'Very Cruel': Dad Praised For Refusing to Go to Daughter's Sweet 16 Party

A dad is being praised for refusing to go to his daughter's 16th birthday party, even though she hasn't spoken to him for a month afterward over his decision.

Writing for the popular Reddit forum r/AmITheA**hole—often stylized as "AITA"—u/idk3587 earned over 5,600 upvotes and 700 comments for his post "AITA for not going to my daughters 16th birthday?"

The original poster (OP) says he has two daughters with different mothers, a 14-year-old, "E," and a 16-year-old, "R." R lives with her mom in another city, though lives with her dad during the summer and on holidays. E stays with him, as her mom is dead.

Unfortunately, the two half-sisters do not get along, and try their best to avoid each other when R stays over. In an added wrinkle, their birthdays are only two weeks apart, with R's birthday coming first.

It's this birthday proximity that's at the root of the issue. R scheduled her 16th birthday party for the same day as E's birthday. The OP asked if there was any reason she had to have her party on that day, rather than "on her birthday, or the weekend, or even the next week or , I don't know, any day other than that day," but R didn't have one, just that she wanted it to be on that particular day.

Her dad tried to get her to change her mind, and R refused. He then asked E what she thought about celebrating her birthday on another day—and she also refused. The OP called R back and said he can't go unless she changes the date, listing his reasons:

  1. She could choose any day, she knew it was E's birthday.
  2. E wasn't invited and I thought it would be very cruel to leave her alone in her birthday.
  3. This way they would each have one parent with them which would be fair

This did not go over well, with u/idk3587 saying R "started screaming at me and called me an [a**hole] for choosing E over her."

In a comment, the OP said he did go to visit R on her birthday, but R refused to see him.

"I'm starting to feel bad because it was a milestone birthday but I still think I made the right choice. R an her mom disagree so aita?" he asked.

bratty teen dueling birthday parties sweet 16
The AITA subreddit is severely criticizing a 16-year-old girl who planned her birthday party on the day of her half-sister's birthday, and is mad that her dad didn't come. Michael Edwards/Getty

Though it didn't involve sisters, advice columnist Carolyn Hax addressed a similar situation in a 2015 column. In this case, a woman had planned a "milestone" birthday party for herself, and hired caterers and a bartender. However, when her sister-in-law found out about the party, she demanded she cancel because she was having a party for her young daughter.

The letter-writer refused because she had gone out of her way to avoid conflicts—including having her party in the evening, after the child's party—but her sister-in-law told her daughter she'd have to cancel her party anyway, disappointing the young girl.

Hax immediately agreed that the letter-writer had done nothing wrong.

"Your sister-in-law isn't just wrong, she's gone full-on Froot Loop. Who has command-performance kiddie parties? Then cancels them? Then tells the kiddie why?" Hax wrote.

Though in the case of Hax's letter, the solution was to keep to the schedule, in this case, Redditors argued that R was completely wrong to try to steamroll any birthday plans E might have had with her dad—especially as she appeared to have no particular reason other than hurting E to do so.

"[Not the A**hole], she knew what she was doing in planning this. If they do not get along it's a jab, and an especially cruel one as she knew it would force you to have to choose. I also wonder how much the mom knows about this, planning a whole party on someone else's day of birth is pretty rude," u/GennieGenocide wrote in the top-rated comment with 10,400 upvotes.

"[Not the A**hole] - not just rude but cruel," u/Disastrous_Ad_8561 agreed. "Op you need to nip this in the butt right now. R and mom know what's going on and want E to suffer. Don't allow one child to burn another."

"Planning your birthday party to occur on your half sister's birthday and demanding Dad attend but not the ACTUAL birthday girl is about as rude and spiteful as it gets. You already have plans to celebrate with the actual day's birthday girl. That's been a long standing obligation/date for about 14 yrs now," u/Creative_Tart7794 wrote.

"Absolutely [Not the A**hole]. R and R's mom are massively [the a**holes], because one is doing this on purpose to try and make E see that OP loves her more, and the other is allowing it to happen," u/dereksalem wrote.

Newsweek reached out to u/idk3857 for comment.