Children and teenagers are meant to keep their innocence and source of peace until they’ve grown into adults who can face reality. It’s not right to expect them to act like adults because they don’t know the correct definition of that role. No one goes through adulthood with a manual on the one hand and a compass on the other. Do not force them to face reality just because their behavior inconveniences you. If their actions aren’t troubling, let children and teenagers enjoy their youth as long as possible. Sometimes adults think their opinions are absolute because they’re older, but most times, it’s the other way around.
For this reason, when an issue arises, you must talk to them by hearing their side. Discuss what’s wrong in a two-way conversation; don’t just show them you have the upper hand. Moreover, teenagers might be considered young adults, but people must understand they are in a weird phase of going from puberty to adulthood. Deep down, a child still needs an adult’s guidance and not invalidating sentiments. Some older people tend to start fights with those younger than them — saying soul-crushing stuff that traumatizes the kid. Such a situation often happens; an example of it was shared by __throwaway294 on Reddit. Her sister definitely crossed the line when OP worked hard to keep her son’s peace.
The family issue started when her sister and her daughters came to visit their house, which was near a beach. Although it was alright for OP’s son to have guests around, his trip to the beach became more frequent because he was overwhelmed by the presence of his cousins. Being close to water comforts him, and it became his favorite escape. “Ever since he was little, he’s always wanted to be either at the beach or the pool. He loves to swim, surf, etc, and I mean it when I say it’s his favorite thing,” __throwaway294 explained. “We live near a beach, so sometimes he’ll just go sit at the beach for a while. It’s something he’s been doing since he was 12.”
However, his aunt ruined his sanctuary because of a fight she started. “Well, yesterday I came home to my nieces sitting in the living room watching a movie. My son and sister were nowhere to be found. Neither of them was answering the phone either. I’m not usually concerned, but my son always sends me a text or answers my phone calls at least,” OP wrote. She decided to look for them, along with her nieces. The beach was her first guess; true enough, her son was there. “But my sister was there too and she was yelling at him. She said something along the lines of ‘You do realize that you aren’t in some film where the main character’s like connected to the sea or has magic ocean powers right? Like… you realize that you aren’t like that Percy Jackson character and your dad isn’t some sea god?'”
Since Percy Jackson is a literary character her son cherishes the most, he got upset. But before he could answer, OP interrupted the argument by confronting her sister. Ruining her son’s favorite escape was truly saddening, especially when it had something to do with the father he had never met. Apparently, OP’s brother introduced her son to the book series, and he has grown fond of its characters. It became his truth — just like Percy, his father was never around because he was like Poseidon. For this reason, the son has a special connection to books and the sea. OP’s sister mocking it is a low blow, especially when she kept fighting with her nephew after the confrontation at the beach.
When OP asked her sister about the problem, she was quite shocked by how she was questioned. “She looked taken aback but said that she told my son to watch the girls while she went to get food, but when she came back, he wasn’t there, and the girls were alone,” __throwaway29 wrote. “My son insists that he said he was busy, but my sister insists that he didn’t.” The issue escalated, so OP called her sister out because she wouldn’t stop mocking her nephew. She got angry when deemed the villain, especially when OP told her she wasn’t welcome to visit anymore. Although the sister was at fault, OP felt sorry for her nieces and thought that maybe her son crossed the line as well.
Altruistic_Kale_3597 commented, “I don’t know how far into the argument they were, but it strikes me that if your son had agreed to watch the kids and then left, your sister wouldn’t be saying he had a delusional relationship with the water; she would be saying, “why did you leave my kids unattended when you agreed to watch them?” Also, if she were genuinely concerned about her daughters’ well-being, I’m not sure why SHE would have left them to go yell at your son.” The sister’s anger should’ve focused more on why her nephew left and not mocking his whole being.
“NTA – there are serious gaps in her logic, which is why she pulled the ‘weird side of the family’ line. With regards to the ocean, I suspect that when your son was younger, the whole Percy Jackson/ocean thing probably helped bring peace to his mind, and now that he’s older, he realizes the series is fiction, but being near the water still gives him a sense of calm and peace,” paisley_life wrote. When people grow up, they still carry something from their childhood that serves as their happy place. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially when it made him accept why he never grew up with a father.
The sister was under fire in the comment section, and people deemed her delusional. The issue could’ve been resolved with a clear conversation, but the sister chose to go beyond the line. Hopefully, she realizes that her actions weren’t very exemplary for an adult. The comment section is filled with opinions that make the discussion more engaging. Write down your thoughts and heal an inner child once ruined by an inconsiderate adult.