A pair of sisters have been blasted as “cruel” after making their stepsister sleep on the floor of a hotel room while traveling to attend her grandfather’s funeral.
Writing in a Reddit post shared under the handle u/Fill-AD53467, the young girl’s father explained how, in an attempt to keep the peace, he ended up booking his daughter her own hotel room in response to their snub.
But while his wife and two stepdaughters accused him of “playing favorites” many online felt that it was the stepsisters who overstepped the mark.
It’s an example of the kind of conflicts that can arise within a blended family. Each blended family is unique, but studies indicate conflict can arise when teenage daughters are involved.
A 2013 study from Brigham Young University, which included 1,088 children, aged 10 to 16 years, from households with a mother and stepfather, concluded boys tended to have better relationships with stepfathers than girls do.
Research published by academics from the University of Virginia also found adolescent girls in stepfamilies were more likely than boys to disengage from their families.
This particular bust-up occurred while the family was traveling back from his father’s funeral.
Originally, the plan had been for he and his wife Chantelle [name changed] to share one hotel room while his 16-year-old daughter Jenny [name changed] and her 17- and 19-year-old stepsiblings shared a room with a “large” bed with “enough space for all 3 girls.”
But at around 11 p.m. he said he got a call from Jenny who was “crying and sounded like she was arguing with her stepsisters.” When he asked her what was wrong, she said they had “insisted that she sleep on the floor.”
When he then went to their room to investigate the issue further and ask his stepdaughters why Jenny was being made to sleep on the floor they told him it is “better this way … we’re more comfortable this way.”
Rather than react, he simply told Jenny to grab her things as he was “booking her a hotel room.” According to the post, his two stepdaughters “both looked upset” at this while his wife was similarly furious.
“She said I wasted money and that Jenny could have sucked it up for one night on the floor,” he wrote. “She told me I showed the girls that I’m ‘playing favorites’ and made my stepdaughters share a room while I gave my daughter an entire room for herself.”
Chantelle was left seething at her husband’s response but Sheryl Dennis, a parental coordinator and family law attorney, felt she was failing to “grasp the significance” of the fact both her husband and stepdaughter had lost a father and grandfather.
“Even if they were not close, this is still a major life event that can have an emotional impact,” she told Newsweek.
“Perhaps it would have been thoughtful to have a friend of Jenny’s go with her so that she could have the support of a peer, as it appears the stepsisters were neither supportive nor understanding.”
She added: “The mother should be apologizing to both her husband and stepdaughter for her complete lack of forethought and understanding.”
Even so, she felt having the three teenagers share a single bed in a single room was a recipe for disaster. “At a minimum, the room should have had two beds and a roll away bed,” she concluded.
While Dennis was willing to make some concessions to the two sisters embroiled in the dispute, others on social media were less forgiving.
One Reddit user, posting as _neontangles commented: “Your stepdaughters were trying to live up to the Disney depiction of step-sisters and were shocked when they couldn’t just bully her into getting what they want. What’s extra gross is that they did it when coming back from her grandparent’s funeral. Talk about cruel.”
Others, like Lethik, were confused as to why there was an issue, writing: “The stepsisters got what they wanted, but were upset that the person who they took advantage of was accommodated.”
Any-Blackberry-5557, meanwhile, concluded: “The bullies would have each taken a bed and still bullied Jenny and tried to force her on the floor,” they said.
“Even if there had been three beds, I think there’s no scenario with them unsupervised in the same room they wouldn’t have found a way to make her miserable.”
Newsweek has contacted u/Fill-AD53467 for comment.