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'AITA because I told off my neighbour’s 4-year-old kid after he opened my package?' UPDATED

'AITA because I told off my neighbour’s 4-year-old kid after he opened my package?' UPDATED


We all have our breaking point, and generally, the breaking point doesn't make us look graceful.

"AITA because I told my neighbour’s kid to “f- off?”

I live on the top floor of a house. It’s a one bedroom and my boyfriend and I chop and change at where we decide to stay for some weekends. He has a 7-year-old daughter but she doesn’t stay at mine because of the size…and the solid fact that we are not related, unless it’s an emergency and she has nowhere else to go. She’s visited. We’ve been together four years.

Downstairs is an unassuming family. A father, p*lice officer, a mother, profession unknown, and a toddler. They are fairly quiet and utilise the space at the back for the child to run and play while I typically use and maintain the front yard. I’m not a child person and had refused their asks to babysit but do say hello to the adults when I see them. I wave to the child too. The toddler is inquisitive.

He tries to my open packages despite my saying how deeply inappropriate I find it (just bring it in, put it by the stairs and tell the kid to leave it alone) and most recently he has left some tacky toys on the stairs and there hasn’t been clean up. I’ve asked the parents to make their child tidy up because if I fall my insurance won’t be the ones paying.

I have a joint condition and injure easily so don’t need the extra worry of some idiotic toy cars everywhere. The child also has been constantly asking to go into my apartment to his mother, which she says “oH mY sWeEt BaBy, wE cAn AsK.” I’ve said no. I don’t like children. I don’t want one in my space. Running their sticky hands over my things.

I don’t believe I owe them an explanation as to why I don’t want their child stinking my place up. I don’t believe I’m a teaching moment for their kid to learn boundaries and how he isn’t entitled to go wherever he wants to. I shouted at him.

Not only did he try to open yet another package (this one was a care package from my sisters as I live abroad) and screeched and cried “MiNe! MiNe!” to which I turned and said “No it isn’t yours. It is mine. Go away and find your parents.” before trying to ignore this pathetic tantrum and went inside. Only to be followed.

I turned around and said “F#$k off you annoying little brat. Cry to someone who gives a f#$k!”. I then tripped on one of his stupid little toy cars and dislocated my knee. The toy was destroyed as it became dented and scratched because I stepped on it. Of course the parents were horrified but I have, thus far, refused to engage.

I have also had my packages rerouted to my boyfriend’s but he lives on LI and I live in Queens so it’s inconvenient. They called the landlord who reminded them that the opening of mail not addressed to them is a f#lony.

I’m sick and tired of parents who think their bratty children are entitled to go wherever they want, do whatever they want and touch whatever they want with their pinworm infested hands. Just want to know though for my own sanity…AITA?

Not long after posting, OP shared an update.

EDIT - I wish I hadn’t shouted at this child but my limit of asking the stairs to be clear, my packages to be left alone and my right to space respected were constantly violated. I don't want to be bitten and hit by a toddler because he can’t get his own way. I also said I wasn’t a kid person not that I hated them.

Not particularly enjoying the company of toddlers doesn't mean my boyfriend picked an absolute monster. A 7-year-old isn’t a toddler. She has some respect for my space and isn’t a brat.

It wasn't long before OP jumped on with another update.

EDIT - I may have asked for judgement on the situation but I didn’t ask for judgement on my relationship. Jiggle your t**ties and flap those concerned v*ginal lips elsewhere…the only person able to pass judgement on that is my boyfriend. Womp, womp ladies.

Commenters had a lot to say in response.

LibraryMouse4321 wrote:

Why haven’t you thrown away the toys he left on the stairs and floor for you to injure yourself on? Or purposefully (and carefully) stepped on the toys to break them? He would learn eventually.

And every opened package should be reported as theft.

OP responded:

I mean I wanted to be as empathetic as possible even if I’m not fond of toddlers…I get that they need reminders but I don’t want to be a teaching moment. It’s not my responsibility. I have shoved his s**t to the side or right outside their door. If it continues I will be binning them.

Eukalyptus wrote:

Father of three here. I totally understand you. Parents nowadays seem to always Pick the easy way. Not realizing that it leads to way more work and stress down the road. Also it is frustrating for parents who DO Set Limits dealing with questions like: "why are all other Kids allowed to run around with sticks near random Peoples cars and we are not? SO UNFAIR!!!" NTA.

