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Woman Ends 3-Year Relationship After Noticing The Way Her Partner Disciplined Her 7-Year-Old Daughter

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family of three playing at home

A woman is considering if she made the right choice to end her relationship after finding a problem with the way her children were being treated.

Posting to the subreddit r/Parenting — an online forum where people can seek advice about struggles they may be having with their children or family — she shared that her partner recently treated her youngest daughter in a way that, as the young girl's mother, she didn't agree with.

She ended her 3-year relationship after noticing the way her partner disciplined her daughter.

In her Reddit post, she explained that she and her partner have lived together for the last two years. She has a 9-year-old and 7-year-old daughter, while he has an 11-year-old daughter. Up until recently, all of them got along as a family.

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On the 4th of July, they were all playing outside and the woman's 7-year-old daughter had been fooling around with some Pop-Its when she suddenly threw one that landed pretty close to their dog.

"I tell her to stop & she did it again. She's a very good kid, but she is barely 7 and still learning. I definitely have a more gentle approach, but still don't let them get away with stuff. He is more stern," she revealed.

As punishment, she said her partner had walked up to her daughter, pulled out the pocket of his jeans, and made her hold onto it. She was forced to follow him around their backyard, and while he would sit down, the 7-year-old would have to stand next to him.

Photo: LightField Studios / Shutterstock

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After some time, she told her partner to stop and that her daughter has learned her lesson by now. "He tells her to give him a kiss on the cheek. She says she's not comfortable with that before I can even speak (good on her!) and then he says ok a kiss on the hand. I interject and say no, think of something else."

Frustrated, her partner ended up sending her daughter to bed, which the woman insisted she was not fine with.

She accused her partner of trying to embarrass her daughter.

Later on, she confronted her partner, and he argued that he was only trying to teach her daughter the value of "humility," but she rebutted that he had been trying to straight up "humiliate" her instead.

"Kiss his hand like he's an emperor or something? Heck no," she remarked, clearly put off by his tactics when it came to disciplining her daughter. The two proceeded to get into a heated argument, which ended up with her putting an end to their relationship.

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She recalled the look on her daughter's face, which she claimed was a straight-up call for help when her partner was disciplining her.

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"I am not about to let anybody affect my kids like that. I just won't. We haven't spoken since and I'm just in my head second guessing breaking up our family over this," she admitted. Concluding her post, she remarked that she's looking for "validation" on if she did the right thing by putting her children first.

Disciplining children can be a sensitive and complex matter, especially when it involves the children of a partner or spouse. To make sure that boundaries are being respected, communication is key.

Both partners should always engage in open and honest discussions about their parenting styles, expectations, and boundaries. This dialogue helps create a solid foundation for discipline and ensures that both parties are on the same page.

While it is possible to have a say in the discipline process, it is important to respect the primary parent's authority.

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Many people in the comments section agreed that she wasn't acting unreasonably by breaking up with her partner.

"You did the right thing. Beyond the right thing. You are saving your kids. That's beyond weird and creepy," one Reddit user wrote. "This gives me bad vibes all around and you and your kids deserve better."

Another user agreed, writing, "You are absolutely not wrong. Humiliation is a form of cruel and unusual punishment and should never be used as a form of discipline for a child."

"At the very least he's not respecting her boundaries and making contact with him as a consequence for misbehavior, and that's gross and inappropriate. Good on you for getting your daughters out of that situation," a third user chimed in.

While every family is unique, and what works for some may not work for all, it's universally important to maintain open communication and have mutual respect when it comes to being in a relationship with someone who has children.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.