Internet Defends Uncle Refusing to Take 'Out of Control' Nephew on Vacation

Members of a popular internet forum were quick to defend one man who explained why he's taking two of his three nephews on vacation, but not the third.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/Tobeadessertman (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said he hosted the three boys to prepare for the trip and recounted the events that left one nephew on the outside looking in.

Titled, "[Am I the a**hole] for taking two of my nephews on vacation with me, but not the other?" the post has received nearly 11,000 votes and 1,600 comments in the last six hours.

Writing that he is childless and works a good job, the original poster said he recently decided to take his three nephews—two from his sister Lisa and one from his sister Annie—on a 14-day trip to the seaside.

But before embarking on the journey, the original poster said he had all three boys over for a weekend to gauge what a two-week vacation would feel like for the entire group.

"The boys came, and at first, we had a great time," OP wrote. "I [ordered] us pizza, we watched a movie, played soccer, etc."

After a great first night, however, the original poster said the next morning brought nothing but chaos—and a difficult decision.

"I woke them up and gave them cereal. The [8-year-old] throws the cereal on the floor and says 'I have waffles for breakfast,'" OP wrote. "He said he doesn't like cereal [and] I told him he can then just have some toast with peanut butter or some fruit. He yelled at me for not making him waffles."

"That day he also cut up my shirt because I didn't let him have cookies for lunch, and told me I suck for telling him to eat his veggies," OP continued. "He was [a] nightmare."

"When my sister came to pick them up, I told Annie what happened and she said 'oh he is just high spirited.' I told her I'm not taking him for vacation," OP added. "My parents and some aunts have been biting my head off for treating the kids differently and denying a boy to go to the seaside just because he misbehaved once."

The typical family beach vacation normally involves parents and children piling to a fully-loaded car while trying to remain civil long enough to ensure everyone has at least a semblance of a good time.

A vacation with an uncle, aunt or other relative from outside of the immediate family can look similar—but with the potential for a lot more fun.

However, letting loose with the fun uncle and aunt or lenient grandparents who encourage occasional rule-bending requires more diligence and comes with even more red tape than traveling with parents.

From birth certificates and passports to pertinent medical information, parenting website Hello Motherhood recommends that non-parent family members bring along written permission and other documentation proving that children are with relatives capable of caring for them when on vacation—and that's just the paperwork side of the situation.

When it comes to vacationing with relatives, the issue of discipline can prove difficult for both adults and children.

Because uncles, aunts, grandparents and other family members aren't usually involved in disciplining children other than their own, there can be hesitancy to enforce certain parenting rules, which can spark overwhelming chaos and bad times for everybody involved.

Uncle exhausted by nephew
Members of Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole stood behind one man who explained why he won't let one of his three nephews go on vacation with him. Nadezhda1906/iStock / Getty Images Plus

In his viral Reddit post, the original poster said that the idea of a preliminary weekend with his nephews was intended to combat the potential for chaos, and that he wanted to make sure the three boys could get along well enough under his care alone. And when it became clear that was not a possibility, the original poster decided to remove the most obvious perpetrator from the vacation equation.

Throughout the post's comment section, Redditors defended that decision and called out the original poster's upset family members for wanting to overlook his nephew's disruptive behavior.

"[Not the a**hole]," Redditor u/toomanydogs3 wrote in the post's top comment, which has received nearly 12,000 votes. "Your 8 year old nephew has serious issues which his mother is ignoring."

"Cutting up a shirt because he couldn't have cookies for lunch?" they questioned. "That is very disturbing behavior."

Redditor u/ForgottenZodiac, whose comment has received nearly 10,000 votes, offered a similar response and applauded the original poster for not letting one nephew's actions ruin vacation plans for the others.

"You shouldn't have to deal with a spoiled kid if you don't want to. [Especially] if he isn't yours," they wrote. "Rewarding the other two nephews for being good and taking them is lovely and super nice of you."

In a separate comment, which has received nearly 3,000 votes, Redditor u/teresajs called out OP's sister and placed the onus of an extended family vacation on his other relatives who were so concerned about his nephew being excluded.

"That isn't 'misbehaving once,'" they wrote. "Your nephew is spoiled and out of control. At his age, that's usually a consequence of poor parenting."

"If your relatives think your nephew deserves a vacation, they are more than welcome to take him," they added.

Newsweek reached out to u/Tobeadessertman for comment.