When you’re someone who loves a particular pet (a dog, a cat, etc) and you run into people who dislike that particular pet, it can be a bit confusing.
When you’re a parent and your kids don’t turn out the way you hope or expect, that can be a bit confusing, as well.
This dad is dealing with a double whammy because his middle son isn’t like his oldest and youngest, and because he’s not into the things the rest of the are, they have trouble bonding.
One thing that OP thinks signals a happy boyhood is a family dog, and since he never had one, he wanted to give that experience to his kids.
His wife took a while to get on board, but eventually she did, and OP’s youngest and oldest boys were, too.
His middle son did not want a dog and said if they got one he would not help care for it, full stop.
My wife (39F) and I (42M) have three sons, Alex (15), Dylan (11), and Jake (8). When I was a kid I always wanted a dog but my parents said no. I never got the chance to get one during my twenties but recently my interest in owning one was sparked again so I asked my family what they thought about getting a dog.
My wife wasn’t enthusiastic about it but she relented after a few weeks of me asking. Alex and Jake were excited to get one but Dylan was immediately opposed to the idea.
Dylan was always different than my other sons, he never had an interest in sports and was always more subdued than his brothers which has always made it hard for me to connect with him.
Dad agreed, figuring the kid would change his mind after getting to know the dog.
He remained opposed to the idea of getting a dog but me and my other sons managed to wear him down until he finally relented.
However, he said that if we did get a dog, he wasn’t going to be interacting with it or taking care of it, that would be completely on me and his brothers.
I found this ridiculous but i agreed in the moment hoping he would change his mind after meeting the dog.
Seven months in that has not happened, despite the dog’s affection and the father’s urging, so dad thinks he has the answer – forced daily walks.
The problem is he hasn’t changed his mind yet. We’ve had Zeus for seven months now and Dylan has not warmed up to him in the slightest.
He doesn’t play with the dog, he doesn’t cuddle with him, he doesn’t let Zeus into his room because he “destroys stuff” and whenever he is near the dog he just ignores him. I find this completely ridiculous. Zeus loves Dylan, he follows him around whenever he sees him and jumps on him to get his attention and play but Dylan just isn’t receptive to it.
To change this, I told Dylan last week that he would be in charge of walking the dog every day after school. Dylan straight up refused and has shut down the conversation every time I bring it up. It’s been a week and he hasn’t walked the dog once.
The middle son has dug in his heels, reminding his father he said ahead of time he wanted nothing to do with the dog, and OP’s wife agrees with their child.
Now that one of the other boys is also supporting his brother, Dad is wondering whether or not he’s being too pushy.
In my frustration, I told him that if he didn’t start listening then I wouldn’t allow him to go to the comic book store anymore and he freaked and told my wife.
Now, my wife is upset with me, claiming that I knew what I was getting into with this and I knew that Dylan wouldn’t be playing with the dog but his intolerance of the dog is weird and I refuse to entertain it any longer.
My wife has been short with me ever since that conversation and Dylan is cold with me as well. Alex is now agreeing with his mother which is making me have second thoughts. So Reddit, AITA?
What does Reddit think about this mess? Let’s find out!
The top comment says nothing good will come out of this for anyone involved.
More than one person had concerns about how they’re training this dog (or if they’re training this dog).
Plenty of people questioned OP’s parenting, full stop.
Because some of his phrasing is pretty darn icky.
It’s all a bit sad, if you ask these people.
I feel badly for the kid, too, who tried hard to set boundaries that immediately got disrespected.
What advice would you give OP if he was your friend? Drop it on us down in the comments!