AITA for asking my niece to babysit my daughter for an emergency?

  1. What makes it worse is him doubling down in the post and saying he “had no other option”… like what? He couldn’t just tell her it was important and that he’d make it up to her?? He had no other option than being cruel? I know stressful situations can make people say some shitty things, but this was a beyond shitty thing to say to her, holy guacamole.

  2. Wait what ? Lol I agreed with you up until you mentioned why he calls her his niece…. This isnt a child he adopted at birth she was 9 YEARS OLD. If my uncle adopted me i wouldn’t want to be considered his daughter. She has a mother and a father and they unfortunately passed away. I don’t know why you are trying to force titles on someone or what that had to do with the rest of the story

  3. OP is absolutely positively allowed to require a kid he adopted to baby sit in an emergency and the kid is absolutely positively not allowed to decline.

  4. I agree with everything except calling their niece their daughter. Why would they want to erase the girls parents like that?

  5. Yep. I have no issue with expecting siblings to help in an emergency. That’s what family does. But there was absolutely no excuse for what OP said to their child. That’s what pushes it into YTA territory for me.

  6. I'm the "adopted niece" and I haven't had a relationship with my "parents" since I left at 19. They used me as childcare from the age of 9 and ended up having 5 bio kids by the time I was 16. I had to call them mom and dad, but they introduced me as "our niece who lives with us" to everyone. I just couldn't do it anymore. Naturally as soon as i was gone and no longer the "free help" they stopped even trying to talk to me more than once every year or 2.

  7. I have never said something cruel in anger, that I haven’t shamefully thought before that. You don’t just come out with those things out of the blue.

  8. I agree with everything except she can agree to decline. Is she supposed to be part of the family or not? Pick a side, you know? You don’t tell your parent “no I won’t watch my little sibling while you go see if mom is ok.” I just don’t understand your perspective on that.

  9. I can see this interpretation but I’m not sure it’s the only one available. He may be calling her his “niece” out of respect for her parents, who he was obviously close to and can’t replace, adoption notwithstanding—plus, in expecting her to help in a family emergency, he actually is treating her as a dad would treat a 12-year-old daughter, in a family emergency, even if he didn’t express himself perfectly. A 12-year-old is old enough to take care of a 4-year-old and old enough to recognize that a medical emergency takes precedence over whatever one’s evening plans were. OP, I would say take this as an opportunity to reach out to your niece and apologize for your role in this conflict but also to reassure her that you love her and consider her part of your family.

  10. And no way this was the first time. Girl would not say "I am not your personal babysitter" if she was just asked that day. You are not a nice human being. True character comes out when pressured or drank. I always try to be considerate about both aspects of a story but in this case YTA with disgust

  11. "Look, if you aren't willing to help out to babysit, I need you and < 4 year old > to get in the car to come with me. is in the hospital and I need to get down there."

  12. Leaving a 12 year old in charge of a 4 year old. That is when child safety will come knocking on their door.

  13. This exactly. My sister once called because she was hopping in the car behind the ambulance taking her husband to the ER. We didn’t know what the night would bring so we were either going to do the car/toddler hand off there or I was gonna sit for a few hours while she advocated.

  14. Right now at our hospital in Alabama, no one under 18 can come in cause of COVID. My husband had to spend the night in the hospital and I couldnt bring toddler into visit or even to pick him up. We had to wait outside so that was probably the same for OP. He is still an AH for.what he said though, no doubt.

  15. Umm... So you want to be judged on whether or not you are an AH for asking your niece (she's actually your daughter too, you know) to babysit. No, you are not. But then you told her that the only reason you adopted her, is to use her as free labour. And that sort of overshadow things, because nothing you say after that will make you not the AH. YTA.

  16. Mostly agree with the comment, but I actually know two people adopted by their own family and they did not want the title of children to their adoptive parents. One of them even calls her adoptive siblings brother/sister, but not the parents. We just don’t have enough context to make a point in favor or against him in this case.

  17. Yep. She’s only 12, that’s something that’s going to stick with her for the rest of her life. “Gifts” won’t take back what OP said

  18. YTA. You somehow managed to avoid screaming at any of the other people who couldn’t help you out that it was an emergency and they owed you, so…yeah, not buying that “desperation” was the only thing behind that little slip of yours. Hope you saved money from therapy along with all the bribes that won’t actually make up for having revealed your true feelings to her and just how tenuous her position in this family is if she doesn’t follow your orders, because holy shit is this an Asshole of the Year contender.

