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Dad Irate After Sister Compiles List Of Everything His ‘Uncontrollable’ Son Ruined At Her Home

Boy having a tantrum
Camille Tokerud/Getty Images

Whether we enjoy being around children or not, we’ve likely all met at least one child who was difficult, if not impossible, to be around.

From the volume of their voices to the number of items they unapologetically break, it’s exhausting, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Educational-Aide-572 was struggling to enjoy inviting her niece and nephew to her home because her nephew had a long history of intentionally destroying her property.

When her brother called her out for excluding her nephew, the Original Poster (OP) decided to make it clear where her reservations were coming from.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for sending my brother a list of every item of ours that my nephew ruined?”

The OP’s nephew had a bad habit of destroying other people’s things.

“For context, I (25 Female) have a niece (Bella, 7 Female) and a nephew (Michael, 10 Male). They’re my brother Alex’s kids. I love them both but I have a much closer relationship with Bella.”

“Michael is a good kid, but he is a ticking time bomb. He is absolutely uncontrollable. I’m his aunt and I love him, but I really can’t have him around for long.”

“The last time he was in our house, he poured my nail polish collection onto my wife’s favorite silk Persian carpet. And that isn’t even one percent of the damage he has done.”

Michael’s behavior was impacting the OP’s relationship with the rest of the family.

“My wife (27 Female) and I recently bought a villa out of town. It has a game room, pool, and many things Bella adores.”

“So we offered to give her a tour of the place and let her check out the rose garden there if Alex and his wife agreed.”

“Alex said either both Michael and Bella were to be included or none of them were going.”

“My wife and I both insisted on only taking Bella, but he was not having it, so we said we would just go by ourselves.”

This latest arrangement led to a serious argument.

“Alex got really mad at us and said it was disgusting that we favored Bella because she was a girl and that we were both hypocritical and unfair to Michael, and never included him in our plans.”

“I told my brother that Michael was an uncontrollable kid.”

“He had the audacity to ask what Michael had done.”

“I told him I’d let him know (I’ve told him the items over the years as it happened but he always said it was an accident and that Michael’s a boy and boys play rough).”

The OP decided not to hold back on the list of damages.

“I made a table including every item my nephew damaged in our house and the estimated cost.”

“It included a few of my wife’s antique vases, her glass statue of the Eiffel Tower, Persian carpet, several of my wife’s crystal decorative items, and two phones (he flushed them down the toilet). Even the mirror of my car. I sent the list to Alex.”

“He is now extremely angry with me and thinks I am being an arrogant person, and taking after my wife’s trait of being an uptight rich kid.”

“I am not talking to him at the moment.”

“Was what I did AH territory?”


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 understood the OP’s concerns and thought the nephew needed assistance.

“NTA. This is out-of-control impulsivity. Michael needs a proper evaluation by a professional. This sounds like ADHD and possibly ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) on top of it. OT (Occupational Therapy) changed my son’s life after we finally got passed the ‘he’s just a high-strung little boy’ and got a proper diagnosis.”

“If your brother and SIL keep ignoring the issue, I would pull a YTA thing and call the school and issue an anonymous complaint about his behavior. Hearing there may be a problem from a professional and not his sister may be an eye-opener. This could be Michael crying for help and not knowing or understanding how else to do it.” – gingerred81

“The stupid sexist ‘boys play it rough’ apart, flushing two phones down the loo, and spilling a WHOLE COLLECTION of nail polish on a carpet are by no means results of ‘playing it rough.’ These are deliberate attempts to cause harm.”

“OP, NTA in relation to the kid, and YTA just to yourself and your wife for not resolving it earlier.”

“It seems that this kid has been behaving inappropriately for quite a long time and you did not say anything to your brother until now. I hope you at least said something to the kid when he flushed the phone to make him know these things are NOT DONE:”

“I’d bet you hate this kid, I definitely would. It may not be his fault but that of your brother’s bad parenting but I wouldn’t want to be around him much if he behaves that way.” – Prangelina


“While I understand your brother’s point about both kids or none, and I generally tend to agree in most cases, this is not the same.”

“So long as you’re not leaving out any damages your niece has done, this clearly isn’t about a gender preference. This is more of an actions have consequences situation. While it might feel unfair to Michael, this is the opportunity for his parents to teach him to behave better in other people’s homes. I also don’t think it would be fair for the niece to be denied things due to her brother’s behavior.”

“Also, people need to be more realistic in life. Don’t ask a question you don’t truly want the answer to or can’t handle the answer to. As well, you can love your kids and still understand where they may have faults. Instead of ignoring there’s a problem, work to fix it.” – petty_penny_pincher

“NTA. The key takeaway is that he’s not your child.”

“It sounds like you and your wife have chosen a child-free lifestyle, which is fine. Because of that decision, you and your wife live a particular way, which is also fine.”

