'AITA for telling my brother that he has no idea what he's talking about because he isn't a parent?' (2024)

"AITA for telling my brother that he has no idea what he's talking about because he isn't a parent?"

I (26M) have 3 kids under 5 (4F, 4F and 2M) with a 4th kid on its way. Before we had kids, my wife and I had lots of ideas about the parents we were going to be and we had lots of scorn for people who parented in ways we disagreed with but, as any parent knows, actually raising kids is hard work and you will break your "values."

My brother (22M) is doing a psychology degree, with a few modules on child psychology and development. He regularly tells me that he thinks "iPad kids" are spoiled brats who will struggle developmentally and they are the spawn of lazy, negligent parents.

I wouldn't say my kids are iPad kids but they do have an iPad between the 3 of them and more screen time that I would ideally like but sometimes thems the breaks. My brother also disapproves of the fact we give our kids sweets as bribes (occasionally) and have lied to our kids. Every time he tells me his views on parenting I just laugh and tell him to try being a parent, then I'll take his advice.

Recently, due to an emergency, my wife and I needed a babysitter for a whole day so I called my brother because, despite his judgement, he is actually very good with our kids.

When we got home in the evening the kids were in bed having had dinner and we thanked him profusely. He very ernestly told us that, now he had experienced being a parent, he realized that not letting your kids use screens was very easy and they hadn't watched TV or used their ipad in the 12 hours he'd been there.

He also said he'd calmed their fears (they had been aware of the emergency a little bit), read to them, not had to bribe them to do anything with sweets and he'd dealt with very calm relaxed children, as opposed to the "brats" they normally are when they're with me (his words).

He gave us a 20 minute lecture about our bad parenting and now that he was in a position to give advice he was going to give it. We'd been planning on giving him around 200 dollars to thank him for doing this for us short notice and looking after the kids for so long but we sent him on his way without any pay.

The next day I called him up to tell him I thought his behavior was incredibly inappropriate, that I appreciated him looking after the kids but it was better he didn't see them for a while and that him springing that all on us especially after a day of stress showed how immature he really was.

I told him that he actually didn't know anything about parenting because he wasn't a parent. I concede I may have gone too far but my mum called me up later to tell me my brother was crying and she called me a dhead because he was just trying to help and apparently I'm a bad parent for dealing with peoples kindness so rudely. My brother and parents are pissed off at me and not talking to me so AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

MesaCityRansom said:

YTA, sounds like your childless brother is a better parent than you. Maybe listen to him?

Competitive_Delay865 said:

ESH, you only very slightly and only for this phrase "I told him that he actually didn't know anything about parenting because he wasn't a parent." Because I know it isn't categorically true.

I'm a parent to a 3 year old and I have a psychology degree focusing on child psychology so I see both sides of this. Do I know what studies say about what's best for raising children? Yeah, do I sometimes go against those studies? Of course. The main thing is I do my best, and I'm sure you do too.

He shouldn't be forcing advice and commentary on your parenting, especially when he should know from a psychological stand point that children are better behaved with close adults that aren't parents, and definitely not after the day you'd had, nor for 20 minutes.

I also don't necessarily agree with you limiting contact between him and the kids, although I do understand why, the more he spends with children the more he will see that they are more than what is in his textbooks.

It's not your responsibility to educate him in anyway and don't feel like you have to, but if you want to improve the relationship then it needs to start with conversation where you do the talking about your children's behaviour and why you specifically do the things you do.

my-coffee-needs-me said:

ESH. Your kids are going to end up being brats if you don't quit with the bribery and screen time. Your brother's child psychology courses have made him a bit of a pompous a%s. Still, you don't have to be a parent to recognize bad parenting, just like you don't have to be a plumber to spot a leaky pipe.

LilBitofSunshine99 said:

YTA. Bribe your kids with sweets? Great parenting there. I bet you became the very type of parents that you were scornful of before. Try to be a bigger man and apologize for not paying for services that you selfishly used. Be better because you have an example to set.

PoppyStaff said:

YTA for limiting contact. Brothers often fight but depriving your kids of his company and vice versa, is punishment for both. It achieves nothing aside from you using your kids as a weapon, which is dubious at best.

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'AITA for telling my brother that he has no idea what he's talking about because he isn't a parent?' (2024)


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