'Don't Have the Right': Dad Defended for Giving Away Daughter's Clothes

Members of a popular internet forum were quick to support one father who gave away all of the clothes his teenage daughter received from her mother.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/aita36 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said his daughter hated the clothes she got from her mom and detailed the heated aftermath of his decision to simply get rid of them.

Titled, "[Am I the a**hole] for giving away all the clothes my daughter's mom bought her?" the post has received nearly 9,000 votes and 1,400 comments in the last seven hours.

Explaining that he has primary custody of his daughter, the original poster said the 14-year-old spends every other weekend with her mother. The OP also said that, after his daughter's most recent weekend visit, she returned to his house with a bag filled with new clothes.

"I asked her about it and she said her mom bought them," OP wrote. "I looked at the clothes and they were all dark colors like brown and dark blue and they were very simple. They were the exact [opposite] of how my daughter likes to dress.

"[My daughter] said she hates them but her mom has bought these for her and told her she is supposed to wear them instead and doesn't let her wear her own clothes," OP continued. "I took all the clothes and gave them away then...called her mom and told her she shouldn't buy her clothes anymore.

"She got extremely mad...and said I don't have the right to give away something she bought," OP added.

It's no secret that many parents don't understand—or want to understand—the way their teenaged children dress.

But for some parents, understanding contemporary fashion trends is far less important than using their clothes as a means for greater control.

While Psychology Today reports that most households have basic rules about what not to wear in certain venues, implementing a dress code for a teenager to follow based on parental preference can stifle creativity and self-expression while laying the foundation for future resentment and acts of rebellion.

Two years ago, parenting magazine Parents examined the effects of parental dress codes on and concluded that—outside of offensive or harmful clothing choices—many teenagers use clothes to form unique identities and that parents should remain supportive of their children and provide constructive guidance when asked for, or when desperately needed.

"Clothing is a major factor in both expression and exploration," Parents reports. "Be gentle with your teen when talking about their clothing choices—figuring out their look can be a personal process and it's easy for them to misinterpret guidance for criticism."

Guidance, however, is much different than taking a teenager's clothes and forcing them to wear solid-colored garments they have no interest in wearing.

Trash bag full of clothes
Members of Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole forum defended one father who explained why he got rid of an entire bag of clothes gifted to his teenage daughter. rustycanuck/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Throughout the comment section of the viral Reddit post, Redditors called out OP's daughter's mother for not allowing their daughter to dress in her usual, vibrant style and commended the original poster for putting a stop to her oppressive behavior.

"[Not the a**hole]," Redditor u/tosser9212 wrote in a comment which has received more than 3,000 votes. "Your [14-year-old] daughter's voice should be heard by her mother, not ignored.

"If she doesn't want the clothes, [Goodwill] them every damn time," they added.

Redditor u/Tannim44, whose comment has received nearly 6,000 votes, offered a similar response.

"Your ex-wife sent those clothes to your house in an attempt to exert control during your custodial time," they wrote. "Someone needs to explain to her that custody doesn't work that way. You looked out for your daughter and tried to make her time at her mother's a little less stressful, well done."

"The mom sounds controlling and apathetic to her daughter's autonomy and wishes," Redditor u/ctortan added. "Your daughter already has clothes, she doesn't need more...the mom just wants to control exactly how your daughter looks without any compromise."

Newsweek reached out to u/aita36 for comment.