Teen Dresses Up Like Her Dad And Starts Imitating Him To Show Him How Insufferable He’s Being, Family Drama Ensues
No matter how healthy your family dynamics may be, tensions and quarrels between you and your loved ones are inevitable. Take chores, for example, a delicate subject in many households. Some people often wind up doing the bulk of the housework — from cooking to cleaning to looking after the kids — while others glide through life without having to lift a finger. Even if their slack can be justified by the amount of time they spend working, it’s still exhausting.
One thing, however, that makes matters even more complicated is when they constantly complain about the quality of the chores. This is precisely what happened to one Redditor who recently shared her confession on the AITA community. As the 16-year-old teen detailed, she was feeling sick and tired of how her dad acts around the house, especially how he speaks to her mom and siblings when he returns from work.
“My dad just gets home at the end of the day and literally complains about everything, like how the carpet isn’t clean or how the food is cold,” the teen wrote. In an attempt to show how his actions look from the outside, she devised an elaborate plan involving a suit, black tape, and some good acting skills. Scroll down to read the story in full, as well as the reactions that followed, and be sure to weigh in on the discussion in the comments!
Recently, this teen shared how she felt annoyed with her dad’s complaints about the state of the house whenever he returns from work
Image credits: cottonbro (not the actual photo)
So she decided to make an impression of his rude behaviors to make a point
Image credits: cottonbro (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Malachi Cowie (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Throwaway61565
The story caused quite a stir in the AITA community, where the vast majority of readers overwhelmingly sided with the teen and applauded her efforts. As the commenters stated, even when her dad wasn’t a big fan of her stunt, the daughter brought his negative patterns and unhealthy behaviors to light and did him and the rest of the family a favor.
However, these kinds of situations are more common than you’d think. According to Pew Research Center, more than 11 million parents (18%) considered themselves stay-at-home moms or dads in 2016. Traditionally, their role and responsibilities include child and family care and housework, like cooking meals, cleaning, laundry, house maintenance, and grocery shopping. While this might make sense since they are the ones who spend most of their time at home, many struggle to keep up.
It seems that the idea that being a stay-at-home parent is a full-time job is becoming a thing of the past. A survey commissioned by Welch’s found that mothers work an average of 14 hours a day or a 98-hour workweek — the equivalent of 2.5 full-time jobs caring for their children. The survey looked at 2,000 US moms with children aged 5 to 12 and revealed that, on average, they started their duties at 6:23 a.m. and ended the day at 8:31 p.m., with only 1.7 hours of free time in between.
Of course, every family is different. But the key to maintaining healthy family dynamics when one parent is a stay-at-home mom and another goes off to work is expectation management and empathy. Something that, unfortunately, was not the case in this situation.
To gain more insight on the topic, we reached out to Judy Bartkowiak, a family therapist, coach, and author of Understanding Children and Teens. “This may not be a popular opinion but my feeling is that by allowing her husband or partner to be so rude, especially in front of the children, mom is allowing herself to be abused and showing her children that this is acceptable behavior,” Bartkowiak told Bored Panda.
According to the family therapist, this gives a harmful example for the daughter who might have the same expectations in the future — to “not be respected and appreciated when it comes to her time.”
Bartkowiak believes that moms should recognize these harmful patterns: “If they wouldn’t want their daughter treated like this, it also isn’t OK for them to allow it themselves. A male child will similarly think it’s OK to treat their wife like this. Parents are role models for children and need to think about what they are communicating.”
Speaking of the teen’s spot-on impression of her father, Bartkowiak said this behavior has a name. “We therapists call it ‘Coaching with Humor’ and it was identified by Frank Farrelly who named it Provocative Therapy. The idea of it is to mark out the behavior in a humorous way, thereby drawing attention to it with warmth despite the underlying message that this behavior is not acceptable,” she explained.
“I think this was a very wise strategy because, as children, it isn’t their place to reprimand their dad but as mom wasn’t doing anything about it herself, at least they were showing their feelings. Hopefully, dad will reflect on it and change his ways. Telling him off might have simply made him angry and defensive and the message would not have landed,” Bartkowiak added.
To parents finding themselves in similar situations at home, Bartkowiak advised you to think about how you’re showing your kids healthy boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not. “They learn from you on a day-to-day basis, and many children and teens I coach really struggle with boundaries.”
However, parents can help children with this by saying ‘no’ and being consistent. “This gives more value to their ‘yes,'” the family therapist explained. “These children have been made to feel awkward and uncomfortable because their mom is unable to express her boundary of what is OK and what is rude and ungracious. Of course, dad needs to relax when he comes home, but the criticism is abusive and uncalled for. Mom should speak up for herself so the kids don’t have to,” Bartkowiak concluded.
If you’d like to hear more wise words from Bartkowiak or book a free 30-minute session on any topic, be sure to reach out right here.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this matter down below. Do you justify the daughter’s actions to hold up the mirror to her dad’s behaviors? Or did she go a tad too far and there could be better solutions to finding a way out of this situation? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments!