A step-father was unsure whether he went too far with his ‘dad’ joke after it upset his step-daughter who was going through a rebellious stage and clearly struggling with teenage hood.
The Step-Father Legally Adopted the Step-Daughter
The step-father and mother married when the step-daughter was a year old. Her biological father passed away before she was born. The step-father adopted her and is therefore her legal guardian.
The Daughter Is Going Through a Rebellious Phase
The step-daughter is fifteen and is going through the typical teenage rebellion phase.
She Got in Trouble
The step-father explained that she was misbehaving, and so he began to suggest a suitable punishment for her actions. She then retaliated by saying, “You’re not my dad. I don’t have to follow you”.
The Step-Dad Was Hurt by Her Words
He explained, “Honestly, I got a bit hurt from that. But I understand that she didn’t mean it, and that she’d probably change.” He replied to her, “I’m still your legal guardian for the next three years, and as long as you’re in my house, you have to follow my rules.”
He Made the Joke
A couple of days later, the family was grocery shopping. The stepdaughter said, “I’m hungry, I need food”. The stepdad responded with a ‘dad’ joke, “Hi hungry, I’m not your dad.”
The Family Had Various Reactions to The Joke
The son found the joke hilarious, but his wife scolded him for the joke. He explained, “My daughter was just quiet with embarrassment”. His joke had pointed out that he wasn’t her ‘real’ father, and she was visibly upset.
Was He in The Wrong?
Should the step-father have handled the situation differently? Was he wrong to make a joke?
He Turned to The Internet
One person commented, “Great joke! Daughter is old enough to know what she said and how she said it was meant to be hurtful. She did it to get a reaction.”
Others Didn’t Agree
One person said, “If my dad ever said something like that, especially in front of my brother, who is his biological son, I would’ve been heartbroken.”
Another Person Gave Their Advice
“I would try to make sure she knows you don’t actually believe that you aren’t her real dad. I think the dad joke would have been okay if you didn’t use the ‘I’m your legal guardian’ line earlier.”
They Resolved the Situation
Later, the step-father gave an update. He went to his daughter’s room and apologized for making the joke. He explained how he reassured her by saying, “I’m going to love you like my daughter even if you don’t think I’m your dad”. They then shared an emotional hug.
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