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Mom Forces 'Tomboyish' Daughters To Wear Dresses When Visiting Their 'Traditional' Grandparents

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Angry teen girl

Our grandparents were born in a different time altogether from us — they grew up differently, believed in different things, and ultimately entered into their adulthoods with values that were, well, different.

Sometimes, grandparents are capable of abandoning their more traditional beliefs and keeping up with society’s rapidly approaching progressive values, but sometimes, they refuse to and will remain stuck in their ways.

As a result of her in-laws’ “old-fashioned” views, one mother has to make a heartbreaking decision for her daughters whenever they go to their house and visit.

She has to force her ‘tomboy’ daughters to wear dresses when visiting their ‘traditional’ grandparents.

Unsure of whether or not she’s making the right decision by adhering to her in-laws’ outdated views, she wrote about her situation in the subreddit “r/AmItheA--hole” (AITA), hoping to get some input from Reddit users.

“My in-laws are what you would call traditional,” she begins the post. “They seem to think the world should have stopped 50 years ago, and think everything since then is evil.”

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“They aren't racist (that I know of) or outwardly bigoted, but they just are very old-fashioned.”

She and her husband have three children — two daughters ages 16 and 14, and one 10-year-old son.

Since their grandparents live nearby, their parents make it a habit to visit all of them regularly, but it never goes quite as simple as it sounds.

“Here's the issue, they don't like the idea of women wearing pants,” she explains. “My MIL says it's ‘showing off’ and my FIL always says it isn't Christian.” 

“Now I'm pretty feminine, so I don't mind throwing on a dress when we stop by, but our daughters are not.”

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She explains that their daughters don’t like visiting their grandparents for exactly this reason — because they are forced to wear dresses.

She describes both of their daughters as “tomboyish” and admits that they would never wear dresses outside of visiting their grandparents — she even had to buy them dresses just for that purpose.

“To be clear it's not like they aren't allowed over if they wear pants, it's just that they won't shut up the entire time about how much they hate it,” she continued.

The issue for her becomes how much visiting them several times a week is affecting their daughters.

Although she doesn’t think it’s a big deal, since “in a lot of cultures women only wear skirts and dresses,” the eldest daughter has currently planned to never speak to her grandparents again once she turns 18.

Everyone agreed that she and her husband were in the wrong for letting their parents treat their daughters that way.

“I know it seems like it’s just easier to get them to wear a dress but it’s sending them the message that their feelings and comfort aren’t as important as other people’s,” read one of the top comments. 

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“Their grandparents should love them for them, not if they wear what they consider appropriate clothing. It’s not 1950 anymore. G-parents need to accept things are different and you need to support your kids.”

There seems to be a complete disconnect between the parents and their children because of the way they’re valuing their grandparents’ emotions more than their own kids.

Parents should be far more supportive of their children expressing themselves in whatever way they want and should stand up for them if anyone tries to get in the way of that.

Many people also took issue with the frequency at which they were visiting their grandparents.

“These poor kids have to be subjected to them several times a week!?!” read another comment. “You’re worried they aren’t going to speak to the grandparents again after they turn 18, you should be more worried they won’t speak to you or your husband either.”

It’s understandable why their parents would want to try and appease their grandparents — especially to avoid confrontation — but it seems like their priorities are in the wrong place.

Hopefully, they still have enough time to mend their relationship with their kids before it’s too late.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.