A 10-Year-Old Girl Gets Grounded for Calling Her Dad by His First Name, Mom Intervenes

Jamie Lerner - Author

Feb. 2 2024, Published 2:57 p.m. ET

A dad having a disagreement with his daughter
Source: Getty Images

Being a parent is difficult, and as I get older, I learn more about how human our parents can be. They made mistakes and one day, we’ll make different mistakes that leave kids with different attachment wounds. Nobody’s perfect, and that’s OK, but does it make the imperfect person an a------?

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One parent took to the Reddit AITA (Am I the A------) forum to ask if they messed up by picking up her daughter from her dad’s house after he grounded her. OP’s 10-year-old daughter likes calling people by their first names instead of titles like mom, dad, and grandma, but when dad doesn’t like this, he grounds her. So is the mom in the wrong for picking her up?

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A 10-year-old girl got grounded for calling her dad by his first name.

After a tricky situation, a mother took to Reddit to figure out if she was in the wrong. “So, my daughter Grace, who's 10, has this thing where she calls everyone by their first names, me and her stepdad included,” OP wrote. “It's kind of her thing, and we've all just gotten used to it.”

“Now, her dad, Danny, was in the military and wasn't around much because of that,” OP continued. “But he's back now after getting injured, and Grace started calling him and even her grandma by their first names. Well, Danny didn't like that at all. He grounded Grace for it. She was upset and called me to pick her up.

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“So, I went to get her. But when I did, Danny accused me of spoiling her and said I was just enabling a crybaby. Even my mom and my friends are on his side, thinking I shouldn't have intervened. I'm feeling pretty torn about it all. Was I wrong for picking Grace up, or was I just standing up for my daughter?” she asked the internet.

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Some people said that ESH aka “Everyone Sucks Here,” and others told her, YTA aka “You’re the A-------.” But the reality of the situation is much more complicated than a simple yes or no since child-rearing isn't always cut and dry.

Most people agree that OP needs to have a conversation with the father about how to co-parent.

When it comes down to it, co-parenting requires communication between both parents. Danny hasn’t been around for a while, and despite OP being OK with her daughter calling her by her name, Danny might not be OK with that. Of course, Danny also overstepped by accusing OP of “spoiling” Grace and “enabling a crybaby.”

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Even still, most people agree that OP should have let Danny and Grace handle the situation on their own so that Grace can get used to her dad’s parenting style. Also, it's important to teach kids to address people how they’re asked to be addressed.

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“Your daughter needs to learn the important lesson all children of divorced learn,” one Redditor said. “There are rules for Mom's house, and there are rules for Dad's house. Clearly, calling you by your first name is OK at your house, but it is not OK at her dad's house. It's probably best she learns that now.” As a child of divorce, I can confirm this is something Grace will learn and perhaps take advantage of in the future.

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Others insist that they have to figure out their own “dynamic,” which can’t happen with OP “interfering.” The same commenter defined co-parenting well. “Co-parenting means recognizing that you both have good parenting skills and traits,” they said. “It isn’t a competition of who can be a ‘better parent.’ Instead, the aim is to continue sharing the responsibilities of raising your children and putting their needs first.”

At the end of the day, no one’s an a------, we’re all just out here trying our best! Hopefully, OP and Grace's dad can come to an agreement and Grace can learn and grow from the situation.

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