As they say, “kids will be kids”.
But that doesn’t mean that children should always get away with no consequences for bad behavior.
As it’s vitally important that they learn right from wrong sooner rather than later.
This is particularly true if their behavior is being harmful to others.
Tensions were rising for Redditor aunttired67, after her sister and niece moved in with her.
Largely owing to the fact that her niece’s behavior was almost literally destructive, leading the original poster (OP) to finally lose her temper.
Worried that her behavior was uncalled for, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for calling my niece a spoiled effing brat and making her cry?”
The OP explained how she wanted to be helpful to her sister and niece after they found themselves in an unfortunate situation, but her niece’s behavior made that increasingly difficult.
“My (22 F[emale]) sister (28 F) recently had to move in with me because she’s getting a divorce and has nowhere to stay.”
“She has a daughter (7F).”
“I live in a two bedroom apartment so it’s cramped and tensions are high.”
“My niece is terrible to be honest.”
“She screams all day long at the top of her lungs.”
“I work from home so I have tried to get my sister to get her to stop, but she’s so depressed from her divorce that she struggles to get out of bed.”
“I have asked my niece to quiet down myself but she just smirks at me and continues playing and screeching.”
“I have gotten reprimanded at work for it.”
“She also recently broke my laptop.”
“I made it clear to both of them that my niece is not allowed to use my electronics minus the living room TV.”
“Lo and behold, niece got her hands on my laptop to play games on it, spilled milk all over it, and ruined it.”
“I was furious but my sister paid to replace it so I let it go.”
“I have tried many times to talk to my sister about this being unacceptable but keep getting blown off and told to let her grieve in peace.”
“I do feel bad for her so I was doing my best to just put up with it.”
“Today I came home from errands to find my niece playing on my Nintendo Switch.”
“Mind you this was kept in my room so she must have gone in there and looked for it.”
‘Annoyed, I held my hand out and told her to give it.”
‘She ignored me.”
‘I called for my sister to take care of her daughter but she was asleep and told me to leave her alone.”
“So I just grabbed the Switch right from my niece’s hands and took it back to my room.”
“She started screaming and crying and literally rolling on the floor but I ignored her.”
“Well she decided that was just not acceptable so she took a Sharpie and drew all over the living room wall.”
“When I saw it, I freaked tf out!”
“I told her she’s a spoiled f*cking brat.”
‘She started screaming and crying even worse which finally woke my sister up.”
“She came out and instead of being angry and scolding her daughter for her behavior, she scolded ME for yelling at her and calling her a spoiled brat.”
“Not my proudest moment, but I yelled at my sister that I was being kind by letting them stay with me rent free and I was being treated like absolute sh*t in return.”
“She wasn’t parenting her child, and I wasn’t going to parent her child for her, so she needed to get her shit together and her daughter under control or they could find somewhere else to stay.”
“Her daughter was not only getting me in trouble at my job, but had no respect for my personal belongings, and now I was probably going to lose my security deposit because she doesn’t accept the word ‘no’.”
“My sister started crying, called me an AH, and she and my niece haven’t come out of their room.”
“I feel bad now.”
“Prior to this incident, I have not raised my voice at my niece a single time.”
“I have tried to have talks with her about respecting my home and my things but she couldn’t care less.”
“She also laughed when I cried over my broken laptop.”
“Even then, I did not say a single word to her, I talked to my sister.”
“I have tried to have conversations with my sister about niece’s behavior only to be guilted and told she was going through a hard time.”
“Niece has always been like this even before the divorce, though I’m sure such a devastating life event has made things worse for her.”
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 agreed that the OP’s behavior was completely justified, and was not the a**hole for yelling at her niece.
Everyone agreed that the OP’s niece was much too old to be behaving the way she did, and her sister needed to step up and stop putting her own feelings over her daughter’s, who the Reddit community agreed was likely acting out as a result of the divorce.
“Don’t wait too long to make her leave.”
“Right now you are risking your job and apartment.”
“I’m sure your neighbors aren’t too happy about the screaming.”
“Now the niece is damaging your property and apartment, costing you money.”
“Your sister needs a wake up call to get her and her daughter help.”
“But you can’t be expected to destroy your own life because of her divorce.”- DPRRJM
“Let them sulk in the one room, solves a lot of your problems.”
“Her grief over her divorce doesn’t absolve her from being a parent.”
“She needs to get her shit together.”- skidoo1033
“I have young kids- at 7 they absolutely know right from wrong.”
“Your sister is letting the situation ruin her life, and is maybe unwittingly using it to take advantage of you.”
“Divorce sucks- but if a kid is involved she needs to stay strong for the kiddo.”-ConfidentSeaweed949
“I’d have kicked them out already.”- Reddit-Username-JR
“Niece is screaming to get attention from her mom because mom is wallowing in her depression.”
“I get it.”
“Her marriage is over & it sucks, but her daughter needs to be her priority.”
“That means getting her a** out of bed & being being an effing parent.”
“I understand your sister is depressed but she’s not helping her daughter.”
“”Her daughter needs her mother to be present and help her process this.”
“And you need your work so that you can pay for your apartment.”
“They both need a wake-up call.”
“If they don’t improve, then send them packing.”
“Meanwhile, you should put a lock on your bedroom door.”- FlyingFlipPhone
“Your sister is living rent free and basically expects you to look after your niece while she just sleeps all day?”
“I think she needs an ultimatum because the the longer she stays the worse your living situation will be.”- SpeedBlitzX
“Don’t feel bad.”
“This is one instance where I don’t care that she is a child.”
“I don’t care that it is family.”
“When her kid’s bad behavior start’s to cause you problems at work and damage to a an apartment that you are legally responsible for it is time for them to go.”
“Your sister is a parent who isn’t parenting her child.”
“I don’t care if she needs to time to grieve her divorce because her child still needs to be parent.”
“If she isn’t capable of doing it then she needs to send her to her dad’s for awhile.”
“I’m sorry but 7 is old enough to know it’s not ok to write on walls.”
“The fact that it was done on purpose because OP didn’t give into her screaming makes it worse.”
“What she did is by definition brat behavior.”- Such-Awareness-2960
“Pack up their things and tell them to find another place then get out.”
“Tell the princess that she’s not the first to go through a divorce, and won’t be the last.”- chinua333
The OP later gave an update to her plans regarding her current living situation.
“I am going to set a date for them to leave once things calm down a bit.”
“I will also talk to my sister about therapy for both of them.”
Going through a divorce is a very hard experience for everyone in the family.
But, seeing as the OP’s niece’s behavior wasn’t much different prior to the divorce, it seems fairly clear that she was long overdue for some strict discipline.
Something her mother, not the OP, will have to enforce on her sooner rather than later.