Ask most parents of multiple kids who their favorite is, and they’ll tell you they probably can’t have a favorite, but how true is that? While most parents would never admit it, it is true that they drive themselves crazy trying to make things equal between their children. Fairness is so much in the eye of the beholder, it can often be an impossible feat for parents, and the phrase “it’s not fair,” is a common phrase heard in many homes.
A father on Reddit shared a very extreme example of fairness going wrong in a post with nearly 30,000 uplikes.
In the post, user FairIsNotFaire describes a situation in which her son’s friend turned 13, and the friend’s family invited FairIsNotFaire’s son to accompany them to Disney World. His wife was hesitant to let him go, believing it was not fair on their 9-year-old daughter, who loves Disney princesses.
“I said that our kids won’t always have equal opportunities, and if we set an example here,” he explains, “if our daughter gets an equal opportunity we have to stick to that. So we’ We are unnecessarily punishing our two children. My wife reluctantly agreed that we should let our son go.”
Despite the boy coming back with lots of mementos for the daughter, she wept bitterly, “My wife later said we made a big mistake and should never have let go.”
The situation turned dire shortly after the incident, when the user’s wife said she wanted to leave her son on an “even score” on an upcoming family vacation. “I told my wife that’s not happening,” he explains, “we’re her parents. We can’t prefer one kid over the other. Not being invited to a kid’s birthday trip Which, you barely know, is in no way comparable to being out on a family vacation and I’m surprised she’d even suggest such a thing. I refused to allow it. Now my wife is angry, but I don’t care. I’m not punishing my son for being lucky.”
Does a fair really mean a fair?
Imperfect Families, a website owned by mother of three and parenting coach Nicole Schwarz, suggests that parents need to treat their children differently to avoid hearing ‘it’s not fair’ that equally.
Why should children receive equal treatment or opportunities if one is consistently difficult and the other does not cause a problem? If the less disruptive child sees their sibling being rewarded for their bad behavior while the sibling did nothing wrong, they may wonder, what does it mean to be nice, and resentment may begin to build. Is.
Schwarz suggests that parents should let their children feel their feelings. “Yeah, it’s going to be tough when one kid needs new shoes and the other doesn’t,” she uses as an example, “be empathetic. It sounds like you’re jealous of Claire’s new shoes. ” Let your child know that you listen to their concern and understand that this is difficult.
“But, don’t feel obligated to do something, buy something, or balance the scales to end your child’s distress. While it’s okay to feel emotions, it’s good for kids to know that feelings come and emotions go. Huh.”
Users were quick to agree with the father that there was no way the son should have been excluded from a family vacation for being invited to a friend’s birthday celebration, with some calling the mother’s behavior “shocking.” “NTA [not the a**hole],” wrote one person, “your wife seems to have a clear favorite out of her two kids and isn’t afraid to show it. Of course your son should go on vacation with you all. I’m surprised she wishes she missed it. that’s awful. Is she always so unkind to him?”
One man praised the father for not only refusing to mistreat the son, but also for trying to stop his daughter from being spoiled, saying, “You are protecting your daughter from growing up. You are Totally here. A friend invite: just the child invited should go. Family invited: everyone should go.
“If your wife is adamant on doing something with your daughter, encourage them to have a girl’s day or something. But you need to make sure she’s going to frame it for your daughter because ‘ I’m doing this to do something special. You’ and ‘I’m not doing this to score with your brother either.'”
Another user offered her own experience managing siblings, “My eldest son goes to a social group that’s connected to teens on the spectrum. When he goes out, my eldest The little one goes to get dinner and we often end up with crazy amounts of junk and movie night or Mario Kart night on the couch.
“They both understand that because of their age difference (8/14), and friend groups, they can’t always do what the others do. It seems the OP’s wife needs to adjust her worldview a bit “
If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org. We can ask experts for advice, and your story can be featured on Greeley Tribune.