Redditor doorcloses1 is a 16-year-old girl who considers her time after school valuable and is very selective when it comes to how she enjoys her free time.
Recently, she went to stay with her grandparents for a week since her mother was out of town.
The OP created tension when her grandmother encouraged her with a social opportunity she was not so keen on participating.
So she visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for refusing to ‘hangout’ with my grandparents neighbor?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained why she took issue with the neighbor situation.
“I’m 16f. I don’t drive yet and because my mom’s out of town for a week and I have school/extracurriculars, I’m staying with my grandparents for a week.”
“A week or two ago my grandma said that some new neighbors moved in. They had a daughter and my grandma told her about me and she was excited to meet me.”
“My grandma said I’d really like her she’s a nice girl.”
“I assumed she was talking about someone roughly my age, like 14-17, and went to a different school or AT LEAST middle school age.”
“Yesterday after dinner the neighbors were outside so my grandma talked me into going over there with her to say hi. Their daughter ‘Sasha’ is like 5 or 6.”
“Way too young for me to be friends with, it’d be more like babysitting and I don’t do that either. I work in summer just so I can make money without having to babysit.”
“This morning my grandma said ‘maybe after school you can go play with Sasha.’ I said ‘uh no I don’t think so,'”
“She said ‘why not? It might be fun and you could make a new friend’. I said ‘she’s like 5, I’m 16. I don’t want to be friends with 5-year-olds. Besides, I’ll probably have homework.'”
“She said ‘oh come on Sasha is a nice little girl. She’s just looking for someone to play with.’ I said ‘well there are other kids around here she should play with them. I’m too old.'”
“My grandma said ‘too old? Just because you’re in high school doesn’t mean you’re too old to play with a little girl. Don’t be mean.'”
“My thing is after going to school all day, and doing my homework the last thing I want to spend my free time doing is playing dollies with some kid.”
“I don’t really tell people but I don’t like little kids, I think they’re annoying and boring. Whenever I tell people they say ‘it wasn’t that long ago you were a little kid’ so telling my grandma would be pointless.”
“If my grandma had said ‘Sasha’s parents need a babysitter for the night and they’ll pay you,’ I’d probably suck it up and do it. I feel like they just want a playmate for her though or for me to keep her occupied for free.”
“AITA for refusing to play/hangout with Sasha?”
Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Many Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole here.
“OP, I’m sorry you are NTA. Your grandmother is simply wrong, it’s not ‘mean’ to not be willing to ‘play’ with a 5yr old. Teenagers don’t ‘play’ anymore. Do your homework, use your free time how you like.”
“If the little girls want a babysitter, it’s on them to discuss with you and pay you. I don’t know how old your grandmother is, but she’s out of touch at the very least.” – coloradogrown85
“You have the freedom to decide with who are going to be friends with, and besides that YOU ARE 16 YEARS OLD A TEENAGER, AND SHE IS 5. What on earth have 5-year-old and teenager to talk about and do, besides play with dolls for her or something.” – Awkward_Afternoon307
“NTA tell your grandma there is this nice 27-year-old that needs friends so you will hang out with them instead.”
“If she has a problem with that point out that a 16-year-old trying to be friends with a 5-year-old is the same age difference as a 16 and 27-year-old.” – Tankernaut02
“It would have been N A H had your grandmother just suggested it. There are a lot of ‘mothery’ or ‘future teacher’ types of teens who actually like to play with little kids.”
“My sister was one of them — I learned how to read and do math at age four because every day after school my sister would come home and we’d ‘play school’ where she taught me everything she learned that day.”
“And your grandmother probably just feels a little guilty that you’re stuck at her house for a week with no one your own age to hang out with.”
“Since you already said no and your grandmother keeps pushing it, though, she’s being an a**hole. Maybe just tell her you’re too busy with homework etc.” – SamSpayedPI
“NTA. She’s 5 years old. You’re 16. You can be nice to her, sure, but as ‘friends’ you would have virtually nothing in common. You don’t watch the same shows, play the same games, or have the same cultural references. Your grandparents are inappropriate to expect a teen to hang out with a kindergartener.” – MmeHomebody
“NTA. It sounds like your grandma is trying to be friendly to the new neighbors and offer you up as free babysitting. If your grandma keeps pushing this subject, remember that No is a complete sentence.”
“You don’t have to tell your grandma you don’t want kids, or try to explain why it’s weird for a high schooler to play with a five-year-old, just say ‘No thanks’ and change the subject or walk away. You don’t need to engage or try to explain yourself.” – PearlStreetBlues
“NTA. What teenager wants to play with a little kid when they are tired and drained?! Tell grandma that maybe she could play with Sasha, because SHE could make a new friend, and being a senior citizen doesn’t mean she is too old to play with a little girl.”
“Even if this kid was your age, you can’t force friendship.” – SoybeanArson
“NTA she doesn’t actually want you to be friends. She told the neighbours that you could babysit for them without asking you and now she is trying to manipulate you into it so she doesn’t have to go back on her word.”
“That’s why she tried to guilt trip you first but when that didn’t work she revealed that they needed a babysitter for the night. At least that’s what I think is happening.” – BigWeinerDemeanor
“Older kids playing with children can look suspicious when it’s not babysitting. It’s normal to not want to do this. Curious about how the neighbors feel about this. Surely they can’t be pleased with such a thought.”
“Because I would wonder as a parent why a grown kid would want to play with my precious baby. And it wouldn’t happen. Babysitting off the table for anybody grown enough wanting to play with dolls with my child.”
“Grandma can try to play with the child if it means so much to her. NTA.” – pensaha
“NTA – I didn’t like kids when I was your age and I’m close to 40 and still don’t like kids. Some people change their minds some don’t.”
“If I had a dollar for every time someone told me I’d change my mind when I got older I’d have a lot of losing lottery tickets by now… but there is nothing wrong with not liking kids.”
“Don’t be an a** to them, don’t talk about other people’s kids like they are vermin or fungus and if you must have God children or nieces and nephews I hope you’re lucky and they live across the country. So much easier to just send presents.” – Aligirl520
“NTA – That is a large age difference for kids in their developmental years. Heck, when I was younger I was really close with my older cousin (who is about three and half years older than me).”
“When I was 13 and she was 16/17, we didn’t hang around as much, because, at that age, the difference was noticeable. Now we’re adults and the gap is irrelevant again.” – Ok-Acanthaceae5744
“NTA, although I agree with not phrasing it to your grandmother as ‘I find Sasha annoying, ugh, little kids’.”
“But some variant of ‘I am on the verge of graduating high school and Sasha is barely out of diapers, expecting me to babysit is one thing but a friendship isn’t possible’, repeated calmly and respectfully as needed, should do the trick.”
“Chances are good that without you there she will go ahead and find her own peer group naturally so that on your next visit this problem will have resolved itself.”
Overall, Redditors thought the OP’s antipathy towards children was not something to be criticized for.
Not everyone is kid-friendly, and Redditors continued stressing that those who don’t enjoy the company of children don’t deserve shaming or made to feel guilty.