Everyone has a different parenting style. While this isn't a groundbreaking statement in itself, the reality of how it manifests can create some major tensions.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for telling her sister she can find another place to live if she keep complaining about her niece not sharing toys. She wrote:
I’m a single mom to Emi (6). Emi is my only child. She’s been sick since she was 2, and if I’m going to be honest, she likely won’t make it to 10. Her dad left us when she got sick. Emi spends one week in the hospital then a week at home.
Because of this, the last time I was able to send her to school was 2 years ago when we were able to do preschool 3 hours a day, 2 days a week, and they still wore masks. Now the only time she’s around other kids is when she’s in the hospital. Emi hates sharing her toys so I try not to make her do it.
Usually, when we see her cousins, I’ll buy something like a big pack of chalk and a gallon of bubbles and I’ll tell her it’s for everybody but that’s the only time she’ll share. My sister and her 2 daughters (5 and 7) are living with us temporarily. It’s been difficult for everyone.
At first, I switched rooms with Emi and we put all 3 girls in the master but Emi hated sharing rooms and said the girls were always touching her stuff so we switched back and I put the girls in the spare room with their mom. My sister was complaining that the room was too crowded so she’s staying on a cot in my office but apparently, that’s also uncomfortable so she wants the girls to share again.
My sister does not pay any rent. Her husband sends $500 a month to help pay for their groceries and she helps with Emi while I’m working (my job is pretty flexible so I’m able to watch her while I work). They’ve also been complaining that I take Emi on day/weekend trips without them. Emi just spent the week in the hospital and we came home on Saturday.
My niece's beds were moved into Emi’s room and her toys were everywhere. I confronted my sister and she said Emi isn’t using her room or her toys half the time and that little girls should be sharing with each other. I told her that Emi has already made it clear that she does not want to share her room or her toys, and that her room needs to be the way we left it by the end of the day.
She says I’m being unfair so I snapped at her that I will be prioritizing my kid over her ungrateful self and her kids and that if she can’t get over my kid not sharing she needs to find somewhere else to live. They did fix Emi’s room but they haven’t been talking to us. At this point, I’m thinking about kicking them out anyways. AITA for telling her she needs to get over my kid not sharing or move out?
NTA. They're not talking to you? Really in your house that they're living in rent-free!!?? The cheek. Kick them out. Also, I'm very sorry that your daughter is so unwell.
It sounds like your sister is in a fragile place right now-- I suspect whatever is going on with the stepson is serious and probably will have some sort of legal ramifications. THAT SAID: You and your daughter are in a very fragile place as well and you did your sister and her daughters a HUGE favor letting them move in with you.
Honestly, if I could come home and found the girls beds in Emi's room and her stuff strewn about I'd have gone to the kitchen, gotten three trash bags and the kitchen time, and told them they had 30 minutes to get all of the stuff into the bags and get out of my house.
You are a much better person than me to have given them another chance. You need to give your sister two choices. Sleep in their assigned rooms and leave Emi's stuff alone OR pack their stuff and get out. Be clear there's no third choice and there won't be another second chance if the intrusion (or her badgering you) happens again.
NTA. Not only is it your house, your rules, but the lack of appreciation from your sister is outrageous. She knew your and Emi's situation when she NEEDED to find a place to stay. You provided one and put out clear boundaries.
She (not willing to blame her 5 & 7 yo) refused to comply and not only disregarded your boundaries COULD NOT even clean up after HER mess until Emi had to see the disrespect as well. If she can't follow the rules and is not appreciative then she should be with other family or friend or make it on her own (because obviously she does not want to live with your rules in your home).
NAH - I’m sure I am going to be downvoted to oblivion on this one. Both of you are prioritizing your own kids in a hard time. Your daughter is sick (very sorry you are both going through this), but it doesn’t seem that your sister is in a great place either. The kids are being moved around and both of you are trying to make the best situation of what’s going on.
Your nieces aren’t in a good place either. It must not be easy to know there is a room full of toys that they can’t touch for days on end. You are trying to make it as easy as possible for Emi. This is temporary and I think you and your sis need to talk about what’s the best course of action for the short remainder.
I think you need to update your post to include the information about your sister's stepson. Reading between the lines, it sounds like he did something to the girls, or maybe tried to do something to one of them? and now he's not safe to be around them, which is why she's living with you.
So basically your sister and her kids are in crisis and dealing with recent trauma, and you're mixing that with your very ill daughter and your grief. I can't vote anyone AH here, because I think you're all reacting with big emotions to some very sad circumstances. I think probably the best thing would be for your sister to move back into the home with her girls and your BIL and his son to move out temporarily.
This is truly a situation where everyone is going through a hard time, so voting who is TA feel almost like the wrong language.