It is important to be honest with children, at least to a degree.
Not calling them out for poor or unruly behavior will not do them any favors in the long run.
But there are certain things that they might be better off not knowing, at least until they’re older.
And even then, when it’s time to tell them the truth surrounding these matters, it’s important to do so delicately.
The four-year-old nephew of Redditor throwawayrdt05 made clear that he knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up.
Something the original poster (OP)’s wife wasted no time in telling him would never happen, leaving the little boy heartbroken, his parents furious, and the OP shocked.
Not quite as shocked as her wife, however, who was outraged that she did not come to her defense.
Wondering if she handled the situation as well as she could have, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for mocking my wife and not defending her?”
The OP explained why they had trouble coming to her wife’s defense following the way she treated her nephew.
“I am honestly mostly shocked and confused.”
“But basically my little brother (28) and his wife (29) and their kids were having dinner at my house with me and my wife (both late 30s FEMALE).”
“Their eldest son is about 4 and is very happy and absolute fun to be around.”
“He’s always talking and I adore it.”
“Admittedly, my wife isn’t a huge fan of kids but she knows how much I love my nephews and my brother and his wife so she compromises (the same way I compromise with her having her homophobic mother over very often).”
“Anyways, so we had eaten dinner and were sitting down in the living room.”
“I put on my nephew’s favourite movie which is Coco.”
“He kept telling us how he wanted to be a singer like the main character (Miguel) and would sing along and perform every song.”
“My wife didn’t look entertained but she was involved and talking to us so I didn’t think there was an issue.”
“Well he kept singing this one song and my wife slammed her cup of tea on the table and yelled at him to shut up and proceeded to say that he was a terrible singer and would never be like Miguel.”
“He obviously began to sob and ran to his parents who were furious.”
“They told my wife that if she had an issue with his singing she could’ve told them and they could’ve distracted him.”
“Then they left.”
“My wife looked at me and laughed saying that she was just telling the truth but I wasn’t having it.”
“I told her that she was a massive bully and had no right to speak to him that way.”
“She told me to chill the fuck out and she was just doing the world a favor by crushing his dreams.”
“She said this as a joke but it didn’t sit right with me AT ALL.”
“I guess I made a face of disbelief and shock because she sounded so cruel to me and asked her if she was proud of herself and sarcastically said ‘because boy am I glad my wife crushed my little nephew’s dreams!'”
“She told me to ‘stop mocking her’ and then called me dramatic and an over sensitive b*tch who should defend her and take her side as her wife.”
“She’s never called me that before and now I’m wondering if I was wrong to mock her and not even attempt to defend her.”
“But also why was she taking so much pride in what she said?”
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 was in no way the a**hole for mocking her wife and not coming to her defense.
Everyone found the behavior of the OP’s wife appalling, agreeing that she deserved anything but an apology, with a few even wondering why the OP was married to her.
“So to salvage the situation she expected you to take her side when she bullied a 4-year-old?”
“Everyone keeps commenting on nephew’s age, which is important yes, but…wife is in her late 30s?”
“OP she’s allowed to not like children but she’s old enough to know that her bullying a child is absolutely not okay.”
“The fact that it’s your family should encourage her to be a touch more patient and kind.”
“Especially if she expects you to tolerate her homophobic mother with no qualms.”
“Please don’t apologize to her.”- alexxyloo666
“She BULLIED a 4 year old. and she laughed.”
“My question is: why are you with someone who could be cruel to a member of your family, one who cannot stand up for himself and is the most vulnerable ,and calls you a “b*tch” for calling her out for what she is?”- RndmIntrntStranger
“Your wife, however, is a big AH.”
‘Kids can be annoying.”
“That’s their whole entire existence.”
“They don’t know any better yet.”
“And I’m ok with them being annoying because they’re human.”
“Your wife, if she didn’t want to hear him, should’ve took the high road and walked out.”
“Slamming her cup down and crushing his spirits reeks of ‘I want attention’ tantrums.”
“Not only should you have mocked her, you should’ve cursed her out til the cows come home!”
“If she didn’t like it, tell her to sleep in the guest room until you care.”
“Your brother and wife did the right thing in protecting their son.’
“In fact, and I hate to say it, if your sister in law would’ve popped her one, she wouldn’t have been wrong!”
‘A adult taking out their frustrations on a kid is classic bullying and she needs to be put in check.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t come back over entirely or not when she’s home.”
“What a piece of work!”-IndependentBid1854
“Seriously, I gotta ask how do you feel that your wife would be abusive to a child like that, then turn around, laugh about it then excuse her behavior because ‘it’s the truth’.”
“You ok with all of that?”
“I can tell you’re not because what you said here.”
“You know it is terribly wrong.”-aPataPeladaGringa
“Your wife is a massive bully and this has major red flags.”
‘Not wanting or not wanting to be around kids is one thing, but being downright cruel to a toddler is another level.”
“She also had a perverse pleasure in crushing a 4 year old’s dreams, that’s psychopathic!”
“If you let this pass then who knows what her behavior towards your nephew, and any future children in the family will be?”
“I’d be seriously rethinking this whole relationship.”-Scarlettohara1605
“NTA and frankly divorce-worthy.”
“Because anyone who would treat a FOUR YEAR OLD with such cruelty is probably capable of just about anything and can’t be trusted.”
“She probably just ruined your relationship with your brother and SIL; how many more relationships will she ruin in the coming years due to this kind of indefensible behavior?”
“The fact that she doesn’t feel bad about it and is doubling-down is just icing on the cake.”
“I personally would have great difficulty looking at her the same way again after watching her ‘crush’ a 4-year-old, none of whom can sing well, like that.”
“Gross as hell.”
‘Um, wonder what her reaction would be if you did/said something similar to her mother?”
“This relationship screams of red flags.”
“She is escalating.”
“Have a very good look at what’s actually happening here.”
“NTA there was only one AH in the room, and unfortunately for you, you married her.”
“Does she kick puppies too?”
“Is this the kind of person you want to spend the rest of your life with?”- winesis
“NTA but you already know that, she obviously has her own issues which are showing now.”
“She needs therapy before you can have a true relationship.”-Julescuk78
“Your wife was horrible.”
“Oh my gosh.”
“If she were my wife, I’d seriously consider a divorce.”- DarkAthena
“NTA, but sure sounds like your wife is.”
“It’s just a kid.”
“No need to be that cruel.”- meyoung49
“Defend her from what?”
“Being called out for being a massive AH?”
“Beings called out for being cruel and a bully to a 4 year old as a 30 something!”
“I am sorry but NTA.”
“She did something wrong.”
“If you defend her she will keep on and it could maybe get worse.”
“I would rather question if she is the right fit for you.”- micanoise
It’s hard to imagine how the OP’s wife could have possibly thought anything about the way she behaved was ok.
Or that she would talk that way to any child, let alone her wife’s nephew.
One can only hope that after a bit of reflection, she might see realize how poorly she behaved, and offer the OP and her family the enormous apology they all deserve.