Thank GOODNESS this isn’t what everyone thought it was

Many people believed that the trending phrase “she’s 12” on Twitter yesterday had to do with our country’s president. 

Luckily it had nothing to do with politics. Here’s what really inspired the trend.

It all started when a father, Jason Ernst, presented Twitter with an interesting dilemma. His daughter Klaire, who is 12, hates her name and wants to have it legally changed to “Ace.” Ernst told Twitter that he wasn’t a huge fan of the name Ace, and suggested to his daughter that it be a nickname. Klaire was not okay with that compromise. And thus, Ernst turned to Twitter to seek out parenting advice.

Ernst began getting flooded with replies, everyone trying to weigh in with their own parenting tips. Many advised to wait until the daughter is 18 so that she can legally do it on her own, and in the meantime support her by calling her Ace.

Those who thought Ernst should call his daughter “Ace,” agreed that it was an act of support. One Twitter user went so far to point out that if Ernst belittles or makes fun of the “nickname,” it could be interpreted as him not liking who she wants to be. 

Some people did advise him to flat out tell his daughter no. Their viewpoints being that the role of a father is to “parent” and put your foot down sometimes, especially because the daughter is still so young. 

Others were alarmed that the daughter being 12 mattered at all. Most agreed that children have their own reasoning behind their decisions, just like adults, and should be respected, regardless of age. 

Some commented speaking from their own experience, either from the parent or child perspective. A grown mother and daughter pair separately replied to the Twitter thread. The daughter, Amy, wanted to change her name but her parents wouldn’t let her and she was ultimately grateful for their decision.

Amy’s mom, Lana, agreed that she thought their decision was right, but did include that Amy had given her and her husband a really hard time for it. Luckily there was no resentment between this pair over the name issue.  

This brings us to the next point of contention presented in this thread. Many parents said Ernst was risking resentment from his daughter for the rest of her life if he doesn’t respect her wishes now.

That’s a big burden for a parent. Clearly the name issue can potentially have some deeper-seeded reasoning that parents may not necessarily be privy to or aware of. 

Ernst later did  give us more backstory on his daughter, to help shed light on why he was hesitant to let her change her name in the first place. But this also highlights some of the potential processing his daughter is doing.

Ernst’s hesitancy based on his daughter’s rapid decision changing when it comes to her sexual identity, a struggle many face as they enter their teenage years, was not met by much understanding or support by the Twitter community. In fact, it sparked its own thread on the legitimacy of a teenager’s thought process.

Ultimately, most people thought this was an easy problem to avoid. The easy solution that most people agree on is to call the daughter by the name she wants to be called and move on.

This seemingly unimportant tweet became such a controversial topic for parents and children alike, propelling “she’s 12” to become trending on Twitter. It sparked discussions ranging from the legitimacy of a “child’s” reasoning, the autonomy of children and teenagers, and to ultimately what the role of a parent should look like. It’s funny to think that people who only saw the phrase “she’s 12” trending thought it had to do with politics #yikes. Thankfully there was a deep conversation being had instead. 

Parenting has never been an easy job, but luckily (for better or for worse) we now have the internet to crowdsource! What would you do if you were in this situation? Tell your child they can’t change their name, go along with the nickname and re-address the issue when they turn 18, or just go ahead and let them legally change their name?