Any parent can agree that raising children is full of responsibilities and challenges.
But some parents don’t seem to take it seriously, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, or they don’t allow their kids to be kids.
Redditor Dangerous-Work6020 was uncomfortable with how his brother and sister-in-law were raising their oldest son, who had a questionable amount of responsibilities in their home.
But when they prevented him from getting a summer job so that he could be at home to care for his younger brothers, the Original Poster (OP) knew he had to do something.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for giving my nephew $1000?”
The OP was frustrated on his nephew’s behalf over his unfulfilled summer job.
“My 17-year-old nephew got the short end of the stick in the sense that he’s the oldest kid in his family, and his mom and dad (my brother) force him to be his younger brothers’ caretaker.”
“He really doesn’t have anything of his own and has to share everything.”
“This summer, he wanted to get a summer job to make his own money, and his parents punked him on it, because they can’t afford camp for the younger four kids. He was really upset over it.”
The OP decided to hire his nephew to help him out.
“I’m just a single guy and do well financially.”
“I asked him if he wanted to make me a cake and lasagna (he likes to cook) and I’d pay him.”
“He did a pretty good job, and I paid him $1000. That’s about a third of what he’d make working part-time in the summer.”
“I was just looking for an excuse to give him money. $1000 isn’t a lot to me.”
His nephew’s parents were incredibly indignant over the funds.
“Later, his parents told me I shouldn’t give a 17-year-old $1000 in cash and that it was irresponsible.”
“They asked me what he was going to buy and I said whatever he wanted.”
“They asked me not to do it again because he’ll expect that every time.”
“But since then, they have said it would be nice if he did something nice for his brothers…”
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 suggested the OP find a more secure way to give his nephew money in the future.
“Do this young man a favor and help him get a bank account that is just for him to put his money in.”
“It’s parents like these that would expect him to use his money on his siblings or to help out around the house. I fully expect them to ask him to pay for his siblings’ camp so he would be free to get a job.” – Jdpraise1
“NTA and actually a sweet thing to do. Maybe set up a savings account so that you can put money in there (80/20 so he has a little, ‘walking around money’) every time you want to do this for his 18th birthday. Teach him the value of saving as well preparing for the future.” – oxiraneobx
“NTA, you paid him for a service. You should encourage him to start saving up to move out so he’s not their defacto child-minder, hampering his own aspirations for the future.” – TCTX73
“Oh for f**k’s sake, they’re gonna steal his money. (Calling it now). Open an account for this kid immediately that his parents can’t touch.” – Aberrantkitten
“They want his money for the other kids now? You should really listen to the advice of many people here about opening an account for him that his parents know nothing about.”
“If you can do it, deposit money whenever you have it to give, so he can have a savings cushion, cause it sounds like he really needs to bail out at 18. It also sounds like he will need help.”
“I really hope they haven’t pressured him into sharing the money or giving it to them. Perhaps opening a bank account quickly will give him the best chance to keep the money. Or tell the parents that he gave it back to get them off his case.”
“Either way, it really sounds like he might need your help soon in order to escape from being an unpaid nanny. You’re NTA.” – Thatloudlunarchick
Others agreed and were concerned about parentification and financial abuse.
“NTA. They’re making parent his siblings and not even entertaining the thought of paying him or being parents themselves.”
“I hope he asks you to let him move in when he’s 18 and can leave. This is how people end up wondering why their eldest doesn’t speak to them!”
“Refusing to allow him to earn his own money so he can finally own something of his own… That’s messed up.” – artic_fox-wolf1984
“NTA. It’s totally up to you what to do with your own money. The fact that a person who is very soon to be an adult isn’t allowed to get a summer job to make their own money seems a little messed up, and it sounds like the parents have their personal interests involved here.” – onewildboar
“NTA, because they are parentifying him and also taking away his ability to make money in his own free time. He needs someone like you.”
“If they don’t like it, then they should let him work. Otherwise, keep doing things with him and paying him what you want. He will probably really enjoy having one-on-one time with you, not being responsible for his siblings. You give him hope in his life.” – Big__Bang
“Have a talk with his parents about the fact that parentification is child abuse, and preventing him from working could constitute financial abuse, especially when paired with trying to bully him into spending the money on their other children (financial abuse and parentification combined!).”
“Offer the kid a place to live as soon as he turns 18.” – MariaInconnu
“I wish I’d had an adult like this when I was a kid taking care of my younger siblings. Even if he doesn’t have the time to do what he wants to now that he has some cash.”
“It is 110% up to you what you decide to do with your money and I hope his parents lay off of him.” – tfydb
Some also hoped that the OP would help his nephew move out as soon as possible.
“NTA. If you can, please try to support this kid in more long-term ways.”
“Look out for him suddenly deciding he ‘doesn’t want’ to go to college, or leave the area, or work full-time, or move out yet.”
“His parents WILL try and use him as long-term free childcare, and he might not be able to advocate for himself yet.” – DazzlingAssistant342
“May I offer a more useful suggestion? He’s actually fast approaching 18 meaning that his parents can only manipulate him financially if he doesn’t have a way out. With this in mind, perhaps you could give him a way out if it at 18.”
“You can offer him a safer place where even if he gets a job, he’ll finally be able to not lose time behind babysitting his younger siblings and actually work to earn money and focus on his studies…”
“NTA. You might not be his parent but being his parents doesn’t make them right either, but in this case, you were trying to help him out.” – SnooSuggestions2288
“Yeesh. They definitely want to keep him under their control because if he gains too much independence, then lose their free babysitter. They seem pretty gross.”
“Obviously, you aren’t obligated to do anything, but maybe you could invite him to stay with you once he’s 18 until he’s able to establish himself?” – frustratedfren
“NTA. You are watching out for your nephew who is being used for free labor.”
“Set aside some funds for him in a UTMA or similar so he can escape when he’s old enough. Let him know you are doing it so he has some hope that things will improve.”
“Lazy parents suck and just generally p**s me off.” – Muther_Of_Tuna
“So they use him as a free babysitter, make sure he can’t get a job, so it’ll be harder for him to be independent, and now that he got some money his parents want him to use it on the other kids?”
“You realize how messed up this is, right? I hope you help him move out when he turns 18.” – MageVicky
“I hate parentification with vengeance.”
“Hope this awesome person helps his nephew move out and find his own path, be it studies or other professional qualifications. And I hope nephew will feel zilch filial duty to user-parents.”
“Not having any work experience is a soft way to hinder a young person’s independence.” – No-Royal-8309
The subReddit was appalled on behalf of the OP’s nephew, his living situation, and how difficult it would potentially be for him to move out of his parents’ house.
Since the OP had already indicated that $1000 was very little money to him, it would make sense that he might be able to help his nephew grow a savings or move out as soon as he turned 18, assuming that was something he was comfortable doing.