Dealing with blended families and using effective co-parenting isn't always cut and dried. But when one man's daughters start fighting, the only solution he could think of may have been the wrong one.
Here's The Story
OP has two daughters for whom he shares 50-50 custody. These two girls have different mothers and do not get along.
Lauren is 16 and his younger daughter, Elena, is 12. According to OP, Elena often bullies her older sister, despite his best efforts to curb her behavior.
Recently, Elena was making fun of Lauren's weight and, given Lauren's self-esteem issues, OP decided to send Elena back to her mother's house. He set it up for her mother to pick Elena up on her way home from work.
But after Elena's mother came to get her, the pair were involved in an accident. OP rushed to the hospital and was relieved to find out Elena and her mother were fine. According to his parents, Elena had a mild concussion and would be okay. The issue is that she refuses to talk to him.
OP couldn't see his daughter, though, because she refused to see him.
His parents told him that when they arrived, Elena had told them that OP thought Lauren's emotions were emotions are more important “than her life.” Elena also said OP would do anything as long as it made Lauren happy.
OP told Elena that what she said was horrible, that he had no idea the accident would happen and that he'd never do anything to hurt her.
But his parents are siding with Elena, making OP wonder where he went wrong.
Reddit Has Opinions
User @KrompbopulosJeff thinks OP is definitely NTA.
“NTA. I think separating them was a good idea. If Elena wouldn't stop bullying Lauren, it isn't fair to Lauren to be subjected to that.”
@uhwhateverokay definitely thinks OP isn't TA and that Elena is in need of help. “Often kids in blended families blame their step/half siblings for ruining their family. This is usually more common in older siblings, however.”
They added that because of Elena's age, it may be harder for her to understand the concept of “taking responsibility.” But, that doesn't mean OP shouldn't hold her accountable, which is exactly what @uhwhateverokay felt OP was trying to do.
Redditor @djmcfuzzyduck thinks Elena knows exactly how to make herself look like the victim.
“Teen girls know how to needle just right, She was 100% manipulating the situation to make herself look like a victim.”
In The End
Dealing with children when you're co-parenting can involve all sorts of ups and downs. Do you think OP handled this situation well? What would you have done in his shoes?
Read the full story here.
This article is produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.