“Am I The Jerk For Making My Daughter Move Her Pet Rabbit Outside Due To My Stepson’s Allergies?”
Even if everything seems perfect at first, becoming a blended family is hardly ever easy. Merging two families together under one roof can be quite a challenge. One filled with unexpected surprises, inevitable growing pains, and so many twists and turns our brain can’t comprehend what to make of this whole situation. You do your best to create positive bonds and make your household a healthy, happy, and cohesive unit. But every now and then, something goes wrong and leaves you feeling completely lost and unsure of what to do next.
As the widower detailed in his confession, he started dating his old girlfriend a few years ago and recently decided to tie the knot and move in together. “There has been a major hiccup in all of this though,” the user wrote. See, he noticed his stepson developed a severe allergy to his daughter’s beloved pet rabbit, Basil, and thought his health must come first. As you can imagine, this didn’t sit well with the girl. Read on about how the whole situation escalated right below, and be sure to share your thoughts about it in the comment section.
This parent shared a story about how he found out about his stepson’s rabbit allergy only after moving in together
Image credits: Mikhail Nilov (not the actual photo)
Believing his health needs to come first, he forced his daughter to move her pet rabbit out of the house
Image credits: cottonbro (not the actual photo)
Later on, the user added an update to clarify a few details about the situation
Image credits: RoosterAlarmed4249
The story caused quite a stir in the AITA community, illustrating just how many people are divided on the matter. While the vast majority of readers blamed the dad for jumping to this decision without really considering other options or taking into consideration the impact it will have on his daughter, others sided with the user and expressed their support.
Blended families are now pretty common, as 16% of children live in a household with a step-parent in the United States, and 1300 new stepfamilies are formed each day. But finding yourself in a new domestic situation can be daunting and challenging for every member of the family.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, making your new household into a solid unit takes some work. Parents and children may resist the new situation as there are no shared family histories, and there may be a mismatch between the family members’ belief systems and the way of doing things. It may take one to two years for blended families to fully adjust to the changes, but most of them do manage to find solutions to arising problems.
We previously had a chat with Dr. Lisa Doodson, a psychologist and author of How to be a Happy Stepmum, about the challenges people face in new blended family situations. Being the founder of Happy Steps, the UK’s only research-based stepfamily resource center, she aims to help families and individuals strengthen their relationships.
“Stepfamilies take a long time to form — much longer than people expect or want, and one of the reasons is role confusion,” Dr. Doodson told Bored Panda. “We know what a mum or dad’s role is, but stepparents and stepchildren is far less clear. The best way to approach this is to talk to your partner about your expectations and understand theirs. If there are differences, then try and find compromises. It may be that you just need more time to adapt and feel more confident.”
The psychologist pointed out that when people inevitably find themselves in the middle of a family dispute, they should remember there are always two sides to every disagreement. Plus, it’s always important to understand why people are behaving the way they are.
“Disputes are common and normal and everyone finds a way to adapt and change. If you remember to look for the positives rather than focusing on the issues then you should be able to work through the challenges.”
“Stepfamilies are full of complex relationships and emotions. There is often no quick fix but with patience and kindness, you will find the right way for your new family to work and flourish,” Dr. Doodson concluded.
A stepfamily is still a family where mistakes, squabbles, and heated debates will occur no matter how hard you try to prevent them. While it can be difficult and even frustrating to make your new domestic situation work, with open communication, love, respect, and patience, everyone will eventually adjust and create a solid foundation. We’d love to hear your thoughts about this whole incident. Do you justify the dad’s actions or do you believe he handled the situation poorly? Feel free to share your thoughts and personal experiences with us in the comments!