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Dad threatens to kick out sister's family for criticizing his parenting style; AITA?

Dad threatens to kick out sister's family for criticizing his parenting style; AITA?


You should be able to be honest with family, and talk things through. But things get tricky when you start telling a sibling how to raise their child. In this post a single dad is struggling with his sister's critiques about his parenting style. Here's his story...

I(44M) am a single father to a 14 years old daughter. I have raised her on my own since her mother passed away 10 years ago. Since the beginning, I was not a fan of being a strict father. I came from a household like that, and all it did was giving me a miserable childhood and a strained relationship with my parents. And a crap ton of therapy.

2 weeks ago, my sister's house got flooded. They found out that the foundation rotted. I offered them to move in to my finished basement with separate entrance (house built on a hill). So right now her husband, her three sons (16, 13 and 9) and her are living in my 3 bedroom basement (it has a full bathroom and kitchen/living room).

Usually they have their life and we have ours, but we hang out for a couple hours every day. And that's when the trouble started.

Like I said I don't have too many rules for my daughter. As long as I know where she is and she is back by 9PM, she is free to go wherever she wants (within limits of course). I do not control what she wears or what makeup she puts on as long as she follows her school dress code (and of course she dresses appropriately for special occasions).

She does not have a bedtime. I do not check if she did her homework. She has a lock on her door and I always ask permission before going in. If she does not like what I plan to make for a meal she is free to cook something else/order takeout (as long as she informs me before I start cooking, and no ordering in more than twice a week, also she uses her money to order in).

Now these rules are a result of me having a good kid, her earning my trust, and me wanting her to grow up as independent as possible while learning to self regulate and keeping her safety in mind.

My sister on the other hand is very strict: She has her kids on a set routine. They are not allowed to have closed doors except while changing. She checks their electronics all the time. They are rarely allowed to go anywhere.

They eat what she cooked or they starve (if she allows them not to eat what she made that is). She is so on top of their schooling that I feel bad for the teachers (she always emailing them or calling them or even going to school). They do not get pocket money and are not allowed to work, and even the 16 year old has a 9PM bedtime school nights/10PM weekends.

I don't agree with her parenting style, but I keep my opinions to myself. But now she is demanding that I give my daughter more rules, because her kids are comparing themselves to their cousin, and they are rebelling.

So I told her straight to her face, she either keeps her opinion to herself and parent her kids and leave my daughter to me, or she is free to find somewhere else to live.

She says I'm an AH because I don't know how my lax parenting is only adding more stress to her already stressful life, and threatening her with homelessness is a very low blow. So AITA?


Forgot to add, what started this whole thing is this situation: My sister and her family know that they are not supposed to go to the second floor without permission (that's where my and my daughter's bedrooms are).

Well my nephews started using this rule to hang out with their cousin without their mother being able to get to them, and when she does my daughter's door is usually locked so she has to wait for them to open it for her.

She is convinced that they are hiding something from her in my daughter's room. All they are doing is having some freedom and privacy away from her constant monitoring.

From the comments:

murphy2345678 writes:

NTA. She has no right to tell you how to parent your child ever. You have been gracious enough letting her entire family move into your home and she is treating you like a child. A child she wants to control like her own kids.

You need to talk to your daughter and make sure your sister isn’t saying things to her when you aren’t around. If she is then she needs to leave.

rrraannnddooomm OP responded:

I already spoke to her, and she says that she knows how to shut her aunt down. Basically she tells her: did you talk to my dad? He is the only one allowed to tell me what to do.

OrcEight writes:

NTA. It sounds like you and your daughter have a great family style. If your sisters only problem is that her sons want more flexibility than she should look at changing her style not yours.

In terms of her stress - she should perhaps think about how your generosity in letting her family live in your house has reduced her stress.

JeepersCreepers74 writes:

NTA. But honestly, it was probably worth the strain on your relationship with your sister for her kids to be exposed to a more kid-responsible (aka less strict) parenting style. Good job letting your daughter make her own choices--she will have a much easier transition into adulthood as a result.

Sources: Reddit
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