Internet Divided Over Father's Ultimatum to 'Bratty' 19-Year-Old Daughter

A father has gone viral for admitting that he recently told his "bratty" 19-year-old daughter that she can either start babysitting her cousin or start paying rent.

Posting in Reddit's "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) forum under the username u/FunnyChef7259, the father asked: "AITA for making my eldest daughter babysit even though she is 'child-free?'" The post has received more than 10,000 upvotes and has divided over 3,000 commenters.

At the beginning of his post, the father explained that he and his wife have three children—Tina, Jason and Ally. Late last year, after his sister-in-law passed away, the couple also took in their 4-year-old niece, whose father is "not in the picture."

"It has been a huge adjustment for all six of us...but Tina has complained since we brought our niece home. In fact, whenever Jenny does anything typical of a 4-year-old that Tina dislikes she will loudly and rudely comment 'THIS is why I am child-free and will never have kids!'" the father wrote.

Dad yelling at daughter
Online commenters are divided over the ultimatum a father has given his “bratty” 19-year-old daughter. The father said his daughter can either take on babysitting duties or start paying rent. Zinkevych/istock

"A few weeks ago there were big changes in our childcare coverage and now we lack coverage for about two-and-a-half hours [Monday through Friday]," the father continued. "Jason and Ally both agreed to take one day of the week for babysitting duties, when we asked Tina to take on the other three, she refused, stating she is child-free and means it."

So, the father issued Tina an ultimatum—either she can take on babysitting duties or start paying rent.

"She did a lot of yelling and screaming but when she realized I was serious about kicking her out if she didn't pitch in, she agreed to take on the three days of babysitting," the father said, adding that Tina has accused him of being "sexist" and of "discriminating against her beliefs."

In the comments section of his post, the father admitted that Tina was being "bratty." Still, he wanted to know: "Am I the a**hole for forcing my adult daughter's hand in this?"

As it turns out, Tina isn't the only young adult still living with her parents. Census data from 2021 revealed that 58 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 25 lived with their parents last year.

RBC Wealth Management said that "to avoid feelings of resentment, and to encourage independence, [adult children] should have some responsibilities in the household beyond taking care of his or her own space and laundry."

The company also advised parents to establish clear boundaries.

"You have to set boundaries for how you'd like for things to go," author Jane Adams told RBC. "And if the situation is just intolerable, the parents get to say, 'We'd like for you to make other plans.'"

Commenters aligned with Adams' advice agreed that u/FunnyChef7259 was totally within his rights as a parent to force his teenage daughter to babysit.

"NTA [not the a**hole]. I think every so often, people have to take one for the team. You're asking an adult for 7.5 hours of work per week in return for free room & board. I think that's fair," wrote u/YMMV-But.

Redditor u/Dagordae agreed, adding: "She's an adult who's not paying rent. Contribute or leave is a perfectly valid demand, especially when said contribution is as minor as it is...Her status as child-free is irrelevant, that just means not having children. Not treating children like monsters."

Still, some thought u/FunnyChef7259 was in the wrong.

"YTA [you're the a**hole]. You and your wife decided to take her in, you are responsible for caring for her. Not your daughter," said u/silfy_star. "Tbh, you're punishing her for your decision and choices, though there [are] certainly compromises to be made here related to cutting expenses."

Commenter u/fishmom5 wrote: "YTA for using your children (all of them) as childcare. I get it, you had something come up, but it's not your kids' responsibility...Tina is working and attending classes (online doesn't make it less important). She's 19 (adulthood is not a magic switch that flips at 18) and has to share a room with her 14-year-old sister. And then you threatened her stability. No wonder she's resentful."

Newsweek reached out to u/FunnyChef7259 for comment.

In related news, Reddit backed a mother who said last week that she "exposed" her ex-husband to her former mother-in-law.

In March, Redditors slammed a mother for "hounding" her daughter to speed up the process of planning her newborn baby's funeral. And a few days prior, commenters slammed a mom who turned her daughter's academic trip into a vacation.