Share his story with Reddit’s Am I the A******? (AITA) forum, user u/AdhesivenessNeat5584 said he adopted his niece after her parents passed away.
“Mine [sister-in-law] died aged 12 [ago] and my brother passed away 4 years ago. They had a daughter who is now 13 years old,” he wrote. “After my brother passed away, both me and my [sister-in-law’s] brother tried to adopt my niece, but since my niece wasn’t very close to her mother’s family, I was clearly the better option, so I finally adopted her.”
However, the niece has recently “developed the very annoying habit” of saying she would rather live with her other uncle to win arguments.
“I know she doesn’t mean it because 1. she barely knows her other uncle 2. I have a good paying job and I can offer things most people can’t offer, so she’s too spoiled to be able to live with anyone else,” he continued.
The last time they had a fight, the niece said again that she wanted to live with her other uncle. The poster called her bluff and told her to go.
“This time I told her to go get a bag,” he wrote. “An hour later I went to her room and asked her if she was ready. She said she didn’t mean what she said and didn’t really want to go.”
Stickiness Neat5584 decided to send her away for a week anyway. He told her she can return home after seven days if she wants to.
“She insisted she already knows where she wants to stay, but I told her to get in the car and took her there,” he said.
A week later, he called his niece and asked if she wanted to stay with her other uncle or return home. She chose to come back, but has been ignoring the user ever since.
“My family heard what happened and now everyone is mad at me and thinks I’m a ******,” he said.
Redditors agreed, with the post receiving 9,500 votes and more than 3,000 comments from users criticizing AdhesivenessNeat5584’s behavior.
What Is Compound Trauma And Does It Make Teens Act Out?
Angela Karanja, a psychologist and founder of the parental support service Raising Remarkable Teenagers, said repeated traumatic experiences can affect a child’s development in the form of “aggravated trauma.”
“Children who have experienced Adverse Childhood Trauma (ACE), for example death of parents or any other trauma, are more prone to additional challenges in teen years,” Karanja shared. News Week.
“If it’s not processed, one trauma will pile up on top of the other.”
Unresolved trauma coupled with the hormonal changes of puberty can make adolescence especially difficult for some teens and their guardians, manifesting as an “attitude problem.”
“[These struggles] can lead to anxiety, even depression,” Karanja said.
“In general, dealing with a child entering their teens with unresolved trauma requires parents and other caregivers to champion agency, open communication, trust, and the ability to set firm and fair boundaries.”
To do this, Karanja recommends acknowledging the child’s feelings, even if they seem unreasonable, such as listening and asking questions.
“Thank them for trusting you enough to be real and open [and] authentic with you. Offer positive reinforcement and praise and encourage them to keep sharing,” she said.
“Make it clear what you can and want to support with and make it clear to them that choices have consequences.
“[You can also] create a plan of activities that will help them stay focused and productive.”
‘He failed the test’
Reddit users were shocked by the poster’s decision to send his niece away, with user Mannings4 heard writing, “This kid has been through hell.”
“She lost both her parents at a young age and now lives with an uncle who showed her that his love is conditional,” he said.
“13-year-olds ALWAYS say the dumbest shit, you don’t take them seriously, and you certainly don’t send them away,” royalanguinius said.
“I was ‘adopted’ by relatives who used to pull this ‘I don’t have to keep you’ shit when I was a normal cocky teenager. Now I have abandonment issues,” evhanne wrote.
“A normal childhood is hard enough. I can’t imagine hearing shit like that,” Golfnpickle said.
While annang noted, “She was testing him to see if he’s a safe person, if she could count on him.” It’s literally part of adolescent development. Most kids do. And he failed the test.”
However, AdhesivenessNeat5584 seems to have taken the comments to heart. In an update, he said he had apologized to his niece and was taking steps to make amends.
“We decided to have a talk about it, I asked her how they treated her and she told me that while her uncle was nice, her aunt made her feel unwelcome and she didn’t feel good to be there ,” he added.
“She doesn’t want to live with them and she thinks I was a jerk for sending her, even after she apologised.
“She has some conditions to forgive me. For example, she keeps torturing me by forcing me to binge watch River valley with her. And she wants a daddy-daughter day.
“I suspect I won’t like any of her plans based on the wicked grin on her face, but I’ll do what makes her happy.”
News Week contacted u/AdhesivenessNeat5584 for comment. We were unable to verify the details of the case.
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