AITA for helping my sister keep a secret from my 5 year old niece?

  1. NAH but also not your place. As a social science student you should also know that telling her without the mother’s approval or confirmation that she will continue to have these tough conversations and answer her questions, you could end up causing more harm than good. There is no guarantee your sister will continue to be as honest as you are, and if she back tracks or starts to lie you’re only going to end up confusing her. It’s not your place. There are age appropriate ways to speak about everything, but as a social science student you should know that it’s not your place to go to someone else’s kid and start talking about it. You can give advice to your sister or suggestions, but you have no right to tell your niece things like that. Just because it’s slightly inconvenient for you to be cautious of what a child is told, doesn’t mean you get to just put it all out there.

  2. To clarify, I have no intention of telling my niece behind my sisters back… but I still feel like an asshole for dodging her questions, giving her half truths, and making sure we don’t discuss how much she looks like her father or her sisters that she doesn’t know about. I forgot to include that. She has 3 sisters who want to meet her but have not.

  3. NTA. This is your sister’s mess to figure out. I think you should tell your sister that your niece is asking these questions. I also think that you shouldn’t necessarily be covering for your sister. When your niece does ask a question that your sister has does not want you to answer, you should tell her: “you need to ask your mother.” That way you aren’t lying to her.

  4. NTA. She’s your sisters child, so you’re sister should decide when to tell her. 5 is still pretty young, but it’s worth talking to your sister about it. Let her know that her daughter is starting to ask questions and that you want to be honest with her, so maybe you can discuss together the best way to start explaining the situation with your niece.

  5. NTA your sister is correct in a way. Waiting a few more years when her child is old enough and with the proper way tell her then. I suggest with a child psychologist. Being only five now will most likely do more harm. Waiting til she is older it will be easier to explain it in detail for her to understand

  6. You're nta unless you tell her. It's your sisters responsibility to parent her child the way she sees fit, it might be a different story when your niece is older but for the time being explaining a situation like that to such a young child can be damaging. If you don't tell her about the DV then she'll grow up thinking bio father didn't want her, if you do tell her about the DV well that opens another can of worms. But in the end it's not your place to tell her or judge your sister for not saying anything. Your sister did what was right for her and her daughter, there's no shame in that. When your niece gets older she'll begin to understand on her own and her and mom can have that discussion on their own terms.

  7. This is the best comment so far, IMO, but do you mean NAH? It doesn't sound like you think the sister's being TA.

  8. NTA I don't think it's your place, though honestly I think it would be easier to explain when she's younger. Young kids are more likely to accept the info more as a matter of curiosity. Wait a few years and you'll get into the "why did you lie to me?" territory. But again, that's on her mom not on you

  9. NTA but do explain to your sister that now when she is asking questions is the time to explain the family dynamics to her. Honestly I have seen what happens multiple times when it's left till they are older and its always messy. Telling them in simple terms when they are young and asking almost always turns out better in the long run. My little boy has 2 half sisters he has never met and one he has. We have photos around the house of then and tell him that they are his half sisters so he knows of there exsistance and separation as just part of life so he is not confused when we are talking about them with the oldest sibling. Your niece has already understood the names are different if her mother continues to hide it from her when she does find out then it could be devastating. At this stage all she needs to be told is that her daddy was not nice to her mommy and because of that the courts decided that daddy couldn't be in there lives anymore. This removes blame from the parents and as it was not the parents choice means it wasn't because she was not loved. There is no need to go into much other detail at this age but doing it now would be better in the long run but your sister needs to have that conversation. Edit BTW when I say messy I know a number of ppl told about similar thing at age 10+ and see results of completely rejecting step parents, going completely off the rails, depression, running away to find bio parent, anxiety, loss of sense of self questioning everything. Developing trust issues because everyone lied to the. Suicide tendancy, believing they will become like parent that they are not in touch with. I could go on everyone I know who was told things young have been much more accepting and well adjusted I am not saying big details bit knowing the basics from a young age seems to always turn out better. Learning later I have seen lots of mental health messes.

  10. AUTOMOD Thanks for posting! This comment is a copy of your post so readers can see the original text if your post is edited or removed. This comment is NOT accusing you of copying anything. Read

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