As parents, most of us have a natural instinct to protect our children, both physically and emotionally. We’re not naive enough to believe that’s true of everyone, though we hope that the people we co-parent with feel the same way.
In this case, a teenage girl’s father finds out the hard way that he and his ex-spouse don’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to respecting their daughter’s things.
Their daughter is super into calligraphy, and as a reward for all of her hard work during the school year, her grandparents bought her an authentic, very expensive calligraphy pen.
Within an hour of her returning to her mother’s house – where she lives with step-siblings – the pen had been broken.
I (M38) have been separated from my ex-wife for almost 14 years. She’s married now and has 2 step-daughters, this one involved the older one, “Ana” (17 I think).
Our older daughter “Diane” (F16) is really into calligraphy. My parents gave her a fude (Japanese calligraphy brush) as a gift for having a great school year.
We came back from a trip and left them with her mother. I was just getting home when my youngest called me to return.
Once there, they were having an argument and my ex-wife and her wife were trying to mediate. Diane said that Ana stole her brush and broke it.
Her stepsister apologized and offered to replace the pen (with a cheaper version) and the mother and step-mother wanted to call it good.
OP disagreed, saying the more expensive pen needs to be replaced with an exact replica, not a cheap knockoff.
Ana says she took it with permission from Diane (not true, we checked) and she accepted breaking it, but replace it with another one (a cheap one).
My ex-wife and her wife claimed that it was not big deal and Ana replaced it. I disagree and told them that either Ana or them have to order a new one or give the money for us to do it. They were willing to do it until Diane told them how much it would cost ($3000).
OP threatened to take legal action if they don’t agree, and the ex-spouse and her family are throwing a fit and making all sorts of excuses.
That’s when they flipped the lid and said why I’m buying something that expensive. I told them it’s none of their business or the point. Besides, it was a gift from my parents not mine.
They refused and said they can’t do it without taking a hit in their finances. I told them that I don’t care and they need to pay for it or I would take legal action against Ana since she admitted to taking it and breaking it; I told them to be quick because the brushes are limited.
Now they’re accusing OP of trying to ruin their relationship with their daughters, but OP isn’t sure he did anything wrong.
Our daughters decided to come with me and took their important things with them. My ex-wife, her parents, and her wife are blasting my phone saying I would ruin Ana’s future and that I’m putting our daughters against them and ruin their relationship.
We’ve been co-parenting really well, but I don’t know, I think I’m being reasonable, she’s not a kid anymore.
I have a feeling Reddit is going to be on the side of the parent standing up for their daughter, but let’s check out their replies, just to be safe.
The top comment says this should be a learning experience for the step-daughter.
And listen, being able to replace something expensive with something cheap is just not the way life works.
You can’t treat people like crap just because they’re family, despite what some people seem to think.
It’s about time she learns to take responsibility for her own actions.
The bottom line is that is seems like OP is being more than fair.
I definitely agree that this girl needs to learn some responsibility and it’s the parents job to help her do that.
How would you have handled this situation? Let us know in the comments!