  19. I wonder if his wife knows what he said? Maybe he posted to try and get things he could use to convince his wife what he said isn’t that bad?

  20. Of course he didn't say things like that to any of them, they're adults and not minor children dependent on him for all of their basic needs. They have power and could fight back or make him uncomfortable later for his abuse, while his niece is powerless and now has a new fear of abandonment to keep her properly in line for next time he needs her labor.

  21. She's never babysat before (OP replied to another comment) so she was probably super freaked out about the whole situation to begin with. Asking an inexperienced kid to watch a toddler under these circumstances is not a "this should be a given" situation at all. OP is a real piece of work.

  22. Your 12yo niece, whom you adopted because her parents died, said no to watching her cousin because her mother figure had been in an accident.

  23. About the "real feelings" coming out, that's not always true, we also make up shit on the spot specificaly to hurt the other person. Which is also a shitty thing to do, but yeah, we lie to hurt too

  24. As an adoptee, I need you to know that she will never be 100% convinced you didn't mean that. 20+ years of therapy down the road and she will still believe, deep down, that you truly only adopted her for free labor. Those words can never be taken back. Those are her truth, now and forever. When she's older and feels like a burden, know that was you! Trust me as someone whose family made those comments as jokes, that hurt never goes away. There's a reason I'm LC/NC with my dad....

  25. I mean hell, my mom never said it straight out but I’m 27 and know the only reason I was adopted was because my dad wanted a girl. It was clear from day one she favored my brother (their bio kid) and it never needed to be spelled out for me. Actually hearing this from her OPs mouth? That’s set in stone in her mind.

  26. Anyone else feel like his admission to being an asshole was lame and forced? He didn't ask us if he's the asshole. He already said he doesn't think he is. I feel like he tried to use us to validate his own certainty that he's not an asshole.

  27. One time when my sibling and I were 6 and 7 in a fit of rage I said something about them being adopted and they bust out in tears (we were already fighting) and they ran to mom crying and I got in sooooo much trouble. I am bio to my parents and we were essentially raised as twins. I remember how serious my parents treated it and it’s something I can never take back, ever. I don’t even remember the specifics, but it made an impact on my life. The difference in me & OP is that I did that as a literal child, not as a fully grown adult and I am to this day very very close with my sibling. I can’t believe an adult would say that…. I’m shocked at this post tbh

  28. YTA so freaking hard. How dare you say that to a child! One who I am also assuming has gone through some past trauma to now be living with you. Older children are not free babysitters, and you don't apologize with physical goods. You better be paying for this kid's therapy.

  29. She's 12 now, and her parents (I assume together) died few years ago; that would be enough of a trauma, and depending on how her parents died, and what kind of accident her adoptive mother (OP's wife), yikes.

  30. YTA. You don't say that shit to a kid. No matter what 'nice' things you give her or do for her, this is what she's going to think of you and her place in your family, because right now I'm sure she doesn't think it's her family.

  31. YTA. She will NEVER forget that you said that. The emotional and mental damage you have caused is going to take a very long time to get over, if that ever happens. Using money/gifts to excuse your behavior is disgusting as well. Don’t be surprised if she alienates you further and further. FYI - you could have taken your four year old with you. What would you have done if the 12 yr old wasn’t there? You would have been a parent instead of a cruel AH.

  32. YTA. Asking a 12 year old to babysit in an emergency situation is inappropriate (perhaps for short term instances, but not indefinitely). Telling your niece that you only adopted her so that she could be your permanent free babysitter is beyond monstrous. I hope she gets to go live with someone else. You don't deserve to have this child (or any other child) in your life.

  33. I hope this, too, that someone else in the family will step up and adopt her and actually give her the love she deserves and treat her like a daughter and not like some extra... thing... that's just there to spot as a babysitter when nobody else will. Absolutely gutting for the poor girl.

  34. You can't take babies or children to the hospital without another adult present to watch kids in waiting room. Kids wouldn't be allowed in the treatment area neither unless they themselves are being treated. This have been in effect since COVID.

