Teenager gives dad an ultimatum over his ‘misguided’ camping trip plan: ‘You don’t force bonding on someone’

A teen is upset with his father for forcing him to drag along his possible future stepbrother on a camping trip. 

He shared his story on Reddit’s “Am I the A******? (AITA)” forum. He and his father had been planning a cross-country camping trip for years. But now that his dad has a new girlfriend, the father wants to bring her son on the trip. Now, the teen no longer wants to go. 

“I’m 17. I graduate high school in May,” he wrote. “Since I was a freshman, my dad and I have planned on going out west camping for two and a half weeks to Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming. Last summer, we were discussing it and my 15-year-old brother Jed seemed interested. He asked my dad if he could come, and my dad later asked me if that was cool.”

“I said it was fine since I want to spend time with Jed too before I leave for college. Last July/August, my dad started dating Bonnie. She’s nice and everything, and she also has a 10-year-old son, Toby. I don’t really do much with him because we’re not into the same things, and it feels like unpaid babysitting more than anything.” 

The problem arose when the father wanted to bring Toby along on their camping trip. 

“Yesterday, Jed and I were by our dad’s,” he explained. “He said, ‘How would you guys feel if Toby came along on our camping trip? We could maybe hit some amusement parks so he’d have fun too.’ Jed looked at me, and I said, ‘Um, I wouldn’t want him to. I mean, it’s supposed to be just us. He doesn’t even like that stuff.’ My dad said, ‘He might be your stepbrother one day, so you should get to know him more.'” 

I said, ‘Fine, but if he’s going camping, then I’m not. I left and went back by my mom’s because my dad will keep bringing something up/discussing it until you just agree, and I didn’t feel like dealing with it. When my dad brought Jed home, he apparently talked to our mom. My mom talked to me and said that Jed doesn’t want to go either if I’m not going. My dad already put in for vacation time and made reservations, so ‘maybe I should just go.'”

Redditors felt the father was wrong on this one. 

“You don’t force bonding on someone,” a person wrote

“Your dad is so misguided. It’s going to be miserable for everyone involved,” another said

“Ruining a trip you’ve been looking forward to for years is the worst possible way to get you and your brother to bond with a potential stepsibling,” someone added

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