Is It Okay to Show Favorites?

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"My husband's family is always buying stuff for our daughter. New clothes shoes it’s etc. We have a son in the home (my husband's stepson) who never gets anything from his family anymore. They even went on vacation to Disney and brought back so much stuff for our daughter and not one thing for our son. It hurt my feelings but I didn’t say anything. Now if I buy something for my son they tell me he has to share it with his sister. That we can't pick favorites. Our son has cancer, scoliosis, and adhd but they don’t like to factor his health into account and get mad if I don’t spank my son for something they don’t like. How can you tell me how to raise one kid and not the other. And why is it ok for them to show favorites but I am a bad person if I buy something for my son (after my daughter gets 3 pairs of shoes bought for her and him nothing)"

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"It’s not okay to show favorites. It’ll take a big toll on him if it hasn’t already. There’s no reason they can’t buy him one thing when she gets handfuls. I would tell them they either need to buy them both things or none at all"

"You need to stand up for your son. The favoritism stops or the relationship with all stops. I don’t do favorites. I don’t buy anything for one kid and not the other. It’s cruel and unfair and I wouldn’t put up with it."

"I would say something for sure. I’m sure your son can see the difference of how they’re being treated & you need to speak up for him. And also it isn’t their place to tell you how to parent your child."

"Nope can’t do for all not doing for one. Refuse what they give her and inform them that if they do bring only something for both then what they bring will be donated to goodwill. You have an obligation to protect your children."

"Family or not… Sometimes it’s best to cut the ties."

"Your husband needs to speak up. We have a rule- if you buy for one, you buy for both. Unless it’s a birthday. Any other time, if there’s not something for both, it’s not allowed."

"I always say, don’t do for one If you’re not gonna do for the other! Always treat them equally because kids notice and have feelings!"

"Unfortunately my family is the same way my oldest son and my daughter are their favorites and my middle child (our second son) is treated like he doesn’t exist. I’ve brought it up to them and they say it’s because they don’t know him like they do our oldest and they treat our daughter the same way because she’s the only girl and their princess. I finally had to cut them out of my life not just for how they treated my kid/kids but how they treated me for 90% of my life AND how they treat my husband and our marriage… I’m sorry you are going through this…"

"I’d so be keeping them away from my kids. Matter of fact…I did end up doing it. That’s horrible."

"Do you live in the same house as your in-laws? If not, tell them that they can go to hell. You don’t have to allow them access to EITHER of the kids if they want to be a**holes. I would also let them know that if they can’t get something for BOTH kids then nobody is getting anything."

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