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Woman is happy to have children at her wedding, just not her SIL's kids. AITA?

Woman is happy to have children at her wedding, just not her SIL's kids. AITA?

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How do you tell a parent that their kids are the problem?

One bride-to-be was stuck with a conondrum when she was planning her wedding. She was more than willing to allow her guests to bring their children, but she specifically banned her sister-in-law's kids from attending. She has nothing against her SIL or her children, but she felt that their manic energy would ruin her special day. Now, she's wondering if she has been too harsh.

'WIBTA if I asked one specific person not to bring their kids to my wedding?'

curlystephi

My (26F) fiancé (28M) and I are still in the early stages of wedding planning, so this hasn’t been something we need to directly address yet, but I know it’s been in the back of both our minds.

My fiancé has a stepsister (late 20s F) who is married with three young children, all under ten. My fiancé did not grow up with this stepsister as their parents married after they were both out of the house, and they are not close.

His stepsister’s oldest is on the spectrum; he is mostly non-verbal and communicates physically and through grunts and very few words. He is very physically active, stimulating himself by running around his environment (home, restaurant, etc.) and making loud noises.

His younger sister wants to play with him, so she follows his lead and runs around making loud noises. Significantly, my fiancé’s stepsister does nothing to try to reign them in or help them behave more appropriately.

She makes sure they don’t wander too far, but they are otherwise free to do what they want. This occurs even in crowded restaurants, with the children regularly getting up from the table to walk around the room. The third child is an infant.

Neither I nor my fiancé have anything against kids in general. We both want kids in the future, and there will be a few other toddlers and young children at the wedding, all of whom we know personally and are much better behaved in public settings.

Our wedding ceremony will be outdoors, but the reception will be mostly inside, with some limited outdoor space. My fiancé’s stepsister’s children will have room outside to run around, but will likely still disturb the guests, and will not have the space to run around inside the reception area.

I am also worried that the two of them playing and being rambunctious will encourage the other children to join in and cause distraction and potential chaos to both the ceremony and reception.

WIBTA if I requested that she find other arrangements for her children for the night and risk her declining the invitation to attend the wedding at all?

Here were the top comments from readers:

AccidentZestyclose62

I’m autistic and although YWNBTA you should just make it child free. People are making this into an ableism issue and it’s not, it’s a parenting issue - they are not prevented from behaving inappropriately in formal settings. I’m engaged and we are having autistic kids at the wedding because they are used to this kind of stimulation and their parents are the sort to take them out if they are distressed/disruptive.

You aren’t being mean (I am not bigoted against those with vertigo but I wouldn’t invite them to go bungee jumping!) it’s about the behaviour. Stop any kids from coming because otherwise you’ll get a lot of backlash.

american_amina

I just received an invitation to a wedding that essentially said “this event does not provide childcare. All children must be under supervision at all times.” In this case it’s on a farm, and I think there was other language about the nature of it being a working farm and the possibility of a child being injured.

They phrased it very kindly, but firmly. If I was bringing children, I would understand what that means. I think if you have the same rules for everyone, it’s fine. I wouldn’t single this family out with extra rules.

rak1882

I may be the outlier but I think it's okay to tell someone that you don't think your event is the right fit for their child. I think you have to be honest that other kids are going to be invited.

But as long as the issue isn't that he is non-verbal and makes random sounds (cuz kids make noise) but is that in inappropriate locations, he and sister will run around. I think that's okay. Mom has to know that behavior isn't okay everyplace and it's going to mean that there are places where she needs a plan.

Now maybe the answer is for your fiance to speak with her parents (or parents and stepsister) and acknowledge the issue. Go- I'd love niece and nephew to come but I know that when nephew feels like X, Y, or Z, he likes to run around and that won't be an option during the reception.

So can we come up with a plan for nephew or is the best option for them to not come? And OP and I will help cover the cost of childcare for the imposition our wedding is causing. But including some kids so you can include all of the other kids doesn't seem right to me. But I think you have to be honest about why.

If you don't want to be honest- well there are going to be a lot of kids that you aren't inviting. But generally NTA (that said, you get a group of kids together they're going to run around together. they're kids.)

Dipping_My_Toes

NTA - If the mother had any history of attempting to help her child to behave in an appropriate manner in public I'd feel differently, but apparently she just let's him and his sister rampage around and cause major disruptions because she can't be bothered to parent. Her children not being welcome at events like a wedding and reception are the result of her refusal in this regard.

cranbeery

NTA. Invite only the adults, and prepare for the fallout.

Are your fiance's dad and stepmom the type not to attend in solidarity? Is SIL the type to raise a stink?

The OP responded after listening to what the readers had to say.

curlystephi

Some people have (reasonably) pointed out that I would be discriminating against the child with autism. While not my intention, I fully understand how that is the conclusion of my actions.

My perspective was more on the mother’s ability to provide an alternate form of care instead of allowing her children to “run wild,” but I understand that I do not have a very full understanding of the nuances of his autism and that I may be asking something that is not possible at this point in his development. I appreciate the commenters for pointing this out!

Do you think the OP is being cruel or judgmental or is she just trying to protect her wedding?

Sources: Reddit
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