Man Refuses to Give Son's Toy Truck to Nephew

Gillian Sisley

When the nephew didn't get the toy he wanted, he threw a tantrum, and the toddler's father is blaming the uncle for the 3-hour tantrum that followed.

With Thanksgiving now behind us, many internet users are summarizing their nightmare experiences that took place during the holidays.

One post, published by user u/aita_toy_tantrum, has gone extremely viral on Reddit with 19,000 and 2,300 comments.

The man begins his post by explaining that he hosted Thanksgiving for his family, and that his brother, sister-in-law, and their almost 4-year-old son were in attendance among the guests.

Overstepping a host's generosity.

The man explains that as his brother and sister-in-law were leaving, they asked if they could take one of the trucks owned by the author’s 2-year-old son. The 4-year-old nephew had been playing with the toy all night. The brother offered to buy a replacement toy for the 2-year-old if they could take the truck with them for their own son as they left.

The author then offered instead that he could send a link to the toy so that they could buy it themselves, but he would not give them his son’s toy. He explains,

“I refused for two reasons: firstly, my brother/sister-in-law have a terrible habit of giving my nephew everything he asks for. He is way too old for that. Secondly, I don’t want to reinforce in my nephew that it’s OK to just take things he wants.”

Who’s to blame for the tantrum that followed?

The man’s brother then begged for the toy, saying that if his son couldn’t have it, the child would throw a massive tantrum, and that it would just be easier if they could take the truck and buy the man’s child a new one later.

The author did not relent,

“I told my brother that I would not be an enabler for my nephew’s bad behavior, and that it’s my brother/SIL’s problem if he throws a tantrum.”

Psychologist Thomas Lickona, Ph.D. writes in Psychology Today that one of the best ways to raise a kind child is to show examples of "kindness and respect" when interacting with others, including with others outside of the immediate family.

The man then wrote that "of course the inevitable happened" and the 4-year-old started shrieking at the top of his lungs because he couldn’t have the toy, and the author asked his brother and his family to leave.

Are family members responsible for accommodating entitled children?

The author concludes his post by explaining that he got an angry text from his brother later that evening stating that the 4-year-old screamed his head off for "the entire three-hour car ride home", and only stopped when he passed out from the exertion.

The brother accused the author of being responsible for the tantrum, which could have been completely avoided if he had just given his nephew the toy truck. The brother went on to accuse the man of "backseat parenting".

The author's wife even thinks that he should have handed over the toy just to make things easier, especially because their son wouldn't have noticed if it was missing for a few days. The man still believes he was not in the wrong, and that "the tantrum is 100% a result of their terrible parenting".

What do you think? Should the author have just given the toy truck to his nephew, in the spirit of Thanksgiving? Or was he in the right to refuse, and leave his brother and sister-in-law to deal with the aftermath?

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