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10-year-old tries to ‘parent trap’ her folks into getting back together

Life is not a Disney movie and her parents, though sympathetic, aren't into it.


Siobhan Ball

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 1, 2020   Updated on May 19, 2021, 7:04 pm CDT

Kids generally want their parents to be together, but one Redditor’s 10-year-old appears to have taken things to a new extreme. Now, her mother is slightly concerned about what’s coming next. “I (27f) think my daughter (10f) might be parent-trapping me and her father (27m),” the mother posted in the subreddit r/relationships.

In her post, the mother explains that while she and her daughter’s father are friends and co-parents, they haven’t been together as a couple since their child was two. As teenage parents, they were dependent on their own families for financial support. Unfortunately, his parents didn’t like or approve of her, so they gave Dad an ultimatum: End the relationship, or get completely cut off.

Despite this complication, the father has apparently always been a good and involved parent, and there’s no bad blood between the two of them.

Recently, the little girl asked why her parents broke up. Seeing as her meddling grandparents are now dead, she didn’t see why her parents can’t get back together. They attempted to explain that they’re better off as friends, but so far she doesn’t seem to be buying it. In fact, she appears to be scheming.

The three of them have always had a weekly family dinner at home, but now the child is insisting they all go out to a restaurant and get dressed up. Meanwhile, she’s been dropping hints to each parent about how nice the other looks. She also asked her dad to put mistletoe up so she could try and trap her parents under it together. The little girl even put “a baby sister” on her list for Santa this year.

A little worried, her mother naturally turned to Reddit for advice. Is this normal? How does she break it to her gently that Mommy and Daddy are never getting back together? Just how concerned should she be?

The good folks of r/relationships were quick to reassure her that yes, this is very normal and not at all a problem unless it escalates.

That said, several users advised the mom to reaffirm, clearly and patiently, that the child’s parents will not be getting back together. It might take a while, but eventually she’ll get the message.


Some commenters got derailed by OP’s assertion that 10-year-olds are too young to have master plans because boy, do they ever. One Reddit user shared that when they were eight, they wrote anonymous letters to their parents, pretending to be from a secret organization and instructing them to get a dog.

Tragically, it didn’t work.

People on Twitter, on the other hand, had somewhat harsher suggestions. One person said, “Remarry the guy. Fight daily for like 3 years, divorce, and she’ll TOTALLY forget about trying to get you guys back together.”

Probably don’t do that, OP.


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*First Published: Jan 1, 2020, 6:41 pm CST