Am I Wrong to Take Precaution after My Niece Ruined Our Christmas Last Year?

A Reddit user had an altercation with their brother after his wife’s seven-year-old daughter opened people’s Christmas gifts even though she was instructed not to. The Redditor thought it would be wise to take precautions for the next family gathering, but the parents took offense to her suggestions.

A Reddit user posted under the AITA forum to explain their family dilemma that began last year. She explained that Christmas was a day when all siblings spent time together at their parent’s house.

A family celebrating Christmas | Source: Shutterstock

A family celebrating Christmas | Source: Shutterstock

The siblings have their kids come together and have one big sleepover, and they all pitch in to make the best of the holiday. The year before, the family had new family members join their tradition.

The Redditor explained that the brother married and brought his new wife, Sally, and her seven-year-old daughter, Mindy. From the look of things, the mother and daughter were enjoying themselves, and on Christmas Eve, the kids had the basement prepared for them to sleep.

A Christmas tree with present under it | Source: Shutterstock

A Christmas tree with present under it | Source: Shutterstock

The elders reminded the kids that none of them were to open any gifts without them, and once everyone was asleep, the parents put the presents under the tree.

The next morning, at 06:00 a.m., the Redditor woke up and found a mess in the living room. The Reddit user found Mindy playing with toys that did not even belong to her, while some were completely broken.

Kids looking at presents | Source: Shuttertsock

Kids looking at presents | Source: Shuttertsock

The Redditor and the other siblings tried to salvage some of the toys while the other kids were asleep. Luckily, some toys were fixable and still had the boxes. The parents re-wrapped the gifts, but one present meant for the Reddit user’s nephew was broken.

Mindy’s mother was embarrassed to see what her daughter had done, and the grandmother was upset to see the damage that was made. Nonetheless, Sally and her husband felt sorry for what happened and re-paid everyone.

Kids opening gifts | Source: Shutterstock

Kids opening gifts | Source: Shutterstock

The seven-year-old did not get to open the gifts with everyone but joined everyone later. Her mother apologized and tried to explain that Mindy could not wait and wanted to see what everyone else received.

This year, the family again made plans for the Christmas get-together. The Redditor suggested in the family group chat that they should put a gate around the Christmas trees or keep the gifts locked in another room.

A person opening a gift | Source: Shutterstock

A person opening a gift | Source: Shutterstock

However, the Redditor’s brother and his wife felt that it was offensive that their daughter’s mistake was held over her head. The parents even went as far as saying their daughter was being treated like an animal. “I said I’m not, but this is a precaution so none of the kids are tempted,” explained the Redditor.

At the end of the story, the Redditor explained that Mindy did not have autism or ADHD and did not blame her for anything because she was only a small child. However, it was revealed that one of the sister’s children was on the spectrum and listened to the elder’s instructions.

A young opening a Christmas present | Source: Shuttertsock

A young opening a Christmas present | Source: Shuttertsock

Now, the Redditor wanted to know if it was wrong to take precautions to avoid repeating the same mistake. The user also did not want the other children to believe that they were allowed to do this.

The Commenters Weigh In

Commenters did not think the Redditor was wrong. Internet users believed it was necessary to take precautions because Mindy is a child and should be reminded that her behavior was unacceptable.

A woman texting | Source: Shutterstock

A woman texting | Source: Shutterstock

Other Redditors said it sounded like Mindy was an only child and was a bit spoiled. Netizens emphasized that the gate around the Christmas tree was needed because it was normal for children to be tempted.

Moreover, the readers felt that Mindy was not apologetic about what she did and ruined Christmas for everyone, so it was reasonable for the Redditor to ensure this year was enjoyable.

Although the Redditor showed that they did not trust Mindy would not do the same thing, commenters believed they had the right to have feelings of mistrust and that it was important for the rest of the children to know it was crucial to follow instructions.

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