisions and my own personality and that has in turn affected my daughter, as much as I ignored it.

I will be having a long discussion with my sister about her problems, trying to sort her hygiene out as well as making her go back home, and giving my daughter a much-needed apology. I don’t want to lose her, as many of you had pointed out that the longer I continue on this route, the higher the likelihood she’ll cut me off. I’ll talk to her, and I’ll try to help her however she needs me to help.

Unfortunately, I am not in America but I have called the social services on my sister before and they closed the case after a very short investigation. I will not be calling them again due to their terrible service, but I will force my sister to get her act together by completely barring her from my house until she takes my advice. Only until she has begun to take care of her own kids, will I allow her near my own.

I will also be trying my best to earn my child’s forgiveness. Once again, thank you for calling me out on my behaviour. I need to change for my daughter. This has gone on far too long, and it isn’t fair on her.

While he was clearly TA in this situation, his openness to change and learning is a really great sign.

Sources: Reddit
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