Relationships often include fostering a shared space and require an understanding of doing something for the sake of the common well-being or a goal.

At least this seems to have been the problem in this Redditor’s extended family when her kids contributed some of their toys for the shared toy chest at their grandparents’ house, yet their cousins simply took them and refused to bring them back.

More info: Reddit

Children left some of their toys at their grandparents’ toy chest, but they were gone the next time

Image credits: Jane Slack- Smith (not the actual photo) 

The parents and kids decided to leave some of their toys at their grandparents’ so they and their cousins could all use them

Image credits: u/Julie_Beans_

Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual photo) 


Image credits: u/Julie_Beans_

The next time the kids were at their grandparents’, the toys had been taken home by their cousins

Image credits: Jordan Whitt (not the actual photo) 

The grandmother asked the cousins’ mother if they would bring the toys back, and was told ‘no’

A woman brought it to the Reddit AITA community online after her kids agreed to contribute their toys for shared use and their cousins took them home, asking if she would be a jerk to ask for them back.

The woman explained that before Christmas, they were organizing the kids’ toys and as their grandparents mentioned they needed more toys for their shared closet, the woman’s kids agreed to bring the toys they were not willing to give away yet for common use so that they and their cousins could all use them when at their grandparents’ place.


The idea was that everyone gets to enjoy the toys, and the kids do not have to lose them either. On the first day, it worked out great and everyone had fun playing together; however, a couple of months later, the kids were disappointed to find that all the toys were gone.

The cousins’ mother let the grandmother know they wouldn’t bring the toys back, which upset the OP’s kids. The grandparents hadn’t given permission and weren’t even aware the cousins took the toys; however, they were hesitant to ask for the toys back due to the cousins’ mother getting offended easily. 

The kids were disappointed and their parents sought advice online before eventually simply picking the toys up from their cousins’ place

Image credits: Chris Hardy (not the actual photo) 

The mother’s SIL was disappointed, yet the parents were happy they decided to take the toys back

The majority of Redditors sided with the parents’ plan to ask the sister-in-law to bring the toys back and the OP posted the update four days later. Based on the update, the father texted his brother about the miscommunication and they all swung by to pick up the toys, with the cousins’ father helping them pack.

The sister-in-law wasn’t happy about the situation and the family could hear her crying and yelling at her husband., yet they left nonetheless and brought the toys back to the kids’ grandparents.


When it comes to sharing, based on the study Mine or Yours? by C.A. Brownell, better self-understanding and better ownership understanding in toddlers were associated with a willingness to share and prosocial behavior. Naturally, in their study, ownership understanding wasn’t understood in a very complex way, rather drawing such age-appropriate distinctions as brushing “my” versus “your” hair or identifying which of several objects brought from home belonged to the parent and the child.

As noted in the study, these results are not necessarily intuitive, as one could expect that understanding of ownership would increase the toddler’s property claims and reduce their willingness to share, yet that wasn’t the case.

Redditors shared their takes on the situation