Dad's Viral Post Shows How Good Parenting Can Mean Being The Bad Guy

by Mike Julianelle
Originally Published: 
Image via Facebook

Dad wouldn’t let his daughter have the backpack she wanted, but he still paid for it

It sucks to be the bad guy, but sometimes good parenting means just that. Clint Edwards found out the hard way when he had to withstand his daughter’s tantrum after he wouldn’t let her have a backpack at Barnes and Noble.

Because she already owns it.

Popular dad blogger Clint Edwards shared an experience on his Facebook page that most parents are familiar with, after he took his daughter to Barnes and Noble and she spotted something she just had to have.

While helping his eldest daughter shop for a book, Clint’s 3-year-old saw a Peppa Pig backpack she couldn’t live without.

“She chanted “Peppa” over and over while holding the stupid thing to her chest, swaying side to side, her face soft and sweet. It was the face kids are born with that make a parent melt.”

Unfortunately, it’s a backpack she already has at home, so she certainly doesn’t need another. Good luck telling her that!

“I explained to her that she already had the same bag at home, but there was no reasoning. She was three. Sometimes it works, but in that moment It felt like I was reasoning with a goldfish.”

Dad was trying to get his kids out of the store so they could go swimming, but little 3-year-old Aspen wasn’t going to make that easy.

“I was faced with two decisions as a father. I could buy her a toy she already had, something impractical, but would save her melting down at the store. Or I could take the bag from her and risk an epic meltdown.”

He did what he had to do, despite knowing what was going to happen (“It was her job to be a turd about it.”) and he bit the bullet, prying the backpack from her hands (which wasn’t easy, thanks to “her freakishly strong grip”) and getting her out of the store all while enduring a stage five meltdown and wondering if he was blowing this whole parenting thing.

“I got her in the van. I got her calmed down. And once it was all said and done, I looked at her in the backseat, and wondered if I’d done the right thing.”

We’ve all been there.

The broad strokes of Clint’s story are likely familiar with anyone who’s parented young kids. There’s nothing about this gig that’s simple, especially when it involves making your kids unhappy in the now for reasons that may or may not be clear to them later.

“Yesterday, I reinforced a boundary. I said, “no.” I disrupted a quiet bookstore to do it. I got a little embarrassed. But looking back now, I know I did what was best for Aspen’s overall development. It sucked. But I did it.”

So much of what we do, we do on blind faith, hoping we’re doing the right thing but not always knowing in the moment if we are. This situation is a perfect illustration of that struggle. Aspen didn’t know why she didn’t need another Peppa Pig backpack, and she was probably hating on her dad for a little while when he wouldn’t let her have it. But sometimes being a good parent means being the bad guy.

He sums it up at the end of his post.

“Parents make these decisions everyday. And it’s never easy. But if you are reading this, and you’ve faced something similar, I get it. We all do. It sucked, I’m sure. But you most likely did what was best for your child, and that’s a wonderful thing.”

This article was originally published on