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Childfree Couple Called ‘Controlling’ For Setting Up Basic Boundaries When Nieces And Nephews Visit

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Rules are rules. And rules are different for every person and in every household.

That seems to be a life lesson lost on some parents.

That can lead to some emotional upheaval among childless friends and family.

Case in point…

Redditor Bubamara88 wanted to discuss their story for some feedback. So naturally they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for setting some boundaries in our home for visitors’ kids?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“So this issue has been going on for a few years now, and I’ll try to keep it short.”

“My partner and I, who are both in our early 30, don’t have kids. But both of us have nieces and nephews that we like spending time with.”

“We also have very different relationships with our siblings.”

“Well the issues have arisen in the handful of times my partners nieces have visited us.”

“(Even though we don’t have kids, we still have kid friendly art supplies (eg: Markers, coloring books etc… toys and so on, so that the kids feel welcome.)”

“My partner’s sibling has announced that they don’t wish to visit us anymore – because their kids (4 and 7) ‘can’t be free’ and they (the parents) must constantly keep an eye on them.”

“Because of the following:”

“Once they accidentally drew on our table, and I said something like: thats what can happen, let’s get it cleaned up and just be a bit more careful.”

“They have jumped on our sofa, where I had asked them not to do that, and explained that they can get hurt.”

“Ran around the house with a drinking glass (real glass) in their hand, where I told them to be careful or to leave the glass, and then run.”

“I would like to note that the parent saw these things happen and didn’t say anything. And that I only commented after, they stayed silent.”

“They have said to my partner ‘that my controlling behavior and need for perfection is annoying, and that we can’t expect our home to be ‘perfect’ if we have kids one day.”

“I’ve been very upset, with their view on me and our home, and it has affected my partner a great deal.”

“Note: I have the same behavior when ny nieces and nephew are here.”

“So I need an outside perspective, Am I the A**hole?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole. 

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“NTA I mean basically, it sounds like your house rule is ‘don’t mess up my stuff.’ That’s a very sane rule.”

“Would they be happy with you if you visited their house and started doing the things their kids do?”  ~ Rddtmcrddtface

“Absolutely NTA!”

“This always drives me crazy! It’s their kids but they can’t be parents.”

“All those things you described should have been corrected by the parents not you, but if they refuse to do so are use supposed to let your stuff get destroyed and their kids get hurt?”

“The self-righteousness of some parents boggles my mind.”  ~ fastsearchh

“I agree my two year old is high energy and very curious so when we go to someone’s house I end up running after him the whole time and correcting him.”

“Even at my parent’s house it’s not baby proofed and I don’t expect them to.”

“So to make things easier not including special occasions we meet somewhere kid friendly so we get a chance to visit and my son has lots of fun.”

“I don’t like parents that don’t teach basic manners to their kids.”  ~ SingleMomDrama

“I think the announcement made it super a**hole behavior. Like if you feel they are unnecessarily strict (they aren’t), then don’t go around much.”

“I know there are places that I don’t go to unless I have to because it takes a lot of energy to police every single one of my kids’ movements.”

“(Like not due to kids misbehaving or running around, just because it isn’t a child friendly environment).”

“And many times I don’t go places unless I have the energy to watch them like hawks (medical problems combined with kids being exhausting probably), but why announce that?”

“People aren’t being mean to them and I’m not going to ask that they make their home child friendly for the once a year we are obligated to visit.”

“My kids can play at their grandparent’s house still being watched because all houses have dangers, but there are plenty of places for safe play which sounds like OPs home.”  ~ DeathInParadise2007

“Absolutely NTA!”

“This always drives me crazy! It’s their kids but they can’t be parents.”

“All those things you described should have been corrected by the parents not you, but if they refuse to do so are use supposed to let your stuff get destroyed and their kids get hurt?”

“The self-righteousness of some parents boggles my mind.”  ~ s0rela

“NTA! OH MY GOD! I hate that kind of parents!! Your children your responsibility! Why they can´t educate their children?”

“They are going to do you a favor if they stop visiting you. What does your brother think about what his partner has said?”   ~ Emergency-Self911

“NTA. These are basic boundaries that should be respected everywhere and not just in your home.”

“Their parents will find out sooner rather than later than no-one will want them over if they can’t behave.”

“That includes family, school friends, events etc. Basic discipline and learning how to behave in public are necessary lessons for everyone to learn.”

“If not they’ll grow into entitled AHS.”  ~ walnutwithteeth

“NTA. The parents don’t wanna be parents while at someone else’s house, given by the fact that they remained silent while you disciplined their kids.”

“But they certainly don’t wanna be shamed for this fact by you taking up an authoritative role, and whether or not that was your intention, they certainly could have perceived it that way.”  ~ ZestyCaekz

“NTA, Do these parents not care about their kids safety?”

“Growing up every parent tells their kids not to do these things because like you said it’s dangerous.”

“You don’t want them to get hurt, especially in your home, and that’s a very valid reason to set these rules.”

“You aren’t being controlling at all you’re being responsible.”  ~ cami310

Parenting is hard enough, but parenting other people’s kids and parenting parents is nigh impossible.

It’s an emotional minefield to chat with parents about the behavior of their children. And clearly there is no perfect way to do it.

Hopefully our OP feels the support from Reddit and hopefully the adults in this story can find common ground.