  35. Oh sweet baby Jesus. Your niece is going to need therapy for a LONG time after this. And honestly? You need it, to. And YTA - not because you “asked” your niece. Because you didn’t respect her when she said no. Wow. Just wow with how awful your actions were.

  36. I would have added "I'll call/text/message you as soon as we know something." and maybe given the choice of "Either I need you to babysit [little one] or I need you two to come to the hospital with me and you to keep her distracted and with you while I take care of [aunt]." if that would have been feasible. I know at 12 I would have preferred to be at the hospital with the smaller kid where a change of scenery could help us both stay distracted and we'd have the huge courtyard/walking trail thing our local hospital had to use and keep our minds off things.

  37. YTA, no need for me to go over that one. But in your edit, you have said she is still being expected to caretake because your wife can’t currently? Well you had better hire someone or ask friends and family to help or put the 4yr old in day care etc. a 4yr old isn’t a toddler. If they are that feral that you need your wife and a 12yr old to look after them, you may want to rethink some things!

  38. YTA. Having an emergency doesn't excuse what you said. It seems you know this already. It's understandable that you were desperate in that instance but you did choose the nuclear option. You have a lot of work to do to with your niece since what you said just made your home not a safe place for her now. You put yourself back at step one (as if it is the day of the adoption). Yes, family should help in an emergency but what you said told your niece that she comes second even if it was intentional or not.

  39. YTA x 100 You told a CHILD who’s parents DIED that you adopted her out of convenience of child care. emergency or not you don’t get to say that to any person. ALSO buying her gifts and snacks is not an apology, you better sit down with that poor girl and express the deepest apologies because that is disgusting.

  40. My jaw actually dropped reading what you said to her. I'm glad you feel remorse, but no amount of gifts or treats are going to undo that damage. That is a truly awful thing to say to a little kid. YTA.

  41. YTA. Not only did you probably traumatize that girl for life, but you tried to buy her back with gifts and food and didn't even apologize for what you said. Seriously?!

  42. Yta, what you said was horrible and uncalled for. You may have damaged your relationship with your niece for what you said.

  43. YTA. You were fine to ask her to babysit. It's even fine to order her to babysit in an emergency like this one, because she is part of the family unit and needs to pitch in.

  44. So much this! OP recognizing what they said was horrific is a good step but they really need to sit down and own that. The only possible way for the child to recover from that and not leave life long deep deep scars is to own the fact that they F***ed up big time.

  45. YTA. Did your niece's parents die in an accident? How long ago? If it was in the last few years, did you stop and think this could be bringing back bad memories of losing her parents? No. You only thought of yourself.

  46. YTA I was so prepared to be on your side but when I got to what you said to her my jaw literally dropped. I cannot believe you spoke to a child in your care that way—and then you tried to buy her off with some presents and junk food? I’m just absolutely horrified.

  47. YTA. You could hardly say anything worse to the poor girl. You should have said it's an emergency and I need your help. That's what families do for each other. Apologize to her and explain why you were wrong as well that you know you were wrong

  48. YTA OP. You realize this yourself but you need to sit down with your niece and apologize and explain that you couldn't find another babysitter and you was worried about your wife (her Aunt), what her condition was and what was happening at the hospital. When she told you she wasn't your personal babysitter, you snapped and it was inexcusable. Then you need to explain to her when emergencies such as what happened and you or wife can't get a babysitter, this is when you/wife need her help and family help each other in emergencies such as this.

  49. YTA. Not for asking, or even for expecting, but for how you reacted. You got angry and cruel. Instead of explaining the situation, you went there.

  50. She could have been having her own reaction to possibly losing another parent. Poor kid was probably panicking. If the OP was in a panic about his spouse and that “caused” him to say something truly horrible, the child was also in a panic and not at her best either.

  51. OP said he never made her babysit before, so one can only assume she never had experience taking care of a smaller child. Probably if anything were to happen she did not want to be responsible.

  52. To ask her to help you, no, that was not an AH move. But your title is misleading. You are absolutely the AH for telling her "that's why I adopted you". What an absolutely fucked up thing to say.

