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Woman asks if it was wrong to potty train niece and nephew without permission.

Woman asks if it was wrong to potty train niece and nephew without permission.


Are you ever allowed to make decisions about other people's kids, or as family is it just a nice thing to take initiative? One woman tried to be helpful and got himself in trouble. Here's his story.

'AITA for potty training my niece and nephew?'

I (30’s F) have one child a 2 year old daughter (26 months old) and am lucky enough to be a SAHM. Having had the time and good fortune I was able to potty train our daughter when she was 21 months. (Every family is different and this worked for us) she’s been day trained reliably since about 22 months, and night trained for the past month.

My brother and his wife have two kids, Irish twins 10 months apart, 3 M&F their daughter just turned 3, and their son will be 4 in almost two months. Both were still in diapers. (No judgment there, we all have different lives and every kid is different)

They had a chance to go to a destination wedding and asked if we could watch their kids for 8 days. I love my niece and nephew and am home anyway so we said yes!

On day two of their visit my niece noticed my daughters princess panties and asked if she could have some too. I said sure, but when you wear panties you have to use the toilet etc.. I had a pack that is too big for my daughter currently, and gave those to her. She had one accident that day but otherwise took to it amazingly well!

On day four, my nephew commented on being the oldest and being the only one currently in diapers and asked if he could have some undies too (but not princess ones) so I had the same talk with him about using the toilet and practised a couple times. We went to the store and he picked himself out some undies. He has had zero accidents and is dry overnight too.

Real smile, not actual child.

When my brother and SIL came back it was obviously mentioned that they were out of diapers. I mentioned that niece has been wearing a pull up over night but nephew is dry 24/7.

My brothers first reaction was he was happy and thanked me. My SIL on the other hand got really mad. Told me I had no right, etc.. and it that it’s one thing to force my kid to do it when she’s too young but another to force her kids too.

I never intended to potty train them . I figured I’d be changing diapers for 8 days and that was fine. But when they asked it seemed wrong to deny a child and keep them in diapers….

Questions and answers:

sophi52760 said:

NTA and what is wrong with your SIL? I would have been eternally grateful for someone potty training my kids. LOL I agree with you that all kids are different when it comes to that but your SIL seems to be lagging in this area if she hasn't even started trying to train them and they are showing interest in it?

helpmeerh0nda OP responded:

Yeah. When I took my nephew to pick out undies he said he had asked his mom for them before but she had said no 😬. That should have been my clue that she might not take it well

ucanthandlethe_truth said:

NTA. You did them a favor, they were old enough for sure and ready. And what great potty training skills you have! Your SIL sounds like a lazy mom, plain and simple. And how could she be upset about this?

helpmeerh0nda OP responded:

Haha with my daughter it was a lot of work (highly reccomend the book “oh crap! Potty training. Lol) but with my niece and nephew I did almost nothing 😂

GlitteryDragonScales said:

I was literally scrolling to find the technique you used so thanks for sharing!

helpmeerh0nda OP responded.

I can’t reccomend it enough!!

why_kitten_why said:

She seems to want to keep them young, milestones hurt, cause once they hit they are gone. This whole approach runs the risk of making them generally less capable. Time flies at the same speed.

helpmeerh0nda OP responded:

I suppose so. I had never thought of it that way. I’ve never been sad at my daughter growing up. I’ve loved every little tid bit of independence she has gained, but I can understand how not everyone would feel the same way

Obsidian-G said:

She was just embarrassed. She probably tried, no results. Then you did it in 8 days. Or maybe she felt you took away something from her being a mother experience. NTA.

helpmeerh0nda OP responded:

I don’t think she had tried. When I took my nephew to buy undies he zoned in on the ones he wanted right away, he said he had asked his mom for them when they’ve been at the store before and she’s said no.

GlencoraPalliser said:

Do you think your SIL is trying to keep the kids in diapers? She may have some weird issues which she is projecting onto the children.

helpmeerh0nda OP resonded:

I think partially laziness? I mean when they’re in a diaper there’s never any urgency to find a bathroom? And I think try to keep them “babies”

Allalngthewatchtwer said:

NTA. This is what I did with my kids. My son took to it like a ace except poop but he got that down pretty quick. My daughter knew what to do but she was ridiculously stubborn lol. She didn’t care if she got them wet.

I heard about it at the daycare I worked at. It sounds like they were ready to be potty trained especially asking about it. Good for you, their a little more independent and probably proud.

helpmeerh0nda OP responded:

They were sooooo proud of themselves!! It was kind of heartbreaking cause they were so happy and proud and my SIL was so angry. My brother did praise them to high heaven and took them away when she started in on me

There you go. What do you think? It's the right thing, but should she have reached out? Should she have just left it alone? Family is hard...

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