Though it’s often frowned upon to meddle in someone’s parenting decisions, sometimes it is alarmingly clear their child is being led astray.
That was the situation faced by one Redditor, who shared their experience in a post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as advanced_tiger879 on the site, shed light on the specific parenting area right in the post’s title.
“AITA for giving my 13 yo niece tampons”
OP first painted the picture of a household struggling with communication.
“So backstory my sister is embarrassed to talk about anything of this sort. Periods, sex, birth, vaginas, all of it is just an off limits convo for her.”
“So when my niece got her first period naturally like most mothers do she called me to come explain to her daughter what a period is why she’s getting it and how to manage it.”
OP felt stuck.
“I obviously didn’t want to do this as it wasn’t my job but I did because somebody had to for the poor girl who was absolutely freaking out as to why she was bleeding.”
“Originally I just gave her some pads told her there were other options but to start out with pads were probably best.”
Eventually, her needs changed.
“She’s had it for about a year now and she came to me a few weeks ago and said she was embarrassed because the first few days were heavy and she would always leak at school and have blood on the back of her pants.”
“Her mom would tell her it was her responsibility to get the stains out so she was always trying to get them out.”
Again, OP felt she had little choice.
“I told her the best ways to do it and that sometimes it’s just a lost cause but then I proceeded to give her tampons.”
“I explained the whole thing to her and didn’t even think about it again.”
Of course, no good deed goes unpunished.
“My sister found out when going through her backpack and she found some and she was completely pi**ed off.”
“She claimed it wasn’t my place to give them to her and that I was ‘taking her virginity’ by telling her to use them.”
“I don’t feel like what I did was wrong because my niece knew she couldn’t go to her mom about it and she was being made fun of at school for leaking and she couldn’t get the stains out of her pants all the time.”
The whole thing left OP reflecting.
“In hind sight I probably should’ve asked my sister or gave her a heads up that I did it but when I first had the talk with my niece my sister didn’t want to know anything I told her because those conversations are ‘inappropriate and embarrassing’…”
“…so I didn’t figured she’d want to know but she’s determined that I am the a**hole.”
“So Reddit, AITA??”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
After a few responses came in, OP felt the need to clarify something.
“ETA: For those wondering why my sister is embarrassed about it. We were raised super religious and my mother was the same way so we were never allowed to talk about it growing up.”
“When I got my period I learned about it because I asked my best friends mom (who wasn’t super religious) I broke away from the religiousness when I turned 18 and I’m not embarrassed about it (cause it’s not embarrassing) which is why my sister called me to talk to her.”
Nearly everyone who responded assured OP she hadn’t been an a**hole, not in the slightest.
“HOLY SH** NO NTA…ALSO YOUR SISTER IS EMBARRASSINGLY UNINFORMED ABOUT HER OWN ANATOMY”
“Seriously seriously seriously you are not at fault that your sister fell down 500 flights of parenting stairs and hit her head at the bottom. She should be stepping up, NOT TRYING TO SLUT-SHAME HER OWN DAUGHTER OVER USING TAMPONS(???!!!!!)” — Ke-Ro-Li
“Oh for pete’s sake, tampons don’t ‘take virginity’ and I lose patience every time someone spouts that ignorance.”
“You advised your niece on the best way to deal with periods and a heavy flow. Good for you.”
“Your sister can hush up and be inappropriately embarrassed by herself. Don’t even think you did anything wrong as you didn’t! NTA” — ParsimoniousSalad
“NTA. Parents can’t neglect responsibilities they have for their children and then get mad when others pick up their slack. You did good OP.”
“Plus the whole virginity argument kinda makes me think your sister is either kinda crazy or possibly kinda crazy religious.” — GarlicMayosaurus
The shocked responses just kept flying in.
“Oh my god you are SO NTA. Your sister needs a wake up call, acting like it’s a crime that she leaked through a pad when she’s still trying to learn about periods.”
“JFC I’m 34 and it can still happen to even the best prepared of us!! You did a lovely thing helping your niece, and I would continue to advocate for her to your sister.”
“Your niece needs someone she can ask questions of and her mother clearly won’t do it so good on you for stepping up.”
“Tampons absolutely are not ‘taking her virginity’ that’s so laughable. I used tampons from the get go because pads are uncomfortable and inconvenient. It’s an individual decision and if she wants to use tampons her mother should not have a say in it.”
“Access to these things is literally being discussed as being added as a human right by the UN.” — d1zz186
“NTA. No you’re not an A H because your sister is almost pathetically dim. How exactly is a tampon supposed to ‘take’ anyone’s virginity? Is basic human anatomy a mystery to your sister along with basic parenting?” — Moggetti
“NTA your sister should not have had children if she is unwilling to be honest and supportive about what it is to have a human body. Your niece is lucky to have you in her life to love and support her!” — bodybywine
Unfortunately, if nothing changes, it looks like OP may have more pseudo-parenting to take on as her niece continues to grow up.