OP responded:

Kids in general are frustrating 😆 especially toddlers! I wish I hadn’t shouted but yeah a limit was met. I dunno, maybe he’ll start to listen now after he saw my knee go.

Cannabis_catslave wrote:

"With him trying to hit and bite"

NTA. Once your kid starts to ass*ult me all gloves are off on language, even more so if their toys have caused me injury.

I would be talking to a lawyer about getting the neighbors insurance to pay your medical bills if you are in the US. The common area is NOT a place for people to leave toys, especially on the freaking stairs.

Tetsuyawn wrote:

NTA. I don't like children either but I can be cordial around them. However having to deal with THAT level of a child would have me fall into a mental breakdown. And you know why I don't like children in the first place? Because communicating with them is so f#$king hard and i already struggle with other adults.

There was not much else you could do since the parents are so unbelievably entitled. Their kid is not your kid, not your boyfriend's kid, and therefore none of your f#$king stuff or days or whatever should be ruined because mister prince from the first floor wants it.

OP responded:

This is why I don’t like children this small…I mentioned the front yard that is typically my space, not solely obviously, but it is such a f#$king battle to tell this child NOT to stamp in the flower beds and pick what he likes to look at for all of five seconds.

One or two flowers won‘t kill me but not the whole garden!

And yeah! That’s their teaching moment! Not yours, don’t touch! I’ve had lingerie delivered this child tried to take!

Cursd818 wrote:

NTA. The behaviour of a misbehaving child can push even the most child-loving people to snap. All you did was raise your voice at a child who was attacking you. You did nothing wrong. You were harmed and their kid broke the law. There's nothing else you need to say. Send your insurance after them.

Tell the p*lice AND the post office that the family are opening your packages (the post office is a separate legal entity from the police who take mail tampering very seriously. If the dad thinks his career as a c*p will protect him from federal agencies, let's try to prove him wrong.) They chose to raise a brat, they can bear the financial and legal consequences.

OP responded:

I will do. Thanks for letting me know that the post office operate separately…I wasn’t aware of that!

Crafter_2307 wrote:

I’m going to go NTA. Possibly shouldn’t have sworn at a child but I get it. There’s only so much a person can take. I too live with an issue that means trips and falls generally put me in the hospital.

It’s not something to take lightly and unfortunately too many parents don’t set little Jane or little Johnny enough (or any boundaries) and not only is a fall going to hurt me, it’s not going to be pretty for their little darling either.

Had several near misses where entitled parent then comes after me - for daring to be on crutches and not being able to duck out the way quick enough when I turn round from a bar for example, to find their child running amok behind me. Usually whilst other people are carrying hot plates etc. Even more infuriating if it’s trying to get into your own home.

OP's boyfriend jumped on in a comment to defend her.

I am very aware of the situation thank you. I have been caring for my girlfriend since her damn knee dislocated (or are you expecting physical perfection from her as well as emotional?)! So how could I not be aware of how she acted?! I am also aware that this child attempted to bite and hit my girlfriend.

As a parent myself I have often warned my daughter that if she slaps me or my girlfriend she has to accept we are bigger than her and may hurt her if we act instinctively as humans do when confronted with an attack or pain. No adult is perfect. I have screamed at my daughter on more than one occasion during misbehaviour. I also accept my girlfriend is not perfect.

She doesn’t have to love kids, that’s fine. She is however great with my daughter. She has never really been childish with her and spoke to her more like an adult, an equal, which I actually admire. Maybe know she keeps drawings from my daughter. My daughter loves drawing the flowers in the front yard my girlfriend mentioned she maintains. She doesn’t have to keep them.

Keep your nose out and my daughter and I’s name out of your mouth. How she acted with the child downstairs, however regrettable, is not how she acts with my child. As a parent even I would shout at a child acting aggressively. We are not required to like or love children that have no connection to us. From my standpoint this kid needs a spanking and a good shouting at. So do the parents quite honestly.

Five weeks later, OP shared an update.