  53. YTA. Stop trying to make excuses and justify why you think it was acceptable for you to say that. There are no circumstances, ever, where it is acceptable to take your anger and stress out on a child and say something that horrendously devastating. And stop saying she knows it’s not true. It doesn’t matter. I’m 32 years old and I still remember every horrible thing my dad said to me growing up that he supposedly “didn’t mean”. She will never forget this. An apology isn’t enough. Anything less than you taking full accountability and telling her that it was entirely your fault and not acceptable whatsoever and your job as her family is to love her no matter what and you failed her and you are going to do everything in your power to make sure it never happens again.

  54. YTA There are no amounts of snacks and gifts that will fix this. You said, under stress, exactly what you were thinking. And it is both unforgettable and unforgivable. You have destroyed your relationship with your niece. I can't even begin to tell you how much of an A**hole you are.

  55. Listen, OP is the Asshole (YTA) in this situation and OP KNOWS THAT. They have admitted to it and truly seem remorseful. They definitely seem like they have some work to do and are willing to do it.

  56. Even if the dude was panicking, there no excuses for saying what he said. And it's not about being perfect or not. He said the only reason he adopted her was to care for her 4 YO cousin. It cruel and stupid, even when you're in total panic mode

  57. YTA you’re majorly the asshole and you know that, that’s why you came home with all those gifts for her. There is absolutely nothing that will justify you hurting that girl like you did. You could have taken both of them with you and had your daughter and niece stay in the waiting room together while you went back to see your wife.

  58. YTA you could have took them with you until you found a babysitter. You can’t buy your way out of what you said. You just told her she is nothing more to you then a free babysitter.

  59. YTA. A line like “yes you are that’s why I adopted you” doesn’t come out of nowhere. No, she’s not the babysitter. She’s a member of your family and family can work together in an emergency.

  60. YTA. I’ve been where you are and said terrible things to people. Get therapy. It will help you learn coping techniques with anger under stress and how to properly respond. Learn to handle things like this. Also, kids are hard. I know. Think like of yourself, as selfish at it is, and think about how you wanted a response. Lastly….the child you adopted is too young to be expected to babysit. That is something I would’ve stressed out over beyond belief, especially at that age, so expectedly. She was not to blame. Your stress was. She deserves a lot more than gifts and a snack.

  61. YTA When I was 12 I was Bullied into babysitting for family. I was scared, I was in a strange house with a toddler, and I was scared. I wasn't used to being alone myself, much less in charge of a child. I called the police because of strange noises. Toddler got crayon on the wall, I got in trouble for the crayon.

  62. YTA- imo when people say things when they are emotional, they have some kind of meaning behind it. If I had adopted a kid, it would never come to my mind to say anything like that ever.

  63. Yta you wasted a shit ton of time arguing with a child. If no baby sitters are avilable you load up BOTH kids, cause guess what, 12 is a kid.

  64. I suspect that a huge trauma in that child's life left her without parents. So she already would have issues with abandonment. Then your wife is in an accident bringing all that back on her and you shout horrible stuff at her and demand she take over responsibility for a 4 year old when she's a frightened child herself.

  65. You better hope that 4 year old really loves you guys, this is a really tough bell to unring with your niece. It’s on the top list of “things to not say to your adopted child”. YTA squarely. She coulda kicked you in the nuts and say she hated you and you should never have said that. More forwardly, you need counseling or some form of talk therapy to understand why you’d Intentionally cruel to a child in your care. I’d say most people need therapy or counseling, so don’t take it as a mean that. But it’s a genuine need; and maybe take your niece eventually.

  66. YTA and tbh i have trouble believing your claim that you’ve never asked her do something like this before if her response was that vehement and you IMMEDIATELY had the thing about only adopting her for child labor locked and loaded. It was on your mind for a reason, so at the very least I feel like there are some background details missing

  67. You rightly admit you were an AH. Admit it to everyone she’s told, suck it up. Ideally seek family counseling to help heal the rift, or it could become permanent.

  68. Hell, dude. YTA. She’s twelve and saying something like that is like wiping your whole ass on the relationship and then setting everything on fire. This is a big deal. NEVER say anything like that again for any reason.

  69. YTA but I think you know that already. I advice you to put your niece to therapy and to coordinate with her therapist. This is hard OP, cause you're on walking egg shells right now. Everytime, for example unconsciously favor your daughter or whenever both you and your niece will have a disagreement, she will remember this time and probably use it against you. You really need to send her to a therapist OP. And also, please do not neglect your biological daughter just to curry favor to your niece. Please treat them equally.

