Families are typically encouraged to help each other, especially where there are children involved.
But that doesn’t mean that entitled behavior is okay, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor b3ani3_b***h was taken aback when her sister and mother both lashed out at her for not forcing her son to give up his favorite childhood toys in order to provide toys for her six nieces and nephews.
But when her sister said insulting things about her son, the Original Poster (OP) was furious.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not giving my sister my son’s old toys?”
The OP’s young teen loved his Beanie Baby collection.
“I (39 female) have a 13-year-old son.”
“My son has a pretty extensive collection of Beanie Babies, some inherited from my childhood and some that I have gotten for him over the years.”
“They were always his favorite toys as a little boy. He built a little cardboard village for them, and each one had their own job and relationships within the community.”
“It was very cute, and I loved to hear his stories about what new escapades the Beanie Village was getting up to.”
“As he has gotten older, he claims that he doesn’t play with them anymore, but I suspect that Beanie Village is still an active township (I’ve heard him doing voices every once in a while).”
“My husband says he doesn’t see the harm in it, comparing it to my sister’s older daughter playing the Sims, and I’m inclined to agree with him.”
The OP’s sister inquired about her donating some of her son’s toys to his aunt’s family.
“A few days ago, my sister called asking if Benji had any old toys that I could give to her.”
“I said I’d check with him and see if he had anything he’d be fine with letting go.”
“She seemed a little surprised that I would even ask him.”
“I went into his room and asked him if he’d be willing to give up some of his old toys.”
“He went to the shelf and took down some Breyer horses and went into his closet and pulled out a bunch of stuffed animals that were crammed in there, with the exception of Sheepo, his old stuffed sheep.”
“I asked, ‘Are there any Beanies you don’t need anymore?'”
“He said, ‘Welllll, I guess I could look…’ but the expression on his face was a definite no.”
“I said, ‘No worries if you want to keep them, this is plenty.'”
“He brightened up instantly.”
“I thanked him and took the box of toys to my sister’s house.”
The resulting conversation was shocking.
“She immediately asked where the Beanies were.”
“I said, ‘This is what he gave me. I think it’s a decent amount of toys.'”
“My sister started telling me about how the last time she and her family had come over, her younger daughter had loved playing with Benji’s Beanies and begged her to get her some for her birthday.”
“I said, ‘Beanies aren’t too expensive. Maybe you could just get a couple for each special occasion so she can build a collection like Benji.'”
“She then called me selfish and my son immature for not giving up his ‘baby toys.'”
“She then said that my husband and I were raising a socially stunted child who still played with dolls.”
“I dropped the box of toys at her feet, told her she was welcome for the free s**t, and drove home.”
The family lashed out.
“I was so upset at her entitled behavior and insults to me and my son.”
“Benji overheard me venting to my husband and is now saying that he feels bad for not giving her any of the Beanies.”
“My mother called me and said I was being selfish and that my sister has a greater need than Benji does (my sister has 6 children).”
“Am I the a**hole for not giving away my son’s favorite childhood toys?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said there was nothing wrong with allowing the son to enjoy his childhood things.
“NTA at all. Your sister sounds entitled and you shouldn’t care what she has to say about raising your child.”
“Let your kid hold on to ‘childish’ things as long as he can. The majority of our life is spent being an adult let him enjoy being a kid.”
“I still have a stuffed animal that I was given at birth and at this point, I’m so old that thing could be considered an antique.” – keesouth
“He’s 13 for god’s sake!! He’ll grow out of them eventually, but d**mit, it’s hard being an adult! Let him be a child as long as he can, OP!!”
“And if he does not grow out of them, he still should not feel guilty or selfish for not giving them away! All of my childhood plushies, dolls, and tea set are STILL in the closet of my childhood bedroom at my parents’ house, but my boyfriend gets me plushies for Valentine’s Day, and also have a goodbye plushies from one of my students when I left tutoring.”
“I am 23 and will never give up my plushies!!! Now, I’ll end up passing them down to my children when I have some.” – bigheadscorpio
“My son is turning 13 in July and he has no problem going into make-believe land for his 9-year-old sister. It doesn’t hurt that he’s in theater at school and this showcases all his ‘accents.'”
“I don’t mind because there are days where she is lonely and wants him to play and he usually obliges for a while and then goes back to his own thing.”
“I know the time is coming where he’ll want nothing to do with her and her pretend time, so I let them have it.” – Allalngthewatchwer
“Benji may very well grow out of the need to play with his beanies, but that doesn’t mean he will give them away. He will keep them and look at them from time to time, smiling from the fond memories.” – KarenMaca
“Never grow out of them! I still have some and as an adult still buy stuffed animals and action figures. H**l, my husband loves to spoil me when he can and will buy me some when he sees something I’ll like.”
“I have a pet Deathclaw stuffed animal named Z he got me and she’s my favorite. He also got me Appa and some Pokemon to add to my collection. They all have their own personalities.”
“Y’all hold onto that joy for as long as you can and don’t let people put you down for what you like.”
“Now, OP, please make sure you let your son know he should not feel guilty. And let him know he does not owe your sister anything.”
“And whatever you do, please please make sure she doesn’t try to reach out to your son directly to try to get his collection by guilting him. Cause she sounds entitled as f**k and she could try that or maybe using your parents?”
“Talk to your son and let him know it’s okay and hopefully this will be a learning experience in boundaries for him and that no is a full sentence. Then he can go back to his best life with his toys.” – PruePiperPhoebePaige
Others confirmed how precious those Beanie babies might be to the OP’s son.
“I’m 57. I still have ‘Tiger.’ He’s a stuffed toy cat with almost no fur and missing one eye. It is in my will that when I go in the coffin, he goes with me.”
“You only have to grow up if you WANT to.” – Infamous-Cellish8008
“I’m 38, and have ‘First bear’ (not the most creative named stuffed animal) that my parents gave me at birth, he sits on the corner chair in our bedroom.”
“In my office, I have ‘Slap the Monkey’ a build-a-bear monkey in a Calgary Flames Jersey that my best friend made for me when I was going through a rough time.”
“They’re precious to me. Not even my kids will get them.” – canadian_maplesyrup
“I still have my baby blankets, a stuffed rabbit I was given when my dad went overseas in 2002, a music box that plays my grandpa’s favorite song, and a couple of other keepsakes from childhood, and I’m almost 30.” – KeyKitty
“I’m 38 and still have a blanket my Great grandmother made for me, and my 14-year-old son has a blanket his great-grandma made for him (my grandma).”
“Both unfortunately passed away so my youngest didn’t get anything from them, but he does have a fox stuffy that was the first thing I bought for him when I found out I was pregnant that he absolutely won’t part with.” – Competitive-Candy-82
“I think there are some toys you never truly ‘grow out of’ because they were precious to you as a child (or you just like collecting them *side-eyes R2-D2 shelves*).”
“I still have my favorite childhood toys and I can’t imagine just giving them away.”
“I might pass them down to a nibling (niece or nephew) at some point, but until then nope, not happening.” – shallanelprin
The subReddit was fully in support of the OP being sensitive to her son’s interests and what he was willing to part with.
They also encouraged the OP to let her son enjoy his childhood and his Beanie babies for as long as he could, because he would be an adult much too soon.
Not to mention, the fond memories contained in those Beanie babies might just be enough for him to want to maintain a permanent collection that his aunt and cousins truly had no rights to.