I have since returned home from being cared for by my boyfriend and the issue has somewhat, though not quite, resolved. When I got back the first thing I saw was the child (4m) playing on the steps up to my apartment with his toys. Furiously my boyfriend knocks on the door and tells the mother to stop this nonsense and if we see any toys on the steps again they will be thrown out.

The child is removed, k*cking and screaming. When we got back we brought with us a lockbox for my parcels. We had a conversation with our landlord who issued the family with a warning, as points of egress need to be kept clear and that allowing the child to fully open my packages is indeed illegal (though hardly able to be punished).

Accidents do happen, I am aware, but they don’t happen more than three times. I also passed on my insurance bill to them because I refuse to pay for being in an accident that was wholly preventable by them. I’m also in PT for my knee and back and am not paying for that either. The door leading to the stairs of my upstairs apartment has been fixed so the child cannot play there.

This has upset the mother in particular who fully said “I want to teach my child that everyone loves and accepts him.”

“I don’t love your child.” I replied (something to this effect), “He doesn’t mean anything to me beyond the fact he is the child of my neighbours. You don’t love me, do you? You didn’t even listen when I expressed concern about toys on the steps or your child constantly throwing tantrums when I take my packages from him.”

I honestly couldn’t believe the entitlement. The father was not happy with our responses to each other but didn’t speak up. We left it at that and later, like a few days, I am sitting outside with my boyfriend and his child (7f) as they played with a frisbee.

The downstairs child comes over trying to play, bf’s child says no (fair, she just wanted to play with her dad alone) and he is told to go back inside (because we are not responsible for some random four year old). The kid pitches a fit so my boyfriend goes to knock on the door to ask the mother to come get him, she insists we play with him. We insist we are not obligated to do so.

The child has already hit my bf’s kid and she angrily shoved him over, gave him a slap back, and screamed to go away and he ruined their game. Immediately my bf goes over to his child and tells the other one to go to his mum. We point blank refused to entertain this child and told them to leave us alone. If bf’s child was OK playing with the downstairs child neither of us would’ve intervened.

She didn’t though. She also shouldn’t be forced to play with an aggressive and, quite frankly, vile little boy. I’m glad she slapped him actually. Since then the child has left us alone. Now I was wondering before this if I was the AH but quite honestly I know for a fact no one would blame my bf’s child for lack of emotional control so why blame a childfree adult who has reached a limit?

The situation as explained in my original post was weeks in the making. I’ve also read a few other posts about parents screaming at their children and it’s all “yOu’Re A bEaUtiFuL MaMa BeAr! DoN’t BeAt YoUrSeLf Up! wE pArEnTs ArE nOt PeRfEcT!” So then…why is a childfree adult suddenly a monster for not offering some random brat endless patience?

Your b#$chy baby isn’t entitled to anything from others, let alone free care, endless patience (when even you can’t offer that), attention and love. That’s on you. Thank you to those who actually could read between the lines and didn’t think I was a psycho for not enjoying childish behaviour or losing it with him. I’m going to watch my bf’s child draw some flowers in the front yard now.

The internet was invested in the update.

Sea_Firefighter_4598 wrote:

NTA. Teaching your child that everyone loves them might have some very unpleasant results. The kid might go with the nice man for the candy and to see his puppy. Mama is a piece of work.

I'm not sure about being able to get your bill paid though.

Old-Run-9523 wrote:

It's wild to me that they're letting a four-year-old be outside their flat unsupervised to the point that you have to knock on their door to alert them of his behavior.

Secret_Double_9239 wrote:

I hope you get your medical bill covered. They need to realise that you owe them nothing and that there failure to act appropriately in the first place has resulted in the ruin of all potential for a friendly neighbour relationship.

Amesaskew wrote:

That kid is going to be in for a very rude awakening when he starts school. His parents have done him no favors by acting like the sun shines out of his a$$.

enkilekee wrote:

I tell kids who behave that way, they will never have friends,and that's because their parents don't love them enough to teach them to be nice to other in people. And then I look parents in the eye and say" prove me wrong."

Broad-Discipline2360 wrote:

I love kids. I have adult children. My dream is to have a litter of grandkids. I would not even like this kid and that family. You don't have to be child free to want to be far away from entitled stupid parenting. NTA.

Sources: Reddit
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