  70. YTA, you’re the adult. Even in anger you should not have said that to your niece. You should definitely have a conversation with your niece to apologize/grovel and that you were acting childish and lashing out in worry for your wife.

  71. I think you know you’re TA for your comment. You need to sit down and talk with your niece/daughter and make amends. This is going to take a lot of work to repair. That kind of stuff sinks in deep with kids. You need to prove how you didn’t mean it.

  72. That poor poor child. My heart truly hurt for her when I read your post. That kind of rejection in your words cuts to the nerve. What you told her is reprehensible. Also, no matter how much you try to justify calling her your niece, you adopted her, she's your daughter too.

  73. YTA- how could you believe you are not? why are you asking us? Did you lose your heart too? are you always this cruel or just when it will hurt the most? Your niece needs intensive therapy and you need to figure out how to buy some empathy not trinkets. Can your sister provide her with a better home?

  74. Wowowowowowow.. YTA. One for saying that horrible comment to your niece/adopted child! Two for thinking buying snacks and gifts on your way home makes it any better. That seriously makes it worse. You need to have a serious talk and explain how horrible what you said was and while you were stressed from the emergency, it doesn’t make that comment okay and ask her to forgive you when she’s ready. That’s not the kind of comment that can be forgiven in a moment. She has every right to be mad and not forgive you yet. You, need to be patient and understanding and reflect on the damage you have caused a little girl.

  75. You do realize that you destroyed your relationship with your niece, right? And you need to be honest, you said what you said because this is a thought in your mind. I believe you told her your truth in the heat of the moment and now you feel bad because your family knows and you will have a harder time using her in the future. I hope another family member can take her in because you are wholly an unacceptable legal guardian. YTA x 1 million.

  76. Yta. Not only did you say some horrible shit to your niece but you think it's appropriate to leave a 12yr old in charge of a 4yr old? That's kids looking after kids. You should be ashamed of yourself and your actions.

  77. What the fucking hell is wrong with you?! You told a child who has likely had trauma that you adopted her to be your babysitter? You are disgusting. Congrats on shattering the relationship. Because you did exactly what an abuser does. You said something beyond belief to her and then “made it up” by love bombing her.

  78. when i was OP's niece's age, my parent told me i was a parasite and i cannot forget it. i bet OP's niece will always remember this too.

  79. "I was so desparate and angry at the moment so I yelled at her and told her yes you are thats why I adopted you"

  80. YTA. The fact that you had that line in your brain is a fundamental issue. There's no bribery you can do to take that back

  81. YTA. You NEVER say that to a kid. What else could you have done? You could have been a decent parent to both your daughters (adopted and bio) and not left one child to care for another. Take them with you, stay with them until you find help, it doesn't matter - it is your responsibility to care for both of your children (and I'm sure your niece was having some pretty traumatic reminders of her parents' death in that moment, so bonus for not recognizing and responding to that need). YTA x1000000.

  82. YTA. What you said was inexcusable and unforgivable, and she will never forget it. I can also say, as an adoptee myself who had similar things said to me now and then, that a part of her will always believe you meant it. It’s going to take a hell of a lot more than nice gifts and snacks to prove you love her for real.

  83. How are you going to say that you're TA, and then immediately say that you don't believe you're the AH? YTA definitely.

  84. YTA so much YTA if your sister asks for the niece to stay with her let her go to her. She will be a much better parent than you ever could be

  85. YTA. That child will never forget. Never. You have ruined that kid safety with one sentence and you will never be able to fully get it back. You’ll be living with that reaction for the rest of your life and I hope it was worth it to you

  86. I took in my nephew. Never in a million years would I have uttered, even in a crisis, such ugly words to him. No amount of snacks will make up for it. Have a REAL conversation. Tell her you are sorry, that you were upset, and that you said things you didn’t mean. Did you think, for even a moment, that SHE may have been upset with your wife in the hospital given that her parents died? My heart breaks for her. Yes, OP, YTA. Next time take both of your kids and go to the hospital or wherever the emergency is if you don’t have childcare.

