A mother has been defended for telling her “picky” teen daughter that she can make her own food if she doesn’t like her cooking.
Published on Reddit’s r/AmITheA**hole forum, a woman under the anonymous username u/TAcookingdaughter4 shared her story for the “AITA” community to leave their opinions in the comment section.
The original poster (OP) began her story by explaining that she has a 16-year-old daughter, “Erin,” with her ex-husband, “Mike.” They divorced when she was 10 and Mike moved away for work. She discussed how he would come to visit Erin a few times a year and once in awhile, Erin would fly out to see him.
Since Erin lives with the OP, she does most of the cooking. She explained that she likes to have “filling and nutritional” meals and one “cheat day” during the week.
She said that Mike had recently moved back into town with his wife, “Kim.”
“Erin was happy about it as it meant she could see her dad more often and we have agreed that she can stay over their new place over the weekend and holidays if they don’t have other plans. I have met Kim a few times and she seems lovely and I trust Mike to look after her,” she said.
The more Erin stayed with Mike and Kim, she told the OP how good Kim is at cooking delicious food. When she asked Erin what her stepmother cooked, she said Kim cooked a lot of Asian dishes. To keep Erin happy, the OP added different Asian-inspired meals to the dinner menu. It didn’t matter if the recipe was new or old, Erin didn’t like what her mother cooked.
The OP wrote, “I have tried cooking her favourite meals and deserts from before and got the same reaction. Over [the] last 2 weeks it got to the point where she would refuse to eat anything I cook and would either go and stay with friends or have food at Mike’s place.”
“I got tired of this and when Erin came back, I told her that if she doesn’t like my cooking, she can cook herself and do her own shopping, since she knows how to cook and we have a large supermarket 2 minutes down the road from us. Erin got upset and went to her bedroom to pick her clothes and is currently staying with Mike,” she continued.
Mike and the OP’s parents spoke to the OP, telling her that she was trying to “starve” Erin. The OP wrote in a recent edit that there is an abundance of food in the fridge and cupboards for Erin to eat.
Newsweek has reached out to u/TAcookingdaughter4 for comment. We could not verify the details of this case.
Newsweek has published several articles regarding conflicts with teens, including a teen who told her sister that she was their parents’ favorite, a teen who avoided his “real parents” so he could be adopted by his stepmom and a woman who dreaded living with her teen stepchildren.
What Is an ‘Idealized Parent’?
Kaytee Gillis, a licensed clinical social worker and board-approved clinical supervisor, spoke to Newsweek about the term and what to do if a child is “picking favorites.”
An idealized parent is someone a child sees as “perfect” or someone that “can do no wrong.” This term can be given to either a parent or even a caregiver.
“I would remind the adults to remain conscious of their role as an adult and to not get into the tug of war with the child. Do not bend over backward making so many different meals if this is not something you would normally do,” Gillis told Newsweek in response to the conflict above.
“At 16, the child is old enough to help out making meals, and she is welcome to learn to make some of the delicious meals that her stepmother makes and perhaps make them for the family at her mom’s,” she concluded.
“[Not the a**hole] But I have a feeling this is not about the food. She gets something there, that she doesn’t get at your home. Maybe she thinks the grass is looking greener somewhere else… Which is no surprise, probably she gets a bit more spoiled at your ex’s home, because it is all new,” u/International_Yam_80 suggested, receiving the top comment of over 8,000 upvotes.
“[Not the a**hole,]” u/vercingetafix said, “The way I see it, you have made a reasonable attempt to change your cooking to suit your daughter. If she still pulls her nose up at it, she can go and learn how to cook herself. She’s 16 now.”
“Not the a**hole] Your daughter’s being a brat. Had she been younger, it could have been brushed off as kids being honest (good) but not knowing what they are saying can be hurtful. She’s old enough to know and be tactful. She just chooses not to. Which comes off as a bit malicious even if that’s not her intent. Your solution is really good. Stand by it,” u/solo_throwaway254247 encouraged the OP.
“[Not the a**hole] You aren’t starving her, she’s just being unreasonably picky,” u/FarmerWild commented.
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