This user saw her niece laugh at her son for his disability and make him cry, so she got angry and yelled at her. Now, everyone thinks she overreacted!
OP (Original Poster) is a 34-year-old married woman with a 12-year-old son named Lucas.
Her pregnancy with Lucas was “challenging” and filled with “many complications.”
Dealing With Disabilities
Ultimately, Lucas was born with “several disabilities and medical conditions.” Some of those conditions affect his voice.
Struggling to Be Respected
When Lucas speaks, his voice slurs, and he stutters at times as well. Due to this, Lucas is often “insecure” about his disability because it means people “don’t take him seriously” despite him being a “very bright kid.”
Not long ago, OP had a family gathering at her mother’s house. Her 35-year-old sister and her 15-year-old niece, Sarah, were both in attendance.
Lucas hadn’t seen Sarah in a few years, so he was excited to see her again.
Lucas went over to greet Sarah and said hello to her. OP noticed that throughout the entire interaction, Sarah had a “strange look” on her face, like she was holding back laughter.
OP could tell immediately that her son was starting to feel uncomfortable.
Laughing at Others
As OP kept observing the situation, she realized this went beyond a teenager having difficulty hiding an initial reaction.
Each time Lucas would say something, Sarah would “snigger” and try to hide it by covering her mouth.
As this continued, Lucas looked increasingly discomfited and “super embarrassed.” On behalf of her son, OP grew furious.
Eventually, Lucas claimed he “wasn’t feeling well,” and OP’s husband drove him home.
Tears Shed in Transit
After they had departed, OP received a text from her husband. He told her that Lucas had started crying when he got into the car because he was upset at his cousin’s laughing at him.
Time to Interrogate
OP decided she needed to get to the bottom of this. She went over to Sarah and asked if she could explain what Lucas had been saying that she “found so funny.”
Sarah didn’t have an answer for OP. All she could do was go red and remain silent.
Hiding Behind Age
OP’s sister then jumped into the conversation to defend her child. She said that Sarah was “just a kid.”
Because of Sarah’s age, her sister told her she “couldn’t expect her to respond any differently.”
Not Having It
To this, OP told her sister that she needed to teach her kid not to be such an “ignorant brat.”
Sarah became visibly angry at what her aunt had said. Instead of acting more mature and apologizing, she yelled at OP and said she wasn’t a brat.
OP snapped at this point. She furiously told her to “shut up” and “stop acting like one” if she wasn’t.
Sarah and her sister then stormed out of the family get-together.
Once they were gone, OP’s parents told her she had taken things “too far,” leaving her questioning whether she had overreacted.
What the Community Has to Say
Redditors quickly took OP’s side, and nearly everyone felt Sarah was too old to play the child card to excuse rude behavior.
The top-upvoted user said, “Not the a**hole. Your sister and your niece both need to learn some manners. Fifteen is too old for the ‘just a kid’ excuse. Of course, you should expect that your high school-aged niece will be respectful to her cousin and you while attending a family gathering. Hopefully, this was an effective learning experience for your niece since she’s not getting lessons in manners from her mother. I hope your son will be okay.”
Another Redditor added, “Agreed. Fifteen is way too old to be behaving like this. I knew better than to laugh at people with disabilities when I was seven years old. Your niece is not a good person, and neither is her mother for trying to excuse her actions.”
Teaching Someone to Be Better
Some Redditors felt that OP shouldn’t have lost her temper and should have focused on trying to teach Sarah that her behavior was inappropriate.
One user said, “Everyone sucks here. Name-calling your niece won’t fix the situation. Be clear about your expectations for how your niece is to treat your son, and be calm. Your sister is nuts thinking a 15-year-old is too young to understand rudeness and consideration.”
Another Redditor commented, “Everyone sucks here. What Sarah did was despicable, as was your sister defending her behavior. But you are the adult, and let your anger get the better of you. When Sarah went red, it showed she knew what she did was wrong. It was a teachable moment, and if you could have calmly explained how much Lucas was looking forward to seeing her and that she made him feel so bad that he cried, I’ll bet she would have felt so bad that she’d never do it again. But that opportunity was lost when it devolved into name-calling. That puts people on the defensive. I don’t blame you for being so angry. What happened is heartbreaking.”
Do you think OP overreacted and should have approached the situation differently? Or was Sarah too cruel and deserved to be yelled at?
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This post first appeared as She Called Her Niece an “Ignorant Brat” and Embarrassed Her After She Sniggered at Her Son’s Disabilities and Made Him Cry. Now Her Parents Say She “Took Things Too Far!” on Quote Ambition.