  87. I don't even know why you have to leave them in the house in the first place. Why not bring them along with you? In our hospitals, there are large waiting rooms where relatives and kids wait. Are you even sure that they're safe alone at home? It sounds like it's not the first time she's asked to look after your kid. Now, that isn't a bad thing. But she phrased it as "personal babysitter", and that doesn't sound good. Also, YTA for saying that to the kid. She's 12 years old, old enough to remember hurtful words for a lifetime. It sounds like you can't keep a clear head in moments where you most need it.

  88. YTA. She will NEVER forget that sentence and even years of gifts and good words wont heal this wound. Take the kids with you to the hospital if no one can watch them

  89. You messed up big time. YTA. And you do know you can't ever ask her to babysit again you know this right? You've created this core memory and the only way to unlock is to never ask this favor again. The make up presents are yuck!

  90. YTA and a very big one at that. Not because of asking her to babysit but for screaming at her and telling her that was the only reason you adopted her. IDGAF how upset you were. That's beyond fucked up. She probably feels insecure and like an outsider at times already and you just reenforced those feelings.

  91. YTA. You think it's ok to say cruel things to a child because you're afraid the MOST TERRIBLE, AWFUL HORRIBLE THING THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO HER might be happening to you? The babysitting request was not unreasonable because family members help each other out, especially in emergencies, but to tell an orphan the only reason you took her was to provide unpaid labor is inexcusable. It's gonna take more than a daughter-daddy day to regain her trust.

  92. YTA - Why couldn't you take the kids with you? I would NEVER trust a 12 year old with babysitting a 4 year old even in an emergency. Congrats for scarring your niece for life that's something she'll remember forever.

  93. YTA, you’re the adult. Even in anger you should not have said that to your niece. You should definitely have a conversation with your niece to apologize/grovel and that you were acting childish and lashing out in worry for your wife. I don’t know if your niece will forgive you for this, if I were here I wouldn’t ever forget

  94. YTA. I understand you were worried about your wife and didn’t need the pre teen attitude during an emergency. But what you said is inexcusable. It’s one thing to be overwhelmed and lose your temper with a child, it’s another to say something so incredibly damaging. I know you have already apologized once, but it’s going to take a lot more reassurance and actions to back them up.

  95. A 12 year old is not a suitable babysitter under any circumstances emergancy or not. They wouldn't know what to do in an emergency and are certainly not responsible enough yo look after a 4 year old. Potentially responsible enough to be left by themselves for a short period of time but certbot to look after anyone.

  96. YTA. There’s no coming back from that, at all. No one cares how desperate you were. You could have said literally ANYTHING else.

  97. YTA. Your niece will never forget the day you told her that you adopted her to be a free babysitter. The day that she was essentially called unwanted and unloved. Nothing you ever say or do will erase that memory.

  98. YTA please stop saying that you didn’t mean it. That comment would have never come out of your mouth if that thought hadn’t at some point gone through your mind. The sooner you stop lying to yourself the sooner you begin to work on yourself for both those little girls.

  99. Woof YTA. You told a child, who had already endured trauma, that you adopted her free labor. I’m not sure if you, too, are a minor, but at some point, you’ve got to start acting like a responsible caretaker. Also, you can bring children with you to the hospital. I hope there are other people in that child’s life that actually love and nurture her.

  100. YTA. Asking her to babysit is fine. Telling her she had to babysit and leaving would be forgivable due to the circumstances, although you'd still owe her a major apology. Telling a child you only took her in after her parents' deaths to use as a servant is inexcusably cruel.

  101. NTA for expecting your niece to help, but YTA for saying what you did to her. No matter how upset and frustrated you are, those words should never even come across your mind.

  102. ESH - What you said was a bell you can't unring even with apologies. She will always remember you said that. Be prepared for it to change the dynamic of your relationship with her.

  103. NTA for asking or even insisting, but you NEVER say something like that to a child. I understand you were stressed and with covid restrictions you might not be able to just bring them. You are going to have to work long and hard for forgiveness.

  104. Well YTA for: 1.saying that free babysitting is why you adopted her 2. Trying to leave a 12 year old responsible for a 4 year old. 3. Not bringing both girls with you to see their mom.

  105. YTA. I know stress can fuck with you, and I hope your wife will be alright. But that was beyond cruel. She's 12, her parents died, and you had the nerve to tell her that you adopted her for free child labor? You should be ashamed.

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