A teen who trashed her older sister for not being “nurturing” enough—despite giving up her own dreams to raise her—is being slammed online.
In a post to Reddit‘s Am I the A******? (AITA) forum, user u/Reasonable-Issue2334 said that her older sister was just 19 years old when she was awarded custody of her three younger siblings. At the time, the poster was 4 years old, while her two brothers were 5 and 6.
Things were tough. Her sister’s boyfriend broke up with her, as he didn’t want the responsibility, and she had to manage three jobs to support them. Still, the children “never went without food or toys.”
The sister is now happily married and has a 2 year old, as well as a another baby on the way. However, the poster—now 17—is resentful that her sister wasn’t a more nurturing parent, like she is with her own child.
“If we did something as small as spilling a glass of milk or breaking something she’d have an over reaction,” Reasonable-Issue2334 wrote.
“[She’d] yell and lecture us about how hard she works to get it and how we need to stop being so careless even if it was just an accident.
“I see how she treats [her own child] and I can tell she loves them very much. I even watched her toddler spill a glass of milk and she was so calm and loving about it, she even jumped on this new gentle parenting trend.”
The poster confronted her sister about her parenting methods in front of her brothers and her husband, with her sister breaking down in tears.
“It got really contentious so my sister ended up excusing herself to her room but in the end my brothers whom I’m really close to are angry with me,” she said.
“So now I’m here wondering if I was wrong for calling my sister out.”
Reddit users were shocked by the teen’s behavior, with the post receiving over 13,000 upvotes and more than 4,000 comments.
‘Being Raised by an Adolescent is Not Easy’
Ruth E. Freeman, founder and president at Peace at Home Parenting Solutions, said that taking on three children as a teenager is no easy feat—particularly as our brains haven’t even finished developing yet.
“At 19 years old this adoptive parent [was] in the middle of adolescence, which begins with brain changes at 12 years old and lasts until 24,” she told Newsweek.
“During this period of development, young people are forming their identities. They are thinking a lot about themselves—Who am I? Do I measure up?
“So all of this [was] going on in [the] big sister’s biology, while she had to curtail her relationships with her friends. She even lost her boyfriend, who naturally did not want all this responsibility.”
Nevertheless, Freeman said it is understandable that the poster might have some residual trauma from a rocky childhood.
“Losing her own parents and being raised by an adolescent is not easy,” she said.
“It’s impressive that her siblings helped her see that she was looking at her own needs and feelings, and not recognizing how much her sister had to give up in order to care for them.
“The siblings are sorting out relationships in authentic and positive ways in spite of the enormous loss they all suffered.”
“You Should Be Praising Your Sister’
In her post, Reasonable-Issue2334 told her older sister it was unfair that she didn’t get the same “nurturing environment” growing up that her own children have.
“She was shocked to hear me say that and started crying saying she did her best with what she had,” she wrote.
Her brothers jumped to their older sister’s defense, calling the poster “selfish.”
“[They] told me that If she [was] that bad, then why am I still living with her? And that she was [an] amazing caretaker and took us when our own mother abandoned us.”
After their older sister left in tears, the teen began to question her decision to “call her sister out.” In the poll attached to the post, Reddit users voted Reasonable-Issue2334 the “a******” in the situation.
“Your sister dropped her whole life at 19 to take care of THREE kids?” said Baileythenerd.
“She was still a kid when she was taking care of you three. No s*** she was stressed and having major difficulty!”
OkieLady1952 agreed, writing: “You should be praising your sister for her selfless sacrifice she made for you all.”
“You should’ve been a bit more considerate of what she’s done to keep you from going to foster care,” wrote Fafaflunkie.
“I cannot even imagine how tired and stressed she must have been, all the while dealing [with] her own trauma,” commented While Such_Invite_4376.
“OP you should be helping her, not bringing her down.”
While amber_kope said: “I wonder how patient and gentle they would be if in two years they became responsible for three small kids.”
In an update, Reasonable-Issue2334 accepted the verdict and apologized to the sister. She also thanked Redditors for helping her to “see things [from] a different perspective.”
“I was clearly in the wrong in this situation and am happy that I was able to recognize it sooner [than] later,” she said.
“My apology led to us having such a meaningful conversation which I’m glad we were able to have.”
Newsweek reached out to u/Reasonable-Issue2334for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.
Reasonable-Issue2334 isn’t the only one to turn to the AITA forum for advice. A pregnant woman refusing to attend her sister’s child-free wedding was supported by Reddit users, but a mom “crushing her daughter’s dreams” was slammed, despite “wanting what is best” for her child.
A reader also recently wrote to our What Should I Do? column for help on politely declining her “Trump-supporter nephew’s” wedding invite—without causing a stir amongst her conservative family.
If you have a family dilemma, let us know via email@example.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.