Dad Praises Boy Twin for ‘Finally’ Liking a Manly Hobby


dad and son working out

Being a parent is somewhat complicated. If we're trying to navigate parenthood to more than one child, we have a lot more nuances we have to consider. Trying to be fair with our time and our expectations is one of those parenting things we rarely talk about. We have to divide our time, and with only so many hours in a day, that can be a real challenge, and sometimes we make mistakes.

  • One dad realized he messed up when he was caught treating his twin boy differently than his daughter.

    In Reddit's AITA thread, an anonymous dad (OP) shared the story of an argument he had with his wife regarding his twins. "I (52M) am the father of 3 kids, 15F, 7F, and 7M. The last two are twins and are very close, having the tendency to copy each other. I love and adore them all equally," he wrote.

    He added, "My son is not a very masculine kid, and is less interested in some of my hobbies because of this. He has always preferred whatever his mother and older sister did, like baking or dancing."

    The father has no problem with that. "I love him as he is, but to be honest, I'm slightly disappointed that we haven't had the kind of amazing father-son bonding that I got to have with my Grandpa (my Dad died when I was pretty young) when I was a kid," he wrote.

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  • OP has been spending more time at home lately, and he's noticed more about his twins. 

    "Since I'm at home almost all the time now, I've been seeing just how feminine his interests have gotten," OP wrote. "Asking to help cook every meal, helping his older sister alter second-hand clothes, and playing pretend. He's even asked to have his sister paint his nails. I'm not upset or bothered by it, but it isn't typical for young boys."

    He continued, "I've been working out at home instead of at the gym because of our current circumstances, and when my son came in while I was lifting weights in the family room, he showed an interest in it."

    The boy "was excited about the idea of having big muscles, and tried out some of the 5lb ones. Even though he mentioned being like She-Ra (from some new Netflix reboot, I think?), it was still progress in my eyes and it seemed like he was showing interest in masculine hobbies," he wrote. "I praised him and did the whole 'wow, you're so strong!' thing in kid-talk to encourage him."

  • OP says his other child came in, because the twins are often together, and it caused a conflict.

    He wrote, "When his sisters walked in, the twin (7F) joined in. Like I said, they have the tendency to want to do what the other is doing so she expected the same kind of 'wow, so strong!' stuff. When I wasn't as enthusiastic with her and focused on my son, my oldest got annoyed and asked why I was treating them differently."

    He admitted this is where things started to go wrong. "I explained to her that because he hadn't taken interest in these kinds of masculine hobbies before, I wanted to foster his own identity as a boy separate from his twin sister. She accused me of being misogynistic for this! She then said that I was TA for making his sister feel weaker and implying that I didn't approve of his feminine interests."

    His oldest child told her mom what happened, and she wasn't happy either.

  • "When she told my wife (41F), she also blew up at me, saying I was acting like a cartoon misogynist," he writes.

    "Both of them are p---ed. So, Reddit, AITA?

    The people in that thread replied with strong feelings.

    "Your daughter was right. This is very misogynistic," one person wrote. "You've expressed outright disappointment that your son has predominantly 'feminine' interests (which, only girls cook? Do only girls have imaginations?? There is absolutely nothing wrong with things being feminine but those aren't even girly girl things)."

    Another agreed. "You sound like you are bothered by your son's hobbies. Let me introduce you to Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Bob Fosse .... a few very famous male dancers. Gordon Ramsey, Guy Fieri, David Chang ... a few famous male chefs." The person continued, "You are being misogynistic and you have this view of how people should be based on their genders. It's 2020 for god's sake. Support your kids regardless!"

  • OP provided an update to his post after reading the comments from the community. 

    "Hey everyone. I was 100% TA. I appreciate that some people tried to empathize and say NTA or NAH to be charitable, but I’m in the wrong here and I knew it deep down while I was writing the post. Re-reading it, I feel ridiculous for writing that all out."

    He thanked the commenters for their honesty.

    "I want to say thank you, because these comments were the objective kick in the a-- I really needed! I realize now that I was really out of line for saying that s--t and making my daughters feel that way."

    He added, "I set up a stupid false dichotomy, and my daughter was very right, I was being a misogynist. No excuse for that. I apologized to both of them and my wife an hour after I posted."