Dad Uses His Kids As Props To Make A Point To His Father That He Was Always Emotionally Distant, Upsetting Everyone

Childhood trauma is an extremely difficult thing to deal with. Some parents and children can hash it out and begin the healing process, but others are not so lucky.

As it may be difficult to accept that their parenting style wasn’t quite right, people may have difficulty admitting that they ever did anything wrong to their kids. This leads to people attempting to deal with their trauma in unique ways, some of which are better than others.

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We’ll be talking about a situation just like this today – a granddad was unsatisfied with his son’s parenting style, but the son shot right back, reminding grandpa that he wasn’t a perfect parent either.

More info: Reddit

The relationships of parents with their kids come in all shapes and sizes and what may be acceptable behavior to some is abhorrent to others

Image credits: Jonathan Petersson (not the actual photo)

This dad took it online after a dispute with his own father about nicknaming his kids “boy” and “girl”

Image credits: Appropriate_Flan_164

Image credits: Noé Villalta Photography (not the actual photo)

When grandpa mentioned that the nicknames are hurting the kids, the poster called them over and asked if they’d rather be called that way or speak far more formally

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Image credits: Appropriate_Flan_164

Image credits: Kaysha (not the actual photo)

The kids naturally said that they prefer “boy” and “girl”, but people pointed out that it was a manipulative question, with grandpa getting super upset

Image credits: Appropriate_Flan_164

Grandpa believe it was a dig at him for being a bad parent, but the poster reassures readers that it isn’t

In today’s analysis of the human condition, shared to us by the original poster (OP), we’ll be talking about how parents sometimes hurt their kids, not necessarily out of any malice, but rather because they don’t know any better. Not that it excuses them of responsibility, mind you.

OP is a dad of two 15 and 16 y.o. teens, who he lovingly and humorously calls “boy” and “girl”. This causes OP’s father a lot of pain, saying that their dad is hurting them by not calling them by their names.

Granddad and dad had been talking about this very thing recently, when the poster decided to make a point out of it by calling the kids over and asking them about it.

Where he may have gone wrong at this point is that he said that he could call them by their first names, but they’d have to call him “sir” or “father” and that he would stop constantly emphasizing how much he loves them, is proud of them and all that good jazz.

A lot of peeps in the thread called him out for this, saying that wording it like that is kinda manipulative and potentially harmful to his kids, making them see his love as conditional and putting them in a difficult spot. Perhaps they would actually like to be called by his their names, but when the argument is phrased like that, it doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room.

People dogpiled on OP, saying that if you’ve got things to hash out with your father, you should do it with him personally, instead of using your kids as a prop.

It’s really difficult to interpret how the conversation went, with some people arguing that the OP asking the kids that question must’ve been ironic and sarcastic, while others believe the tone was more awkward and strange.

Meanwhile, this led to OP and his dad getting into a conflict, the father getting upset thinking that his son believes he was a bad father. The poster clarifies that he wasn’t, only emotionally distant.

At the end, the poster emphasizes that he wants to give his kids what he never had – lots of encouragement, love, and support, verbal, physical, and expressed in other ways.

Image credits:  Craig Adderley (not the actual photo)

Although of a slightly different vein, in movies and other forms of pop culture, we often hear kids having nicknames, but especially from the earlier decades, which normalize some problematic ones. 

I won’t mention any of them, but think of skinny, glasses-wearing or bigger kids and I’m certain you can come up with nicknames you’ve heard for them. 

An influencer named Tracy also asked for people to list offensively fatphobic characters in the media and from the 4000 comments, the list seems never ending.

Not very nice, huh? And as a bullied kid myself, I can tell you that those names stick with you for years. Trust me, kids at school are already really inventive with hurtful nicknames, children don’t need more of that at home. 

Today’s Parent emphasize this, saying that as nicknames can be used affectionately, they can also wound. These wounds result in scars inside of the child, with them starting to believe the bad things they hear about themselves when it’s repeated over and over again.

Now, you may be saying to yourself “but Mr. Writer, these are only ‘boy’ and ‘girl’, they’re not offensive!” Well on the face of it, you’re right, they’re “just names,” but you can’t really know how the person feels about you calling them names. 

Perhaps the kids really are happy with their names, but what if they aren’t? What if just one of them isn’t and is afraid to speak up about it? Being boiled down to just your gender isn’t very nice, if you think about it more deeply.

Image credits: Karolina Grabowska (not the actual photo)

But that’s quite enough of the armchair analysis of this person’s family life. On a more interesting note, apparently nicknames are deeply ingrained in Somali culture. 

And not just any kind of nicknames. 

According to the MESH website, about 85% of the nicknames people get refer to some kind of physical characteristic that they have. Nothing is safe – big ears, small ears, big beards, small chins, teeth, butts, eyes, you name it.

The article goes on to explain that some of these nicknames are highly sought after, perhaps jab-libaax, which means “half a lion” or shimbirolaaye (“ladies man”) could be a couple. These nicknames are not necessarily demeaning or rude, with people not taking them personally. 

It’s a complex cultural issue and it’s probably not for me to say, but it just goes to show that not everything is as cut and dry as we may see it. Same goes for OP – to some “boy” and “girl” may seem dehumanizing, but perhaps in their family these pet names are all the rage.

The original post collected almost 15k upvotes in the matter of 5 days, with 1.4k comments chiming in. The community judged the poster not to be a jerk, but they definitely agreed that he could have handled it better, without involving the teens. 

What are your thoughts about this story? Share them, along with your stories about nicknames, both bad and good, in the comments below!

The community judged the dad not to be a jerk, but his behavior was pretty questionable to them

The post Dad Uses His Kids As Props To Make A Point To His Father That He Was Always Emotionally Distant, Upsetting Everyone first appeared on Bored Panda.


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