Am I wrong for telling my cousin I'd get rid of a Christmas present if she didn't listen?

Woman Threatens to Withdraw Niece’s Christmas Gift Over Repeated Intrusion. AITA?

The holiday spirit sometimes comes with a side of drama when family boundaries get crossed. A situation involving gift-wrapping etiquette and child discipline has sparked a debate on whether certain measures are too harsh for the holiday season.

One Reddit user took to r/amiwrong to seek opinions on a conflict that arose during family Christmas preparations and whether the proposed consequence was warranted.

She wrote:

Visiting family for the holidays and I’m the main person who does almost all the gift wrapping. I do wrapping in one of the guest bedrooms. It’s a rule, when the doors close to not come in, or to knock so I can make sure that no one sees their present.

My cousin (11 years old) decided that she was just going to walk into the room whenever she felt like it despite the fact she has no reason whatsoever to come in.

I told her 3 times to stop doing that, one time she even walked in dragging another one of our cousins who’s present I was currently wrapping.

After that I told her if she walks in without permission while I’m wrapping again I’m taking back a gift I got her.

She got upset and told her parents. They weren’t really upset but my mom told me that was wrong and too harsh to tell a child.

Am I wrong?

People were quick to share their thoughts:

MoomahTheQueen said that NTA. She knew exactly what she was doing

Drawing the line with an 11-year-old who is knowingly pushing boundaries is not being the bad guy. Kids that age are capable of respecting rules, and repeated disobedience might need a firm response.

littlescreechyowl mentioned NTA. 11 is in 5th grade, she can handle knocking before walking in.

Children are often more aware of their actions than they let on. If an 11-year-old can navigate school etiquette, they certainly can learn home etiquette about privacy and respect.

Cookies_2 stated I was 11 for half of 7th grade this child absolutely knows better.

Age is not always just a number; it’s a strong indicator of what behaviors can be expected. In this case, the child’s age suggests a level of understanding that calls for accountability.

ToxicChildhood argued NTA. 11 years old is old enough to know manners and listen to simple instructions. 1st time I get, accidental. 2nd time is seeing just how far she can push things and 3rd time is a CHOICE.

The notion that repeat offenses move from mistakes to deliberate choices highlights that consequences are part of learning. This user sees the threat of taking away a gift not as harsh, but as a necessary learning step.

Sweet-Interview5620 expressed the view it’s ridiculous how they turn on OP for them not parenting their own child. She was old enough to be warned this.

The problem of passing off parenting responsibilities is underscored here, suggesting that it’s not wrong to enforce rules when primary caregivers don’t.

Typical_Golf3922 noted Little child? She’s not a toddler. NW (NTA assumed)

Reminding others that an 11-year-old is far from being a ‘little child’ and that different expectations apply.

SpookyAuntZanna contributed If your warning doesn’t get through to her, this is her opportunity to learn the truth about FAFO. NTA.

This user sees the situation as an opportunity for a valuable life lesson about actions and their consequences.

jacksonlove3 commended NTA. I used to tell my own children this. 11-year-old is plenty old enough to know what she’s doing, which is snooping.

Bringing in personal parenting experience, this user relates to the situation advocating for accountability even at home.

TomatoFeta humorously added There’s no crying in baseball. No, seriously. Three strikes, she messed up. You had to say something she would finally hear.

Using a sports analogy, this comment highlights the three-strike rule and supports the need for clear communication of consequences.

CaffeineFueledLife related their experience, Not wrong. I told my 5yo and 3yo to stay out of my room while I was wrapping. They listened.

This anecdote suggests even younger children can adhere to rules if properly guided, validating the original poster’s stance.

Stella430 shared a clever take, Not Wrong. This is the age that they are testing their limits, seeing what they can get away with. Heres the fun thing. You don’t actually NEED to take away any presents. She just needs to have the question in her mind…

They opened a conversation about psychological tactics in parenting without the need for material repercussions, adding nuance to the debate.

For-the-masses added NTA, she isn’t listening, so hopefully, that gets her attention.

Echoing a common sentiment on this thread, this comment stresses the importance of paying attention to and abiding by boundaries.

whothefukk tersely put it, Child knows better you aren’t wrong.

The bluntness in this response underlines that the poster’s actions were justified based on the child’s level of understanding.

PrincessPindy cautioned It’s only wrong if you don’t follow through. I don’t make threats unless I’m going to do what I say.

This comment adds the perspective that threats or warnings must be followed through to be effective.

What’s your thoughts on setting strict boundaries with children during the holidays? Do you think the possibility of taking a Christmas present away is too severe of a consequence? Head back to the Facebook post and share your thoughts. Let’s hear what you have to say about maintaining order and teaching lessons during the festive season.