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A mother has been criticised after revealing in an online post that she cancelled her daughter's birthday party and then forced her to call up her friends to inform them.
Asking for some advice, the woman who remained anonymous wrote in the "Am I the A**hole?" subreddit that her 11-year-old daughter named Abby who has ADHD and autism was meant to have a birthday party with her classmates.
She noted that this would be Abby's first-ever "non-family" birthday party, and explained how her daughter had a tough time making friends.
Sadly for Abby, her best friend Taylor couldn't make it to the big celebration as she and her family were out of town.
After providing this context, the mum then got down to the problem - she overheard Abby chatting to classmates about the party details when then heard the following exchange:
Classmate: "Is Taylor going to be there?"
Abby: "No, she's lame and can't come."
Upon hearing this, the mum "sternly told Abby to hang up and explain herself."
"She tried to tell me that she wasn't serious, but I thought it was incredibly mean to call her only friend 'lame' and felt like she was behaving horribly. She insisted that it was just a joke and wouldn't agree when I told her that Taylor would be heartbroken if she heard Abby call her lame," the mum wrote.
She added that she felt that Abby "didn't deserve to have a party if she couldn't cherish her friend" and decided to "teach her a lesson."
"I made her call all 12 girls that were invited (including the ones she had already called to tell the information) and explain to them that there wasn't going to be a party after all, because she was being punished for saying something rude about Taylor. She was appropriately embarrassed and cried a lot, and I think definitely learned her lesson."
Abby was disappointed when her mother cancelled her birthday partyiStock Photo by Getty Images
The following week, the mum admitted that the parents of Abby's classmates felt that her punishment was "too harsh", and insinuated she should go easier on Abby because she was "a sweet and sensitive kid."
Though the mum got defensive when Taylor's mum echoed this and complimented Abby - "It got awkward when Taylor's mom kept gushing about Abby and low-key implying that she didn't deserve to be punished and I snapped back 'Well, I guess you and everyone else knows how to parent better than I do.'"
She ended her post by expressing show she is "still seething" over the matter and wanted to know if her actions with Abby and with Taylor's mom were "warranted."
Since posting her dilemma, plenty of people were on hand to give their take on the situation that was outlined - and made their feelings very clear that the mum had indeed overreacted in this instance.
One person wrote: "You humiliated your daughter. Ruined her first experience being seen by everyone. And probably ruined the trust she had left in you
"Just PLEASE take one look outside of your own perspective. You were so cruel even parents outside of your family had to jump into defence for your own daughter."
"Canceling her birthday party and further isolating her socially isn’t teaching her to treat her friends well. It’s teaching her to tiptoe around you so she doesn’t get punished again," another person said.
Someone else replied: "I’m truly baffled by the fact that OP thought this was even notable let alone deserving of such a harsh punishment.
"I’ve absolutely said the same thing about my friends in similar situations and I’m sure they’ve said the same about me. It’s a lighthearted way of saying 'I’m disappointed friend can’t make it but it is what it is.'"
"I have ADHD and Autism and my humor is very strange and most people don’t get it. I also often say the first thing that comes to my head without thinking it through," a fourth person replied.
"OPs daughter was probably sad her friend couldn’t come and just said the first feeling that popped in her brain."
Receiving the message loud and clear, the mum posted an update where she acknowledged she was in the wrong.
"I sat with Abby after supper and apologized for my actions and enforced that she is a good kid and a great friend to Taylor. She started tearing up and told me she was hurt that the other girl asked about Taylor because apparently some kids had said they wouldn't go since Taylor wasn't. Abby felt guilty because while she was just joking about Taylor being lame, she was hurt that they liked Taylor and not her.
"I hadn't even considered this and I'm heartbroken for her that I kicked her when she was down. She is a sweet and sensitive girl and I'm very lucky she forgave me.
As well as looking into therapy and contacting the school to correct mistakes, the mum has given Abby a week to decide how she wants to celebrate her belated birthday and who with.
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