It’s a parent’s job to look after their children, which includes making sure that they are eating a healthy balanced diet.
As much as children would likely prefer to eat nothing but potato chips and candy, making sure they also eat protein, fruits, and vegetables is vitally important.
As a result, parents are tasked with finding a clever way of getting them to eat these foods, as forcing them to eat foods they don’t like or depriving them of their favorites will likely not work as easily as they would like.
Nor should parents ever deliberately make their children feel bad about their choice of food.
The brother of Redditor Mylastnamebecake wasn’t pleased by what their daughter was eating at a recent family gathering.
So much so that he even resorted to scolding and name-calling.
Something the original poster (OP) simply would not tolerate, making no effort to hide her displeasure with her brother.
Fearing she may have been out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for calling out my brother’s comments to my niece in front of all his children?”
The OP explained why she felt compelled to stand up for her niece after the way her brother treated her at a recent family gathering.
“My (25 F[emale]) Brother, B (39 M[ale]), came over to my Mum’s for his birthday last week.”
“He brought over my sister-in-law (SIL) (36 F) their 3 children M(11 F), Z(9 F) & N(3 M).
‘I’d done a whole buffet of food and had probably gone a bit over the top, but we don’t see each other as often as I’d like, and it was a celebration.”
“Everyone loved the food, and everyone ate their fill, but B kept calling out M.”
“He kept making disapproving comments telling her to slow down and asking her if she was going back for more.”
“When she grabbed herself a second cupcake, he said, ‘Put that back, little piggy.'” She put it down and looked like she was going to cry. She then went and sat in the corner away from everyone and wouldn’t really engage in anything after that, despite me trying to get her to join in.”
“B, Z & N all had multiple cupcakes, and it really bothered me he’d called M out.”
“I put some leftovers into boxes for them to take home and told M that I’d put an extra cupcake in there for her.”
“B’s response was, ‘she doesn’t need it. Look at her, the little porker’.”
“M isn’t fat.”
“She’s put on some weight recently, but in the way kids do before they have a massive growth spurt.”
“I told B he was going to give her a complex, and I told him that comments like that lead to disorders.”
“He said he was just looking out for his kids.”
“I’m not a parent. I do understand that he needs to teach them to be healthy.”
“I said as long as you have a balance, you can eat like this sometimes.”
“He looked uncomfortable and tried to lighten the mood with ‘well, at least she’d be skinny,’ and my response is the reason I think I am the AH.”
“I said, ‘Yeah, maybe she’ll be so skinny she’ll be dead.'”
“Everyone went quiet, apart from my youngest two nibblings who were tormenting my cat under the table.”
“They took their leftovers and went. B sent me a text later saying he was really mad about the way I handled things.”
“I shouldn’t have questioned his parenting and that he’s considering if I should be at his wedding.’
‘My SIL hasn’t commented, and I’ve not responded to my brother.”
“Mum thinks I was an AH, but my heart is in the right place.”
“My brother has never struggled with an ED, whereas I’ve had trouble with eating since I was 12, so this is a sensitive subject.”
“AITA for calling him out like that?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for standing up for her niece.
Everyone concurred that the OP’s brother deserved to be called out and that the way he was treating M could lead to her getting an eating disorder.
“If he keeps going like this, his kid is gonna have some heavy mental problems regarding weight and eating if that hasn’t happened already.”
“You don’t fricking call your own kid piggy etc.”
“Also, kids tormenting your cat?”
“You might not be a parent, but since you had first-hand experience with an ED, your input might be a lot more valuable in the matter.”
“Pretending that just because someone is a parent they can do no harm and foul towards their offspring is top shelf ignorant.”
“The world is full of broken and abused people whose parents just ‘had the best intentions’.”- Iothil
“This is a prime example of how to ensure your kid has an eating disorder.”
“My dad has made little comments about my food/weight in the past, and it’s extremely hurtful, especially in front of others.”- nurse-ratchet-
“He’s not parenting; he’s bullying.”- MerlinBiggs
“Not only did you speak up, but you also spoke up in front of your niece.”
“Now she knows she has an ally in you.”
“Your brother is a major AH calling his daughter names like that.”
“Even if he thinks it, he should never say something that cruel out loud to a child.”
“WTF kind of father does that to a kid.”- snchills
“He is abusing her.”
“Calling her piggy is verbal abuse.”
“Why seems everyone be okay with this in your family?”
“‘At least she be skinny’ …. my f*cking blood boils.”
“It is also MORE likely to get fat if you have a bad relationship to food.’
“He is teaching her nothing.”- CakeEatingRabbit
“You go, OP.”
“Someone needs to stand up for your niece.”
“The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.”
“Girls are vulnerable to body image issues (yes, boys too, but more so girls), and having your dad call you piggy isn’t exactly nurturing.”
“You have personal experience in this area, and you’re trying to help your niece.”
“He’s sulking because your words landed.”- stropette
“Sorry, but f*ck your brother (no disrespect to you), but this gave me flashbacks.”
“ED is coming if it’s not already there.”
“If he says these things in front of you, I don’t want to know what else he says to her in the safety of his home.”
“NTA and thank you for standing up for your niece.”- Popular-Block-5790
“My uncle told me I was fat when I was ten, and it was a major part of the early destruction of my self-esteem.”- F*ckUGalen
“Thank god you stepped in when your brother was verbally abusing his daughter.”
“You may be saving her life.”
“I hope you can still be there for her – she’s lucky to have you.”- SnooRadishes5305
“He needs to understand that comments like that really have a huge impact on what you eat and what you don’t and lead to ED, especially when such comments come from people who matter a lot to you.”- Sweet-Sour-Candy
“I’m a mandated reporter.”
“If this was a pattern of behavior, I would report it for emotional abuse.”
“I work in children’s mental health, and his behavior is reprehensible and despicable.”
“Please keep in touch with M and keep a close eye on your bro’s treatment of her.”
“He is setting her up for an eating disorder.”- Electrical-Extent-92
“What is the honest f is wrong with your brother?”
“He is destroying his own daughter’s self-esteem when she is at such a young age?”
“If he is worried about her putting on weight, there is a much better way to handle this.”
“I would have decked your brother the second he called he daughter a piggy and shamed her into putting food back.”
“The fact that his wife didn’t say anything makes me feel like this is normal behavior for him to berate his 11-year-old daughter.”
“Makes me wonder how he acts when he is with his wife and kids home alone.”
“Does he go out of his way to do activities with his kids and show them healthy eating practices?”
“Is he a picture of health, or would you consider him overweight and/or out of shape?”-if_only_i_r_smart
The OP eventually returned, sharing how she planned to deal with this worrisome and serious issue.
“I’m reading through comments now, and it’s making my heart hurt a little bit.”
“Thanks to everyone for comments wanting the best for my niece. it’s all I want to.”
“I was under no doubt saying something was the right thing to do, but was worried about the way I said it.”
“I’m going to text my SIL so I can sit down with the pair of them soon and talk through this, as I do think my brother is clueless as to what he’s doing.”
“I’ll happily tell him he’s a d*ck.”
It would be one thing if the OP’s brother simply felt his daughter had too many cupcakes and asked her to stop.
But no parent should ever call their child “piggy” under any circumstances unless they somehow want their child to have serious eating and self-esteem issues.
One can only be grateful that M has an ally in the OP.