Internet Bashes Father for Telling His Daughter She's "Smart but Not Gifted"

In a viral post, a father asked if he's wrong for telling his daughter that she's smart and hardworking, but not gifted. Read on for more details.

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Aug. 17 2023, Published 5:12 p.m. ET

All parents want their kids to feel good about themselves, except this father in the popular "Am I the A------" (AITA) subreddit. For some reason, this man decided to confront his teenage daughter and tell her she's not as bright or extraordinary as other people. Well, we know who's not winning the "Parent of the Year" award!

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The original poster, who ironically goes by the handle u/notgiftedbutsmart, revealed that he told his daughter while she's smart and hardworking, she's not gifted. OK, what the heck is this man's problem?!

Read on for more details. Plus, stick around to hear what the internet has to say about this jerk.

A mother consoles her crying teenage daughter.
Source: Getty Images

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This father told his daughter she's smart but not "gifted."

First off, the OP and his wife both have electrical engineering degrees — so they're smart AF. As for their kids, a 17-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter, they're both ahead of schedule and heading to college in the fall.

The OP's son — a "very smart" history and language nerd — has yet to decide his major, but his daughter — who was in a school program for gifted kids — plans to study physics and computer science. OK, you go girl!

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The OP described his daughter as "smart and hardworking," but when his wife mentioned how "lucky we were to have gifted children," he felt the need to put his baby girl down. The OP told his wife that while he's happy for his daughter, he wouldn't say she's gifted. He added that anyone could do what she does if they put in the same amount of work.

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He continued to bash his daughter's intelligence, revealing that she "didn't naturally pick up" difficult subjects on her own — her mother helped her out (but isn't that what a parent should do, help their kid with schoolwork?).

The OP then tried to justify his statements, writing, "I have seen how people can ruin their lives over thinking they are 'gifted' and it going to their head, so I just wanted to caution her about that."

As expected, the OP's wife and daughter were upset. His wife thinks he intentionally tried to put their daughter down, while the girl in question agreed that she's not gifted (we wish she didn't feel this way) but said the OP shouldn't have said it out loud in front of everyone.

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Many fellow Redditors agree that the OP is misogynistic.

The post racked up thousands of comments, with many fellow Redditors slamming the OP for insulting his 15-year-old daughter's (who's literally about to start college, by the way) intelligence.

"It's especially heartbreaking that you have managed to erode her awareness of her own gifts to the point where she 'actually agrees' with you that she is 'just' a hard worker and not really gifted," one Redditor wrote. "You are toxic and I know you'll reject this reality, but I'll say it anyway. You're a misogynist.

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A second person said, "OP is a total misogynist. He has to explain why his daughter isn't actually gifted while the son doesn't have to be explained. He clearly thinks women are less talented."

"You should probably clarify if you have the same sentiment for your son as you do with your daughter because this post is coming across as misogynistic," another Redditor shared. "It sounds like your daughter is a mentally grounded high achiever. Please trust her confidence, or else she'll eventually think that she's never good enough for you."

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Someone else commented, "Putting your daughter down served no positive purpose. Discouraging a young teen like that can have serious detrimental effects. Even if she isn't actually gifted, you were the a------."

"That being said, she is gifted," they continued. "Not every 15-year-old can go to a university to study physics. Not only is she gifted academically, [but she is also] gifted with drive and determination."

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