Stepfather Admits to 'Locking Up' Teen Stepdaughter’s Baking Supplies Because She's 'Very Large'


Top view of woman hands holding dough on wooden cutting board

Being a parent is hard, and knowing how and when and what is the right thing isn’t always straightforward. We have no rule book to follow, just some societal guidelines, and it’s a challenge for even the best parent. Add in the factor of stepparents, who have to play the line between friend and confidant and parent, and it can get muddy at times. For one stepdad, he may have overstepped that line when he admitted to "locking up" his teenage stepdaughter’s baking supplies because he was worried about her weight.

  • A stepdad took to the AITA Reddit thread to ask the community to weigh in on a situation that happened at home.

    The stepdad started his post with some background on his relationship with his stepdaughter.

    "I'm the step father of a 16 year old girl, 'Beth.' I married her mom when she was 14, but I've known her since she was 13," he wrote. "I don't have any kids of my own, so I don't always know what I'm doing, but I try my best not to parent or discipline her too much because I'm not in the position to. I let her mom take that role and I don't want to over step boundaries, but I also try to be there for her as a father, since hers isn't in the picture. We've had a good relationship, more friendly than father-daughter, up until recently."

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  • He continued saying that he’s been "worried" about her weight for some time, but he always thought it was a "genetic thing."

    That was until the lockdown happened. Once he started working from home and "Beth" has been home from school, his concerns over her eating habits grew.

    "I notice how much she actually cooks for herself. She's good at it, but she makes things like homemade donuts, deep fried pickles, fried chicken, and other unhealthy things," he wrote. "I asked her where she learned to cook this, and she said YouTube since she can't get food anymore."

  • He was worried about "Beth’s" health, so he spoke with his wife about his concerns. 

    The stepfather wrote, "I talked to my wife about it, and she said she'll handle it. Beth keeps doing it." He continued, "She'll make enough homemade donuts to feed 4 people and eat it herself. This is NOT helping her, despite my wife saying she's perfectly healthy."

    "My wife said that it's best not to push her or she'll develop an eating disorder," he said. "I think something needs to be done."

  • That’s when he says he decided to step in, even after his wife told him not to.

    The stepfather said that after he spoke with his wife, and she told him to stay out of it, he took action anyway. "I just started locking up oils, butters, sugars, whatever she uses to make this stuff and requiring her to ask permission to use it," he confessed.

    He admitted that after locking up the baking supplies to keep his stepdaughter from accessing it without needing to ask, both Beth and his wife are "angry" with him. His wife said he's "shaming her and need to mind my own business."

    He finished his post saying that he's conflicted and feels like they’re trying to make a point of the situation "at the expense” of Beth's health.

  • He wanted to know if he was in the wrong for "getting more strict with her eating," and people chimed in.

    One person quickly pointed out where the stepfather went wrong. "You start by saying you don't want to overstep, then move into describing how you're locking up food. You're overstepping. Your actions will make this worse. YTA."

    Another commenter agreed. "Yeah, locking up food is a huge overstep IMO. There are plenty of other ways to open up a healthy conversation about her eating habits. This definitely won't help though, it'll just breed resentment."

  • And more people offered their two cents.

    Another commenter gave perspective from another side. The comment read, "if you care about her actual health you'll stop this. Talk to her about healthier alternatives and try cooking with her. Teach her healthy things that are tasty too. You're setting her up for a lifetime of issues with this."

    The commenter continued with some personal advice. "I was a chunkier kid who had my food locked up and monitored. Unhealthy foods were ridiculed and regulated. Protein shakes were for the adults (even when it was my food I bought) which made everything worse. I could only eat at meal times or when snack requests were granted. I get so nervous now with my partner that I can’t eat unless she’s eating."

    "And don't shame her for what she eats," another person wrote. "Locking up the food and being hyper critical of what she eats won't change her behavior, if anything she'll just eat more in secret which could contribute to binge eating. The fact that your wife her mother doesn't agree with what you're doing and has ASKED YOU TO LET HER HANDLE IT, is the only thing you should be doing."

    Another person commented, saying that things can get worse, and more dangerous. "Yes, but shame is not an effective motivator. She likely has disordered eating, but she hasn’t started to hide it yet. And that’s when it can get REALLY dangerous."

    Hopefully, the stepfather will respect the mom’s wishes going forward, and they can find a healthier way to ensure their daughter isn’t doing anything to harm herself long term.