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Woman Sparks Drama By Training Her Cousin’s Twins ‘Like Dogs’ After They Get Dumped On Her To Babysit

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Babysitting for a relative’s misbehaving children can test any family relationship. But one Redditor found herself in particularly hot water with her cousin when she resorted to disciplining the cousin’s twins like dogs.

Redditor throwawayAAAAAHHHHH took her family dilemma to the AITA (Am I The As*hole) subReddit, where she asked:

“AITA For keeping my promise of training her kids like dogs if/when my cousin dumps them on me?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I’m sorry if the title isn’t accurate, I can’t think of another description to describe the ‘training.'”

“My cousin Amy (25F[emale]) has (6M[ale]) twins and has a nasty habit of dumping them onto relatives to babysit for the entire day without any warning or regard for their time. I (27F) have a very strained relationship with her but because my mom’s side of the family demands that we all remain close-knit, so I have no choice to tolerate her.”

“When she initially gave birth to them, she teased me that I’ll have to take on babysitting duty from now on. I’m no good with kids, so I remarked to her that if I ever have them, I’ll train them, not babysit. She brushed me off.”

“The kids now are hella destructive and loud. Pulling out stuffing inside furniture, holes inside walls, smashing anything glass and porcelain, screaming louder than a fire alarm, you name it.”

“When it was my first turn to deal with them, I immediately walked with them to the store and grabbed the biggest bag of M&M’s I could find and trained them so that every time they follow my orders and behave, they get one. If they misbehave, I get one.”

“Soon enough, every time the kids were dumped on me, they went with my guidelines and behaved. Whenever I say sit, they sit at the table. When I say stay, they don’t leave that spot, etc.”

“Two days ago there was a party planned with the whole extended family (I know, pandemic. Didn’t want to, but mom insisted) and I grabbed the M&M’s since the twins were there.”

“Arrived, twins were being so destructive (an entire tray of food was spilled) that all the adults had enough and yelled at Amy to control them. She vomited the same excuse of them just being kids and they’ll grow out of it eventually.”

“I shouted the twins’ names and shook my M&M bag. They came running over to me and I popped 6 pieces into my mouth for their misbehavior. I told them to go clean up the mess or no candy all night. They do so.”

“Halfway through the party, every time something similar came up or they just weren’t behaving, I was the one able to calm them down. When Amy saw what I was doing, she got angry and started yelling at me about how her children aren’t animals and that I shouldn’t be giving them so much candy anyway.”

“I told her that I’m their aunt, not their parent, why am I the one disciplining them? Isn’t that her job?”

“She screamed the same argument at me and since she’s their mother, to stop giving them candy. One of the twins overheard and went apesh*t. Dashed straight into the kitchen and started shattering anything they can get his hands on, shouting over and over that he wants candy. His twin joined him soon after.”

“I repeated that she’s their mother, and just sat in the living room watching it all unfold. At the end, Amy blamed me for them turning out this way.”

“The other relatives she dumped them on (a majority) disagreed, but when I told a friend about the situation, he told me that the training I did can really fu*k up the kids mentally later in life.”

“So, AITA?”

The OP’s fellow Redditors were asked to judge where blame belongs based on the following categories.

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

The responses were pretty much unanimous―and hilarious.

“NTA this is hilarious” —sammysmokess

“…I laughed out loud at the thought of her shaking the bag of M&Ms at them, they run over and she eats 6 😂😂”

“I’m taking notes for my own kids NTA” —RyanKennedy911

“…Op is so smart. Maybe if we started training ALL kids with treats they would behave better 😂😂😂😂” —shynerdnextdoor

“‘they’re not animals’ oh dear, that’s really not what it seems lol😂” —maroquetes

“People give my son’s dad the side eye but he trained our dog phenomenally well and my 6 year old is incredibly well behaved, too, so when people ask our secret his dad just says “Kids really aren’t that different from dogs.” He gets the side eye every time but continue side eyeing Karen cause we don’t care. Our kid’s not the one fuc*ing sh*t up lmao.” —themediumchunk

“Used M&Ms to potty train 3 boys. Would recommend 100%. Sounds like you found a great way to communicate clearly and quickly with clear results. Good for you! Any therapy they need later is on thier mom, not you.” —rockyatcal

“NTA. This is kinda funny. Shes not a good parent for not discipling them herself. You told her they would be trained. They where. At least they have a system for discipline” —Luna-Strange

“Lol in the education field we call this extrinsic motivators. Teachers do this all the time in a more subtle less obvious way ( i.e without candy.)”

“Side note- Honestly sounds like the kids need therapy. Amy is neglecting her children and thats a form of abuse.”

“NTA.” —whatsthedish

“NTA. If Amy doesn’t like you treating them like “animals”, maybe she should have come up with a better parenting strategy than just dumping them on other family members. They sound destructively out of control, too bad you’re the only one who has come up with a solution” —Majestic_Will3111


“You should try clicker training…which would eventually remove the Candy, much better for their health!”

“And seeing as they are such high energy, consider Agility Training – fun for all involved!” —blackpawed

Hopefully the twins’ mother can learn from this situation.

Written by Peter Karleby

Peter Karleby is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.