Part of a parent’s duty is to look out for their children’s behavior and ensure they grow up with proper manners. If problematic behavior is tolerated from childhood, it will become an issue in the future. The child may grow up with an attitude, expressed mainly by throwing tantrums. Stomping, crying, kicking, or throwing things around might be expected for kids, but there’s a line to such behavior. Parents must never turn a blind eye when their kid disturbs the environment.
It isn’t easy to hold an event or gathering when kids aren’t managed well. They will seriously test your patience, mainly when the parent doesn’t acknowledge the problem. Sometimes the mom or dad will even get mad at the person who calls out their kid. Everyone should be grateful and joyous, but with a kid throwing a tantrum every chance they get, it turns into a disaster.
For watercolor_13, Thanksgiving has been ruined by her aunt’s daughter. OP’s cousin was heavily spoiled because she was her aunt’s only daughter after experiencing four miscarriages. It’s understandable why the aunt wanted to give her child everything and make her feel special. However, OP couldn’t help but notice the red flags in her aunt’s parenting style. She’d immediately start a tantrum whenever things didn’t go her way. The family tolerates the kid and the aunt’s parenting skills because they all know why she coddles her. If only it was another day of tantrums, but Thanksgiving also fell on watercolor_13’s birthday, and it gave OP enough reason to get mad at her bratty cousin.
“While most extended family members give me money or gift cards for my birthday, my grandparents always give me actual gifts, so they were sitting out for me. My cousin started throwing a fit that nobody got a gift for her,” she wrote. “So my aunt asked if my cousin could help me open my gifts. I agreed. Well, she got mad that it was nothing she liked and ended up throwing and breaking a new makeup plate I got. My aunt said she didn’t mean to but did agree to buy me a replacement one.”
After the gifts, they moved to the cake, where the cousin also caused a scene. She tried to blow out the candles before OP could make a wish and even ruined the cake. It was too much for watercolor_13, even when her aunt asked her to excuse her child’s attitude because she was just a kid. Due to the overwhelming emotions, OP called out her aunt’s faults, only for her relatives to see her as the story’s villain. The aunt cried, which made the whole occasion far from the Thanksgiving they were all anticipating.
Sometimes you have to play the bad cop in the family to ensure that children grow in a balanced environment. Not everything they do should be tolerated or praised. “NTA. You didn’t ruin the holiday. Your 8-year-old cousin did. An 8-year-old is more than old enough to behave appropriately in situations like that. And if they are not, your aunt should have left the room with them,” SDstartingOut commented. Most Reddit users shared this sentiment, earning OP 7.7k upvotes.
It’s better to call out a child’s behavior at home instead of experiencing it with others when possible. And family should be the first people to make things right when tantrums happen at gatherings. If not, the kid might have difficulty making friends and handling social situations in the future.
“NTA, if this isn’t nipped in the bud now, your aunt is going to have a very difficult life. Hope you were able to have a good birthday regardless of this,” Sweet-Salt-1630 says. The parenting skill of OP’s aunt may backfire when her daughter gets older. That’s why the attitude should be honed at an earlier stage. Puberty will be even more challenging if changes aren’t applied sooner.