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Woman suggests locking up the XMAS presents after what niece did last year. AITA?

Woman suggests locking up the XMAS presents after what niece did last year. AITA?

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When this woman is disturbed by her niece's behavior last year, she asks Reddit:

"AITA for suggesting we lock up the Christmas presents after what my niece did last year?"

Every year, my siblings and I, alongside our families, spend Christmas with our parents. We stay at their house for a few days. Everyone opens gifts together. It’s hectic but a lot of fun. The kids enjoy having one big sleepover with their cousins, my mom likes having everyone home again. We all pitch in. It’s a win win.

Last year, my brother married “Sally”. She has a 7 year old daughter, “Mindy”. This was their first Christmas with us. It seemed like they were having a fun time. Christmas Eve, all the kids went to the finished basement to sleep.

We told the kids to not open up gifts without us and to wake us up when they did. This was repeated several times. Once the kids were asleep, we put all the gifts under the tree and eventually went to bed ourselves.

The next morning, around 6 AM, I wake up early and head downstairs. I find the living room a mess. Half of the gifts were unwrapped. Several of them had been ripped from their boxes. There was Mindy, playing with some of the toys.

Most of the ones weren’t even hers. She knows how to read and they were all labeled, so she knew this. I was in shock. I went and got my brother, Sally alongside the rest of the adults. Sally was super embarrassed. My mom was very upset.

The other kids weren’t up yet, so we tried to salvage what we could while Sally talked to Mindy. Not everything could be fixed and she had broken a couple of toys completely. The broken ones weren’t even her own toys. Luckily, not everything was damaged and even the boxes that were, the kids didn’t notice.

But my nephew (sister’s son) had one of his big gifts destroyed and he was sad when everyone else got theirs while he was told he’d have to wait for a new one to come back in. Sally and my brother reimbursed everyone.

Mindy didn’t get to open gifts with everyone but joined the festivities later. She apologized, but kept making excuses. She said she didn’t want to wait and she wanted to see what everyone else got.

We’re all preparing to go to my parents’ again this year. I put in the group chat that we should either lock the door to the living room this year or put a gate around the tree so no one can get to it. I didn’t even name names, just specifically said “no one”.

Sally and my brother got mad, accusing me of treating Mindy like a baby or an animal. I said I’m not, but this is a precaution so none of the kids are tempted. They said this isn’t necessary and I’m holding a mistake over Mindy’s head. I said no, I’m not, I’m trying to make sure we have NO repeat.

Because I know it’ll be asked: Mindy doesn’t have autism or ADHD and even if she did, my daughter has ADHD and both my sister’s kids are on the spectrum. They knew better.

I don’t think Mindy was malicious. She was only 6. But I do think precautions should be made. My parents agree with me and my brother is mad that I put it in their heads. AITA?

Let's see what readers thought.

roseofjuly writes:

I mean, why wouldn't you do this? It kind of isn't even just about Mindy - although of course it's about Mindy, she ruined Christmas and broke a lot of other people's toys - but you have a bunch of small children who are notoriously bad with impulse control.

Why not lock the door or put a gate around the tree? Any child could be tempted by sleeping parents and gorgeously wrapped presents under a lit tree. She's still only 7!

Also, if your kid acts like a baby they should be treated like one. Come on, Sally, the girl opened half the Christmas presents and you and your husband had to shell out to replace them. Wouldn't you rather lock the room than risk having to put out and feel embarrassed all over again? NTA.

deefop writes:

Nta. I'm laughing reading the contrarian weirdos in these comments, which is even funnier given that I'm occasionally a contrarian weirdo.

Your neice ruined Christmas. There's no getting around it. My parents(and grandparents) raised our families similarly, and opening presents is a big part of the celebration, because parents want to see the joy in their children's faces. Mindy knew what she was doing was wrong, and chose to do it anyway. She was 6, not two.

She absolutely might do it again. Even if not, there's no reason not to take some kind of simple precaution. If the doors to the room with the tree can be locked, do it. Other similar precautions are perfectly reasonable. At worst, maybe get a motion sensor web cam and set up some kind of alert so that any motion in that room over night wakes up the adults.

Mindy's parents have absolutely no right to be upset. I'm shocked they aren't the ones suggesting it, but that's the difference between good parents and bad parents. Good parents teach discipline, and know how to punish appropriately.

They also know how to be realistic about their children and take precautions when putting their kids in situations that are known to tempt their willpower.

nonnispumoni writes:

NTA...my granddaughter was 3 last Christmas. We had presents under the tree. She woke up first. You know what she did...woke everyone else up. Then waited for her presents.

We do stockings before breakfast and presents after. My grandson is 14. He never did this. My children never did this. This child has impulse control issues or is just spoiled rotten. She absolutely knew these presents were not hers...AND she broke them?

You absolutely need to take precautions. And absolutely need to tell your brother and his girlfriend to back the F up. Their daughter RUINED Christmas for other peoples' CHILDREN. CHILDREN!!!!!!

They can get as butthurt as they want but you aren't taking chances that another person's child will be disappointed with broken, unwrapped toys on Christmas morning. The audacity of them to be annoyed by common sense.

Looks like OP is NTA. Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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