As a parent, there's nothing to bring about stress like a child's birthday party, but one dad has recently gone viral on Reddit for a particularly difficult situation.
He made a decision to not invite one child to his daughter's birthday party, and while some see the father's point of view, others find the whole story has left a bad taste in their mouth.
The anonymous dad shared his story on the forum's infamous "Am I The A**hole" thread.
"I'll be honest I'm still learning the ropes with this whole dad thing. Only been in my daughter's life for over a year after finding out about her and taking over since her mom's no longer in the picture. She just turned 7 and we're having a small b-day celebration in my backyard with her classmates this weekend."
So far, the normal parenting conundrum, right? But then things get a little more problematic.
"When school opened again we started having problems with one kid in particular 'Nick.' A lot of the parents have been complaining about him because he's a huge bully to the other kids and gets benched (basically a time out) a lot during recess. I've had talks with the teacher because he made my daughter cry after teasing her constantly about her mom. I was pissed, her teacher promised that they're going to be handling the situation with Nick and keep him away from my daughter."
So, it's safe to say, the dad is not fond of "Nick."
"Supposedly they've had many talks with the mom but all she seems to do is baby the kid. He hasn't bothered my daughter since my talk with the teacher. So, for my daughter's birthday she decided to invite almost everyone in the class," he explained.
"Obviously except for Nick. His mom confronted me after school when I was picking her up. I guess he was crying that he didn't get an invitation. I had my daughter wait in the car and this lady was giving me hell for excluding her son when this could've been a chance for him to finally get along with his classmates."
And this is where things get really awkward.
"I told her, 'Lady! He had months to do that (or her to teach him to), this is their last week of school. A bit too late to be trying to make friends now with how he was treating all the kids especially my daughter'. She just kept saying I should be ashamed of myself for not taking this opportunity to teach my daughter a valuable lesson on learning compassion," he said.
"It was just a really intense encounter but in the end, I still refused to give an invitation since my daughter said she doesn't want Nick at her party. I'm still thinking about the whole interaction. I've never dealt with a parent like that and being still new to it all myself I'm sort of having doubts on how I handle it. I did the right thing or wrong?"
"I want my daughter to be comfortable and happy on her b-day but I get this upset another kid. AITA?"
Of course, some people are concerned about the dad's behavior.
"You might have found a way to make these invitations outside of school. You have a right to invite who you want to your home but you also created a situation where everyone became aware of it at school, and despite his behavior, I think it's good to respect the division," one commenter suggested.
"I think it's actually a pretty cruel move to exclude the 7-year-old from receiving an invitation in class (different than excluding him from the party), he's not old enough to understand the difference and how it's a consequence and you are passing that on to the teacher to explain and soothe him," another pointed out.
But others thought he was totally in the right.
"NTA. She should be ashamed of herself. This would be a great opportunity for her to teach her son about the consequences of his actions," one wrote simply.
What do you think of this parenting conundrum?