The attitude of being happy or satisfied with what one has in their life is very important to lead a peaceful and happy life. Children nowadays take things for granted and should know the value and be grateful for the things they have. Read this story and let us know if you agree with this aunt’s decision to correct her niece.
(43F) I have been very involved in my niece, (13F) Scarlett’s, life. I frequently visit my sister and brother-in-law, and often have Aunty days with Scarlett, her sister, and my own kids. Scarlett is a beautiful, creative, and clever girl, but she, unfortunately, can have an entitled attitude.
Her parents are middle class, my sister works part-time while my brother-in-law is a magnet school principal. We explain to Scarlett that she is not going to get everything she wants in life, but we will always make sure she has whatever she needs. Scarlett isn’t the only one who gets told “no” as this applies to every child in our family.
Scarlett still believes that because certain kids at her school have more money than her, she should always get expensive things too. She also has an attitude that because my partner and I make more money, we should buy pricey things for her. My sister and brother-in-law just continue to enforce boundaries and say they are waiting for “when Scarlett matures.”
Scarlett’s birthday is in a week. We will be on vacation on the actual day. So two days ago I treated Scarlett to a mall trip. We had a spa day, got lunch, then were about to head home when Scarlett said she wanted to go to the Apple store.
Scarlett showed me one of the Macbook Air laptops and told me she wanted it. I asked if the Chromebook I got her for school was broken. She said it worked but a girl in her class had a Macbook Air so she wanted one too. I explained to Scarlett that if she were willing to wait until Christmas I could try to find one on sale, but I couldn’t afford it at the current price.
Scarlett began to throw a tantrum because my son “Has a laptop that’s over $2000!” (A laptop I got second-hand and which my son has used for over eight years.) I explained this to her, but Scarlett continued her tantrum; Calling me a “greedy b&tch.” I firmly told her, “Scarlett, if you do not stop this behavior right now, I will return your other gifts and you will get nothing from me.”
Scarlett continued to use profanity towards me, so I told her “That’s it.” We walked back to all the stores and returned everything; Glittery phone case, jewelry, stuffed animals, everything. The only thing I did not return was a book, but I kept it and told Scarlett I will hold onto it until I feel she has learned to be grateful.
Scarlett whined in the car about not getting the things, and I told her “Scarlett if you had been grateful, you would have gotten all those things. But you weren’t and now you have nothing from me. Many kids’ families can’t even afford food. I want you to really think about all the things you have and learn to be grateful.”
My sister and brother-in-law agreed with my actions. But my brother-in-law’s parents say I was “cruel” to take birthday presents from a child and they would be re-buying Scarlett the gifts I returned. I don’t believe in rewarding bad behavior, and Scarlett will never be content until she learns to be grateful. Did I go too far here?
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