People tend to accept behavior from family members that they would never accept from strangers.
But does that tendency mean those people who refuse to accept the unacceptable are wrong?
A woman is struggling with that question so she turned to the "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
The Redditor who later deleted their account asked:
"AITA for refusing to let my kids hang out with my niece (and have sleepovers with their grandparents) after she STOLE our CAT?"
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"My niece (12.5) has always picked on my daughters (11.5, 9.5). Especially my oldest daughter (11.5) who is seriously the sweetest kid."
"I don't just say that because she's my kid either. She is genuinely a supremely compassionate, kind and selfless human who puts others first and won't even say a swear word and will rarely defend herself because she feels bad."
"I've told her so many times to defend herself, how to do it, and acted out scenarios to help her be more equip but the kid is just TOO nice."
"My niece is opposite."
"She is manipulative and intentionally cruel to others."
"Not just kids. She has never been disciplined in her life."
"Her mom has even said 'we're more like peers, she's just so mature' (she's not). The dad has been in and out of her life and the mom is a partier."
"They live out of state and the mom sends my niece here to visit every chance she gets, then barely ever checks in or calls/asks for updates. The bullying has gotten out of hand and she has also picked up theft."
"She recently arrived from out of state to stay with my in laws for an extended period of time. She asked to stay the night last night and it was a nightmare."
"Cursing behind our backs, getting into everything, she cut open a gel ice pack to play with the slime, she was hardcore bullying my oldest to the point of her breaking down and bawling, and teaching my 9yr old (who struggles a bit herself with impulse control and anger) how to be mean to her sister. She was calling her a B and saying she wishes she was never born."
"This morning we promptly took her back to my in laws. My daughters said she took one of the cats and was joking about taking it."
"I called my husband. He asked her and she denied it completely."
"Well.. My husband gets there (an hr away) and hears meowing."
"She f'king stole one of our new kittens."
"And one of my sweatshirts (she's not deprived of clothes whatsoever, grandparents cave to her every desire)."
"My 9yr old is pissed about the kitten and confessed to the other sh*tty things she was doing/saying. Including calling me and my other daughter a B."
"I've had enough. I told my in laws my kids will not be coming by without me there until my niece is gone. And niece will not be welcome back for sleepovers etc..."
"Now I'm the bad guy because 'she's had a different life'. Sure her parenting situation is unconventional but she has always been catered to, spoiled, and cruel towards her peers."
"In laws are pissed, husband says I'm being harsh, but both of my daughters are glad to not be forced to interact with her."
In a comment, the OP added:
"Also, just FYI, every time she flies back up we give her a fresh slate/new chance. We don't being up the past etc..."
"It never fails to repeat though and I've honestly had enough. So have my kids."
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You're The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Reddit decided the OP was definitely NTA.
"All I had to read was 'she stole our cat'."
"Obviously NTA protect your family from that toxic sh*t. Not your monkey not your circus."
"I'm sure it must be infuriating that they can't grasp your perspective. You would honestly be the a**hole tho if you didn't ban her from your home."
"Your children (including the kitties) come first." ~ Xxtratourettestriall
"NTA you need to do what is best for your daughters, right now that is protecting them from a bully and a thief (that was caught red-handed with your pet and clothes)."
"Until you are satisfied that your niece has changed her ways you have every right to say she is not welcome around your children." ~ Desert_Rat1294
"NTA. You’re a parent. Your only job is protecting your kids."
"Your niece is bullying them. Protect your kids."
"Stand firm and don't even let her on your property."
"Your kids will always remember how their cousin treated them. You get to decide how they remember you."
"I'd 1000% want to be known as the parent who stuck up for them. Not the one who forced them to put up with toxic."
"Your in-laws suck too." ~ Luna-Strange
In response to questions about the kitten, the OP shared:
"It's currently being brought home, took over 12 hours due to appointments today."
"I'm not sure what would have happened had the kitten not started meowing."
"She lied and said she put it somewhere on the porch earlier and tried to make it seem like it was lost."
Based on this information, Redditors were even more concerned.
"I'm going to be honest, this is very worrying behavior! You absolutely should not let her anywhere near your children!" ~ fiend_like_queen
"She didn't just lie.. she plotted, lied, manipulated, stole a living creature, forced and abused that kitten into a sack or something for over 2 hours unfed or watered.... This is very toxic concerning behavior."
"It could keep escalating until your children end up hurt or another kitty ends up kidnapped and killed the next time accidentally squished in a bag or something..."
"She's not a safe member of family, or society you want influencing your children. Period. Her feelings and anyone else's are THEIR PROBLEMS!!!"
"Your family's safely , animals included, sanity and stability ARE YOUR problem.. There's no room for their bullsh*t!!" ~ GOTGameOfThrowaway
As a parent, the OP has the right to decide who their children are exposed to. But this mother can rest assured that Reddit thinks she did the best thing for her children and her cats.