Starting your period can be a significant change for a young girl, both physically and emotionally. One father thinks he may not have handled things best when he told people online that he had upset his daughter. The 38-year-old told Reddit’s Am I The A**hole (AITA) that his 12-year-old daughter Anna had recently gotten her period and he had told his mom.
The News Spread
The man says that he and his mom were talking about Anna, so the topic of her starting her period just came up. The man’s mom then went on to tell his sister and his aunt the news about Anna, which is how the issue escalated.
Anna Got a Text from Her Aunt
The OP’s sister texted Anna: “It’s good that you got your period before you go back to school so you can get the hang of it.” Anna showed her father the message and started screaming about her private period, and the man should not have told anyone about it. The man said that his daughter felt “mortified and upset.”
Anna’s Mom Wasn’t Happy Either
The man explained that his wife was unhappy he had sent the text message and took his daughter’s side. He tried to justify his actions by saying that his family didn’t keep secrets and that periods were nothing to be embarrassed about. The man’s wife insisted that in the future, he should ask Anna before sharing any of her details, particularly his mom, who tends to share information with the whole family.
He Overstepped the Mark
It was agreed among readers that the man was, in fact, the a**hole in the situation for letting down his daughter. One reader said, “This is highly personal info,” and another said, “It’s possible to consider periods normal and still not gossip to all and sundry about someone else’s period.”
The Man Was Not the Only Person in the Wrong
The OP was one of many people to feel the heat among readers. As one person pointed out, the mom and sister also upset Anna when they said, “YTA, and so is your mom and your sister, and any other family members who participated in that conversation.” One reader reflected on the family situation and said, “I feel like families who have that mentality tend to have serious boundary issues.”
Not Keeping Secrets is Not the Same as Lying
There was a lot of frustration among readers about the man saying that he does not keep secrets. One person said, “People who say we don’t keep secrets are so simple-minded as to think that NOT telling a family member about something private is “lying” to them.” This implies that keeping some things back from family members is the best thing to do. Another person concurred when they said,”Sometimes things aren’t “secrets,” they’re just not your business.”
People could not get over the family’s lack of respect for Anna. One empathetic reader said, “100% don’t understand parents who share their kid’s personal info like this.” Others pointed out that he will struggle with his daughter sharing information with him. As one online reader said, “OP’s daughter won’t trust him with future information now, which is a completely understandable reaction from her.”
The Man Should Think of His Daughter
The man was heavily urged to think about how his daughter is feeling, with one commentator saying, “When you get your first period, it’s so confusing and weird and it feels so strange to be going through it.” The advice for parents with daughters is to let your daughter know that starting her period is a normal and healthy part of growing up. It is also about stressing that it is their experience and they can share it with people if they want to, not others.
There Was Some Praise for the Man
The man did, however, receive some acknowledgment that he was trying to say that he thought periods should not be something to be embarrassed about. One reader proclaimed, “We need to destigmatize periods and normalize frank discussions about them. It’s a natural, biological thing that happens to half the population.”
It Is a Personal Journey
“Periods are natural, normal, and not shameful, but info about someone else’s period isn’t something you should share without asking them.” These were the thoughts of one reader, and many others agreed that every woman and girl are different, and some would not mind their family knowing about their period, but not all will. The man can try to redeem himself by apologizing for his error and reassuring his daughter that he can come to him. Hopefully, then man will discuss with his daughter before sharing any further personal information with his family.
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