It can be difficult navigating your role as a step parent figure in a child's life, and one woman is worried she's upset the family dynamics by straightening her boyfriend's 11-year-old daughter's hair.
The woman explained in a Reddit post that she was straightening her own hair when "V" came up to her and asked if she could straighten her hair too.
"I asked her father, who said it was fine, so I did," she reasoned.
However, the next day, she received an angry text message from V's mother, who was furious.
"Apparently, V had been bugging her mum to do it for a while and her mum had told her no," she said. "I told her that V's father had said it was okay, and she snapped back at me that I should've gotten permission from both parents before doing this."
Assuring the woman that she didn't realise and wouldn't do it again now she is aware, it didn't help the situation, with the furious mum telling her to 'use her brain next time.'
"I really don't see this as too big of a deal," she admitted. "I didn't do anything permanent to her hair, she can simply wash it and it'll be back to normal, and there was no heat damage at all to Vs hair."
"Even so, I feel bad that I crossed a boundary with V's mum, even though I didn't know there was one," she said, adding both her and the girl are white. "AITA for straightening V's hair?"
The responses were mixed, with most agreeing that she did the right thing by asking her father, and that by 11 a lot of kids are starting to make their own decisions about their appearance.
Others said they think she was using her daughter's hair as an excuse to confront her, and there could be some unresolved feelings about him dating a new woman.
"It's just weird controlling behaviour. It's not about hair," one user wrote.
"If her father has unsupervised visitation rights, then he also has the right to okay a temporary hairstyle," another user commented. "As well, if the mum has a big issue with it, she should have taken her complaint to him. It really sounds like she just wanted an excuse to have a confrontation with you so she could lob some insults at you."
"Now that you know she just wants to tell you off, you shouldn't bother talking to her anymore," they continued. "If she has a problem, it's between the father and her work it out."