Can Parenting Be Data Driven? Experts Say, ‘It Depends’

A man kept his daughter secret from his parents for ten years and is now dealing with the consequences of his actions.

Writing on Reddit, the man explained he had the child at 19 but wasn't in her life until the child's mother became ill and needed support.

He wrote: "I had a child when I was 19. I wasn't ready to be a dad and I asked her to get an abortion. She refused and we decided she could keep the baby and I'll pay child support but I wouldn't be involved in her life.

"I didn't tell my family about it. 3 months ago when I was at work I received a lot of angry messages from my parents asking me if I have a child. Apparently my ex had told them everything because she is sick and wants someone to look after the kid since her own family refused to do this.

"They were mad at me, telling me It was very selfish to hide their grandchild from them (I'm an only child and she is their only grandchild) they agreed to look after her and brought her into our home (yes I live with my parents to help them with the expenses).

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"I told them that I can't stop them from doing this but I still don't want to be her dad and they agreed. She has been living with us for the past 3 months but everyone forgot about our agreement. Two days ago my parents left her with me to go somewhere. I told them I don't want to babysit but no one listened to me. As soon as they left she started coming into my bedroom with different excuses. I finally got annoyed and told her to go to her room and not to come out until her grandparents come home. My parents came back and freaked out when they found out. They called me an AH for being a "horrible dad" but I never wanted to be a dad and I made it clear several times.

Reacting to the story, people thought his behaviour was pretty shoddy.

"The child is a 10 year old, her mother is apparently so unwell that she has to reach out to literal strangers to ensure her child gets care, and you can't even be civil for one afternoon," one said. "AND even if your parents shouldn't have to leave her alone with you, but have you considered how the kid feels?"

Another said: "So move out? If you don’t want to be a dad, go get your own place and pay the child support you paid your ex to your parents. They can also get help from the state as official foster parents, but might need to take courses."

And a third wrote: "I get that you never intended to be a dad, but the least you can do now is act like an adult. She didn’t choose to be part of your life either, she’s just trying to make the best of a new and probably very scary situation. As long as you’re both living there, you’ve got to do at least the bare minimum - which means actually spending time with her instead of sending her to her room so you don’t have to deal with her."

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