Teen blocking bother’s morning shower to prioritize make-up routine backed

A post about two siblings fighting over a shared bathroom space has gone viral on Reddit, where it received 6,000 upvotes and 1,900 comments at the time of this writing.

In a post shared under the username asadblockofcheese on Reddit’s Am I Being The A**hole (AITA) subforum, one of the siblings (a 16-year-old girl) said she does her make-up in the morning “because it’s something that forces me out of bed,” and her 12-year-old brother “prefers to shower in the morning.”

According to the teenager, while she was doing her make-up one morning, her brother allegedly “blew up” and said “my hygiene is more important than your looks.”

The user explained: “We have a lot of life stuff going on right now like my mother recently walking out on us and only seeing us every few months, so my dad says that my brother is processing in his own way.

A stock image of a boy and older girl sitting outdoors with their backs to each other. A post about a teenage sister and her younger brother fighting over access to a shared bathroom has gone viral on Reddit.
iStock/Getty Images Plus

“I know I should be patient with him but he’s been driving me crazy. I care about him a lot but it seems like he doesn’t understand. Should I be more patient? AITA?,” the user asked.

A January 2012 study published in Attachment & Human Development found that “even a relatively brief separation within the first two years of life can have implications for child well-being three years later.”

The study stated that a child who experiences a separation from their mother early in life “may experience instability and chaos in other aspects of the home environment.”

The study explained that “disorderliness” in terms of family routines and the physical elements of a home (such as clutter, noise or crowding), is associated with “emotional distress and lower cognitive functioning among young children.”

An April 2016 study of students in Turkey, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Education and Training Studies, found that “female students who were first in birth order had lower life satisfaction, less positive attitude toward sibling relationships, and higher levels of loneliness than female students who were second in birth order.”

The user in the latest Reddit post told her brother that “if he cared so much maybe he should take a shower at night.” But he allegedly refuses to do so, saying “he would attract germs in his bed,” and said he needs to shower in the morning so he can go to school.

The original poster said her brother also refuses to set an alarm, so she has to wake him up. “If my brother woke up when he was supposed to his shower wouldn’t be making all of us late. We have to wait for him because sometimes his bus doesn’t arrive on time or he doesn’t feel like going to school.”

The user also said: “I know the make-up thing sounds dumb but it’s my form of self care. I struggle with depression and it’s how I stay on schedule and it’s how I feel good about myself. It forces me to put on an outfit and not go to school in what I wore to bed.”

Depression is “a negative affective state, ranging from unhappiness and discontent to an extreme feeling of sadness, pessimism, and despondency, that interferes with daily life,” explains the American Psychological Association (APA).

Several physical, cognitive, and social changes tend to coincide with depression, such as a lack of motivation and withdrawal from social activities, the APA notes.

The user said: “I’m also neurodivergent so having a tight schedule is really good for me. If I don’t I become disorganized and sloppy.”

According to the Cleveland Clinic, neurodivergent refers to people with “brain differences,” such as medical disorders or learning disabilities, that impact how their brain works.

Several Redditors shared messages of support for the original poster.

In a comment that received 10,100 upvotes, user justwanttoread123 said: “NTA [not the a**hole]. Sounds like you’ve tried quite a lot to work with his, yours, and the bus schedule.”

MagicCarpet5846 pointed out: “She’s also 16 lol [laugh out loud] it’s not like she needs to be an adult when she’s still a kid,” in a comment that got 3,900 upvotes.

User bizzybee3 agreed, stating: “Yes she is still a child, even though she’s 16! She is going through a lot as well and shouldn’t be made into [instant] mom…[Little brother] can use dad’s shower.”

User oof033 said: “It’s ironic that op [original poster] is being held to adult standards and discussing her family issues as if she isn’t going through the exact same thing…”

Newsweek was not able to verify the details of this case.

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

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