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Woman gets yelled at by boyfriend's ex for teaching child 'new age phrases.'

Woman gets yelled at by boyfriend's ex for teaching child 'new age phrases.'


Stepping into the role of a step-parent can be a really beautiful experience. You get the benefits of connecting with a child without the full responsibility of being their parent.

Unfortunately, the emotional dynamics can get tricky when you're navigating your partner's ex, and their coparenting dynamics. Knowing when to be quiet and stay in your lane, and when to advocate for a child can be very tricky.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for calling out her boyfriend's ex's parenting style.

She wrote'

AITA for telling the mother of my boyfriend's son to run an upgrade on her parenting style?

My boyfriend (32m) and I (35f) have been together for 1-year. I haven't got any kids. He has got a 4-year-old son who lives with his mom (my BF's ex). My boyfriend fetches his son every weekend. He has recently introduced me to his son.

We get along really well. He's sweet and very talkative. I have helped raise my nieces and nephews, so I think that I am good with kids. I don't believe in hitting kids. We talk things through. This has been my approach with my BF's son too.

He is always up to something, taking things apart or pressing buttons, but that's because he's curious. I always speak to him calmly and have started explaining things to him. So now, he asks me questions like 'what does this do?'

'What is this?', and we explore things together (less things being broken).

I recently received a call from the mother of my boyfriend's son, asking me to stop using all these 'new age phrases' on her child. She said that my 'funny things' are interfering with her parenting style.

Apparently, the boy said 'Don't shout Mommy. Speak soft like Auntie.' He also said 'Okay take a deep breathe mommy' whenever she would raise her voice at him.

At first, I told her that I wasn't trying to interfere with her parenting style, but that that is how I deal with children. She told me to 'go make my own kids and then teach them sh*t.'

That hurt me and I told her that maybe her parenting style needs an update.

Now, she refuses to let the child be around me. She is starting to refuse my BF access to his son, because of my interference. My friend thinks that I shouldn't have told her that her parenting needs an update and let my BF handle this instead.

I feel terrible. Am I the a**hole?

People gave all their thoughts and hot takes.

medium_buffalo_wings wrote:

NTA. She's being ridiculous. Assuming that there's an actual visitation agreement, she cannot unilaterally just do that.

CJ_Boiss wrote:

Sounds like the 4y/o is more mature than his mother, and she doesn't like being reminded of that fact (by the kid) when she loses her temper.

Your boyfriend needs to go to court and get a proper custody arrangement in place, because his ex just 'deciding' he doesn't get to see his son anymore ain't it. NTA.

cat4nav wrote:

NTA. 'Go make your own kids and then teach them sh*t', has to be one of the most ignorant things I've ever read. Keep helping that kid. Teach him everything. One day he'll thank you, regardless of what garbage the ex is feeding him.

seregil42 wrote:

NTA. Your bf needs to talk to his lawyer if she is refusing him access to his kid. As for dealing with the mother, it sounds like you're just going to have a contentious relationship with her. It sucks, but you're doing nothing wrong.

It's a shame that the mother can't see this, because whatever you're doing seems to be getting through to the kid. Mother needs to chill out some. If either of my kids (6 and 3) said something like that ('Okay, take a deep breath'), I'd be laughing.

FrauAmarylis wrote:

ESH. You are overstepping. She is a single parent and you are not respecting the difficulty of that. You have the support of your bf, so you don't know what it's like to be left on your own to manage everything and parent.

You aren't the Judge and Jury on her parenting and you are not a reliable source, as every girlfriend of the dad believes him when he says his ex is crazy. Step back.

If you were the person who actually does take the high road, you would have Apologized before it even got to the point of telling her the mean stuff.

So we are supposed to believe you are teaching the kid peaceful living, while you say mean things and make war with his mom?

You and your bf should read coparenting books. Signed, a teacher of 13 years who does teach kids at an expert level and doesn't ruin relationships with their moms while doing it.

StarlaBloom wrote:

ESH. You are obviously teaching the child to maintain being calm and composed in high-stress situations, which I think is great personally. I don't understand why the kid's mom would be so upset by this.

However, you were in the wrong by telling her to 'upgrade her parenting style'. That's not your kid, and that's not your place. She may be irrational, but you overstepped.

I think you should apologize and try to make things right so your boyfriend can see his child.

RibbitRabbitRobit wrote:

ESH. Even if you are right in the way you interact with the kid, you provoked an angry, insecure person who has custody of that kid. You said something that felt good to you in the moment and didn't consider the real life fallout.

PoopPoopToot22 wrote:

NTA, because the comment your asking about was a rebuttal to her nasty comment.

Do what you're doing, because treating a child as a human and actually teaching them, as opposed to making them fear arbitrary consequences is the correct thing to do.

And then, going forward, if she calls you, refer her to your boyfriend as you're not his parent. Lastly, if she's withholding the kid, encourage your boyfriend take her to court and let her explain her thought process to the judge.

People are divided on whether OP overstepped or not, but everyone seems to agree she's treating the child right.

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