A man recently posed a question to the internet, and, as expected, the internet did not hold back with its responses. This man, a dad, shared that he was very upset after his wife and in-laws told him that it was inappropriate for him to cuddle with his teenage daughter.
“I have 3 kids, 15F, 12F and 7M. My oldest has always been a cuddler, and that suits me fine because I am too. Recently my in-laws were over, and we were all watching a movie together. It was a kids movie, and so my 15 yo was bored out of mind and tired, so she started to snuggle up to me and go to sleep,” he wrote on Reddit.
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“After the movie was over, we sent all the kids to bed/their rooms and got chatting for a bit longer,” he continued. “There was a fair bit of wine involved (I was sober though), and eventually after a short silence my Father-in-Law let it drop that he thought it was inappropriate I still cuddled with my 15yo. To my surprise, my wife and MIL both agreed with him.”
The dad got very upset and told them off. “I’ve never spoken to any of them like that before, but it felt like the right thing to say in the moment,” he said. “They all want me to apologize for being so rude to them.”
The Reddit community mostly agreed with the dad: “It’s lovely she feels so comfortable with you. They’re projecting their own disgusting thoughts,” said one. “Please, don’t ever tell your daughter that they said this. It will devastate her and potentially cause a wedge in your relationship,” another said.
Some, though, encouraged him to consider the other point of view, “If it seems inappropriate to three people who love you and your daughter, you owe it to yourself, your daughter and them to consider the optics on this.”
He shared an update a few days later, saying “I know why they said what they said, but it’s pretty personal and I don’t feel like sharing. I won’t be apologizing to any of them, especially now that I know their reasoning. I love my wife, but it hurts that she doesn’t trust me.”
Without knowing any further specifics of this family’s story, we have to say it’s sad that a family finds a father being affectionate with his teenage daughter inappropriate. Fathers should be allowed to be as affectionate with their kids as mothers are. We hope this family learns to see that and that this father continues to maintain a strong relationship with his daughter.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.