Parent Criticized for Refusing to Hang Daughter's Art in Home

Commenters criticized a parent for debating whether or not to hang their daughter's art in the house because it might upset their young son.

The anonymous parent, known as u/Diligent-Tea-4379, posted about the situation in Reddit's popular "Am I The A**hole" forum where it received more than 5,500 upvotes and 1,300 comments. The post can be found here.

Sibling Rivalry

Research shows that sibling rivalry and jealousy often stem from parental favoritism, resulting in a low sense of self-worth.

Younger siblings often exhibit jealousy or envy which often turns into rivalry as they get older.

Parental favoritism has been shown to cause health-related issues later in life including depression, according to the Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review.

Parent criticized for not hanging daughter's art
Commenters said that although they aren't "TA," the parent needs to look into family therapy. diego_cervo/iStock

As board-certified pediatrician Dan Brennan wrote for MedicineNet, examples of sibling rivalry include:

  • Name-calling
  • Telling on each other, truthfully or not
  • Ill-natured verbal "sparring"
  • Poking and hitting
  • Breaking or hiding possessions

According to Psych Central, some other long-term effects of growing up in a family that favored a child include internalized shame, trust and relationship issues and low self esteem. These individuals often gravitate toward the comfort of an abusive partner.

'AITA?'

In the post titled "WIBTA for not wanting to hang up my daughter's artwork?" the anonymous parent said their 12-year-old daughter is a talented artist.

The daughter recently showed them a portrait of the family and asked for it to be hung in the house.

"This isn't a picture of stick figures, this is semi-realistic charcoal sketch of me, my husband, our dog, and our cat," the post read. "But my son and her brother (10) isn't in the picture."

The parent said the picture was done on a large canvas with charcoal and took her several weeks to finish.

"It was pretty clear that a lot of work was put into it, yet she could include our dog and our cat, but not her brother," the post read.

The parent said that although the daughter claims she "forgot" and there wasn't "room for him" in the portrait, they think she did it on purpose.

'Resented Him for Existing'

"To explain why I am sure this was on purpose, I have two reasons," the post read.

The parent said that even the cat and dog are in the portrait which includes them, their husband, and their daughter in the middle with the cat on her lap.

"I am no artist myself, but it's very clear just what my daughter was trying to say," the post read.

"Second, my daughter has always had a very adversarial relationship with my son. She has always tried to get him in trouble, bullied him, and has resented him for existing."

While he "doesn't do much to aggravate" his sister now, the parent said he used to go into her bedroom and take her belongings.

Both of them are rarely in the same room as each other, unless they are eating a meal in which case they do not speak, the parent said.

'A Bearskin Rug'

Although their husband said "it would be rude" to not hang up the portrait, the parent said they were sure their son would feel "excluded" by not being included.

Their husband added that this portrait was an "improvement" since she used her art to demean her brother in the past.

"I have seen her draw pictures of her brother as a bearskin rug," the parent wrote in the comments.

"This is of course raising red flags to me that he considers exclusion to be 'improvement,'" the post read. "My son is aware of what my daughter did—but he's trying to put up a brave front. He tries to say that my daughter doesn't bother him but I know it really does hurt him."

Although they are worried that not hanging the portrait will discourage their daughter from doing art, they also didn't want to hang anything without the entire family included.

"So I am wondering: WIBTA if I didn't want to hang this in the house because my daughter didn't draw her whole family?" the post read.

Redditor Reactions

More than 1,200 users commented on the post, many saying the parent is "NTA" but calling them out for not dealing with the underlying issues in the family.

"​​How about instead of debating what artwork to put on the wall, you take your children to therapy to deal with whatever the underlying issue here is?" one user commented, receiving more than 23,000 upvotes.

"Don't stop at the children. I think it needs to be a family event," another user replied.

"You absolutely should not hang that in a common space in your home," one user commented. "Tell your daughter she can hang it in her room but that only family portraits that include the whole family will be on display. Hanging it anywhere your son could see would be a slap in the face."

"NTA, also maybe book your daughter some counseling that's some pretty evil s**t," another commented.

But the anonymous parent replied in the comments that their daughter was already in therapy for mistreating her brother and telling people she didn't have a sibling.

"I ask what on earth he does to her to 'justify' such behavior and her response is that she never wanted him," the parent wrote in the comments. "She never asked for him, and we should never have had him."

"OP you need the therapy the most to understand why you've painted one child as the Bad Seed and the other as The Good One," another user commented. "Many mothers have major resentment towards their daughters—usually the firstborn daughter. Sounds like you're one of them."

Newsweek reached out to u/Diligent-Tea-4379 for comment.

Other Viral Posts

In other viral "Am I The A**hole" posts, a teen boy was slammed for ignoring his younger sister, parents were criticized for "blatantly favoring" one twin over the other, and a woman was praised for telling her in-laws the "truth" about their favorite child.