Dad Praised for Telling 'Truth' When Adult Son Asked if He Was Proud of Him

A concerned father has been praised for offering a brutally honest response after his adult son asked him if he was proud of him.

It's often said that "honesty is the best policy." In practice though, that idea couldn't be further from the truth for most with a study from the University of Massachusetts estimating 60 percent of people lie at least once in an average 10-minute conversation.

For many, an aversion to telling the truth often comes amid concerns over the potential consequences. However, research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business suggests that, by and large, people can probably afford to be more honest than they realize.

"We're often reluctant to have completely honest conversations with others," assistant professor Emma Levine, who co-authored the study, explained. "We think offering critical feedback or opening up about our secrets will be uncomfortable for both us and the people with whom we are talking."

In one test, participants were asked to be completely honest with everyone for three days. A second lab-based experiment saw test subjects tasked with being honest with a loved one while answering potentially difficult questions. A third test, meanwhile, saw participants share negative feedback with a close friend or family member.

The researchers found those involved enjoyed the honest exchanges more than expected while those listening reacted less negatively to what they heard than had been predicted. However, one dad to a now-adult son on Reddit has been left wondering if he overstepped the mark after his son reacted badly when he admitted the brutal truth that he simply wasn't proud of him.

Writing in a post that has been upvoted 8,300 times, the dad, commenting under the handle Cruel-Father, detailed what had led him to such a scathing assessment of his son Jason's achievements. Born out of an "unplanned pregnancy" the dad said he and his wife Nina "did our best to raise Jason to be kind, respectful, and treat others well, and we thought we succeeded."

Initially, everything in Jason's life appeared to be going to plan. "Jason worked hard to attend an elite university. Jason and his first wife, Sara, had a daughter, Simone," he wrote. Then, just before Simone's birthday, Sara died in a car accident. Though Jason stayed with Simone until she was 4, he eventually met his second wife, Iris, and ended up moving two hours away, leaving his daughter to be raised by her grandparents.

Since then, his involvement, aside from providing financial support, has been reduced. According to his dad he "visits once every two months at best." "He and his wife would stay for the day, buy Simone a present, then Jason would say it was time to leave," he wrote. "Nina and I suspect he only visits and buys Simone the present because his wife makes him."

Though Iris is open to the idea of moving close to Simone, Jason is opposed to it, telling them that moving would "hurt his career" and it was better for his daughter to stay with his grandparents.

Now age 11, Simone "adores" her dad but rarely sees him. "It is devastating for her, because her daddy is her hero, and he does not want to spend time with her," her grandfather writes. "Her birthday was in July and she cried when Jason did not call her to wish her a happy birthday."

Matters ultimately came to a head this week when, with Simone away at summer camp, Jason invited his parents to a party to celebrate him receiving a promotion. It was during the party that Jason apparently turned to his dad and said "you should be proud, old man." However, his dad's response left him stunned and the rest of the wider family furious.

"I sighed and told Jason that I honestly have not been proud of him as of late," his dad wrote. "He may have a well-paying job, but he treats his own beautiful daughter as if she doesn't matter. Simone is his own little girl. She loves him so much, and he doesn't even seem to care."

While Nina backed Jason's dad in the dispute, many of the family felt it was the wrong time to call him out and he was just focusing on "stabilizing his career" before taking Simone to live with him. That reaction was in stark contrast to the one witnessed on social media though, with the vast majority praising the dad for calling out his son's behavior even as an adult.

Famous-Vanilla-7123 commented: "You told the (well deserved) truth and if that makes him upset then he can go sit in syrup!" And Embarrassed_Board_15 said: "Money and prestige mean nothing if you have no integrity. He clearly did not learn how to be a person of true substance."

Loranealsequence meanwhile slammed Jason for "stabilizing his career over raising his daughter" adding that " in his old age he will look back and wish he was a different father." Interesting_key9248 also highlighted the absurdity of Jason "who is an adult" being "so hurt by what his father said" yet expecting his 11-year-old daughter to "understand his absence."

Competitive-Self6482 simply wasn't buying the idea Jason was still in grief. "I don't care if he hasn't dealt with his grief or compartmentalized or if his daughter does remind him of his first wife. That's still his kid," they wrote. "This isn't a situation where he could not provide for her-he is abandoning her for this new life."

Newsweek has contacted Cruel-Father but wasn't able to verify the details of the case.

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

An older man and a younger man.
Stock image of an old man looking unhappy while a younger man looks on. One man got a little more than he bargained for after asking his dad "are you proud of me?" coffeekai/Getty