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Parenting is full of decisions, and that doesn't change when the child becomes a teen and more independent.

When the child reaches an appropriate dating age, parents may even begin to disagree on parenting choices more than they did when their children were young.


Take, for example, the couple who is now trying to find a middle ground in guiding their teenage daughter.

The mother believes it's "cute" when her daughter's boyfriend pays for things. She's now encouraging her daughter to expect her boyfriend to pay for everything.

The father, on the other hand, thinks this is an irresponsible view of money, especially someone else's money.

Redditor "lost-my-mind-in-la" wrote into the "Am I the A**hole?" (AITA) subReddit, wondering if he was wrong for not thinking the expectations placed on the boyfriend were "cute."

The Redditor asked the thread:

"AITA for telling my wife it's not 'cute' for her to encourage our teenage daughter to expect her boyfriend to pay for EVERYTHING in their relationship?"

The father explained first what his daughter's boyfriend is like.

"Wife and I have been married 18 years, we have our 16 year old daughter who has been dating a slightly shy [and] awkward young man for around 3-4 months now."
"He seems very nervous around my daughter and has admitted in a passing comment here and there to my wife and I that he can't believe she agreed to date him and he thinks she's way out of his league. He seems very respectful, just shy."

He also mentioned his marriage.

"My wife is usually an independent, awesome woman and her ideals align closely with mine particularly in terms of feminism and equality. We have both striven to raise our daughter to be as independent and capable as possible."

But since their daughter started dating this boyfriend, their relationship hasn't been as in-sync.

"Since my daughter has been dating this kid my wife has changed considerably and has given our daughter advice that has left me with raised brows more than once."
"Some of the advice I've heard my wife give is 'oh it's cute for boys to pay for everything, especially in your first relationship!' Or 'oh honey don't worry about that, he can pay for you, if he really liked you he would' and similar."

The father has attempted to balance his wife's comments out with his own advice.

"I've tried to balance this out by telling my daughter straight away 'two people in a partnership should be contributing equally' and my personal favorite 'if someone asks if they can take you out to dinner, it's reasonable to expect them to pay, but if someone asks you to grab dinner with them, it's reasonable to split the payment'."
"I figured that would be an easy way for a young person to understand the difference."

Despite his attempts at offering advice, he has noticed his daughter's shifting perception of her boyfriend's money.

"However I've noticed my daughter becoming more and more entitled with her boyfriends money."
"They haven't been anywhere obviously since we're home but the way she talks about him 'oh I'll just ask him to pay for x' etc leaves a bad taste in my mouth."
"She has also flippantly bragged/ mentioned that she gets him to buy gift cards for her etc by mentioning her mother's advice, i.e. 'if you really liked me you'd pay for x'"

The father mentioned his concerns to his wife, who didn't see it as a problem.

"I spoke to my wife privately and told her my concerns, she insists it's a rite of passage for girls and it's cute that she should feel a guy is completely spoiling her."

Now that he's voiced his concerns, his wife is also angry with him.

"I told her that it's not cute for her to be thinking it's acceptable to view relationships as personal ATMS, and my wife became very angry with me and is now calling me an a**hole with a lot of hostility."

Fellow Redditors wrote in on the situation anonymously, using the following scale:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You're the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some pointed out the daughter's expectations around her boyfriend's money were definitely not cute.

"It's not cute. NTA."
"Your wife is TA. Your daughter is becoming TA."
"The boy also needs some guidance, but that probably shouldn't come from you" - aitafun
"Slightly disagree, his parents may not be aware of whats going on. We have no clue anything about this kid, he could be a millionaire's son or he could come from a lower income house hold. He should absolutely NOT be OP's daughters credit card."
"I think OP may need to step in and talk to this kid. He may me awkward and nervous around OP because the kid isn't sure if the daughter is a 'daddy's little princess' type."
"I feel like if OP takes this kid to the side and lets him know that she isn't the boss of him and he doesn't have to pay for everything, this will go a loooong way in both the kids confidence around the parents and his wallets confidence." - FNSCARZ

Others pointed out that expecting a boyfriend to pay for everything could get the daughter in trouble some day.

"I always paid my own way on dates. Because I was not for sale. Because if I kissed him I wanted both of us to know it was because I wanted to, not because he'd paid for it with dinner or tickets to a show. Because I wanted friendship and love, not dependence and manipulation, and stupid games."
"What your wife is encouraging in your daughter is not cute, it's ugly and potentially dangerous. NTA." - Zhoenish
"I was taught that the guy should pay, but there was always a little side lesson that the girl should order the cheapest thing on the menu. It's actually incredibly rude to order an expensive entree if you know someone else is paying (something that women like in the OP like to forget)."
"But I do not like salad and I refuse to be limited to the cheap side of the menu. I decided early on it would be better for everyone if I ordered whatever the f**k I wanted and paid for it myself so I wouldn't feel guilty for ordering the steak."
"And by the way it has always been rude for women to demand gifts from men. That is not 'old fashioned.' It's sh**ty, rude, and entitled."
"Actually, I seem to recall that women used to be expected to refuse an expensive gift because of the implication (they might feel pressured to do things). I was taught to refuse jewelry, for example, unless I was already engaged." - toolittle-toolate

Others also pointed out that asking one person to pay for everything on a limited income is unrealistic.

"Since we were young and both had part time jobs we knew how difficult it was to earn money, so we both split the bill. Im only 17 but that's still how I view things, sure we have special dates where one pays for everything but thats usually offered."
"I can't believe people are entitled enough to expect their partner to pay for everything. Money is hard to make for a student working minimum wage!!" - BornGeekyNerd

One Redditor even suggested to the father to turn the tables on his wife.

"Ask your wife how it would feel if you were the boy's parent instead of the girl's. Would you be cool with your kids girlfriend exploiting them? If no, your wife [should] probably shut up. Talk to your daughter separately and tell her being financially dependent on a man is embarassing and very 1800s." - analyze-it

There's a lot to be learned here about the value brought to a relationship, beyond the financial aspect.

What will the wife and girlfriend will do if the boyfriend starts holding his wallet a little closer?

*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the AITA link below.*

The book The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger is available here.