“What’s not fine is a grown adult expecting someone else to ignore their child’s bad behavior. Especially when said child is destroying your property.”

“Children that grow up without consequences struggle as adults in society.” – HippieFarmer22

“NTA, if someone’s kid ruins your stuff that person should replace the destroyed item. No questions asked.”

“My concern for your nephew is worth noting. Michael is being allowed to act inappropriately by his parents (or maybe just your brother?) and THAT is also favoring one child over the other. They are allowing him to act poorly because ‘boys will be boys’ so they are enabling that nonsense.”

“Beyond that though, have they had Michael assessed for ADHD, behavioral issues, etc? There might be something there to find that could help him.”

“I worry about the language Michael might be hearing as well. Saying he is ‘uncontrollable’ is saying he is ‘bad,’ and I highly doubt he is unaware of your feelings and I also highly doubt you’re the only people who’ve said such things about/to him.”

“This can be very damaging for a child. And while his behavior is not good, there is most definitely a reason for it that his parents haven’t unearthed.”

“Honestly, his parents are the A H in every sense here. To you (and anyone else who has damaged property from their son). But most importantly to their own kids: first to Michael because they are failing him by not getting to the source of his behavior and making it better for him, and secondly, to Bella as she most definitely sees and feels the inequities in how she and Michael are treated.” – manonaca

Others were suspicious Michael behaved this way because of the OP’s view of him.

“Possibly YTA.”

“How is it that Bella is played out to be a perfect little angel while Michael is completely out of control, to the point where you are referring to this 10-year-old as ‘a ticking time bomb’? How do you treat these kids when you’re around them?”

“It sounds to me like you drastically favor Bella and have for a very long time, and that Michael knows it. The behavior Michael is displaying is right in line with a child trying desperately to reach out for attention. He’s so unhinged that you can’t keep him under control while guiding him through a new house…? But his sister is a perfect angel?”

“The dad denying Michael’s behavior, and the fact that Bella is so well-behaved, has me highly suspicious that his outbursts are directly related to you and your treatment of him. Sounds to me like you don’t like him so you don’t pay attention to him when he’s over, so he tries to make his own fun and ends up breaking stuff while you’re doing something else.” – bushpotatoe

“Didn’t even have to finish reading to know YTA.”

“You overtly favor your niece and snub your nephew. You sound like you need to go to therapy for your cruelty to BOTH of those kids. You have decided Bella is the golden child and that her brother isn’t worth your time.”

“Do you ever think that he acts out more around you because you ignore him? Do you think maybe you are excluding Michael because he is male? Maybe you should think about why you have labeled Micheal as the problem child instead of investing in a relationship with him.”

“YTA. Just to be clear YTA. All day.” – GolfSignal9401

“YTA for thinking you can invite one kid and not the other. That is not ok, regardless of the damage the one has done before. The reason for the kid’s unruly behavior might be complex, and being excluded by another family could make it worse.”

“NTA for making a list of damages done by a kid and sending it to a parent when you agreed to do this beforehand… However, I don’t understand how you watch these kids since they’re able to wreak so much havoc in front of you?” – FlowerOk3892

“Overall, I don’t think YTA. However, I do understand why your brother was so angry about you insisting on leaving Michael behind and only taking Bella to see the Villa. For that reason alone, yes, YTA.”

“Yes, Michael is destructive & while that’s not acceptable behavior and should not be condoned, he is still just a child, and to blatantly leave him out will truly do some long-lasting damage.”

“Also, if Michael is truly as much of a ‘ticking time bomb’ as you say he is, why isn’t he supervised more closely? I just don’t really understand how he has managed to break/ruin so many different items unless he is truly left by himself for a long enough period of time. That being said, he is ten, and he should be able to be left alone in a room for a short period of time without causing so much trouble.”

“I would definitely ask your brother to sit down and have a serious conversation with you about your Nephew. I think if you come at it from an angle of concern rather than anger or frustration, it will go a little bit more smoothly. However, just know that your brother may react defensively at first because after all, that is his child, and he may feel like you’re attacking Michael.”

“If something can’t be done to remedy the situation, perhaps you could spend time with Michael and Bella somewhere other than your home. (The park, arcade, etc.)” – Not-your-mom96

Everyone in the subReddit could understand the OP’s frustrations with items being ruined, one after the next, when her nephew visited her home, but they were more divided on how the situation was being handled.

Most felt that Michael needed some form of evaluation to see if there were underlying causes for his behaviors, but some thought that favoritism could be playing a part, as well, between the OP and Bella, or even his parent’s excusing his behavior with ‘boys with be boys’ talk.

No matter what the underlying issues were, it was clear that Michael needed more attention, whether it was specific attention that would help him learn new coping strategies or simply attention at all.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.