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Dad Asks If He’s Wrong For Punishing Son For Something He Let ‘Sensitive’ Daughter Get Away With

Photo: Elena Goncharova / Shutterstock
angry father looking at mad son

How you choose to hand down punishment to your children is completely up to your parenting style.

But when it becomes apparent that one child is getting treated differently than the other, it may become a problem.

One father is finding this out the hard way after he sought out advice on Reddit’s “r/AmItheA–hole” (AITA), a subreddit where users from across the internet ask for advice on a conflict in their lives.

The father punished his son for breaking his iPad but didn’t punish his daughter for doing the same thing.

“I have a 17-year-old daughter (Cass) and an 8-year-old son (Mark),” he starts the story off.

“Cass is with my ex-wife and Mark is with my wife. Cass lives with my ex and is long-distance (ex moved) and I only see her once every other month. Mark lives with me and my wife full time.”

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He explains how he is filled with “guilt when it comes to Cass because of the distance” and admits that, due to this, he tries to give her anything she wants.

“Cass is also extremely sensitive so I have to handle her very carefully so as not to upset her,” he explains.

But with Mark, according to him, he’s “more out there, will try to argue back” and the father tends “to be a bit harder on him because he's got a stronger personality.”

The man explains that his daughter recently broke a new iPhone and he sent her money to get it fixed while his son broke an older iPad and got punished.

“Since I rarely get the chance to do stuff for Cass, I said yes, sent her the money, and reassured her that I'm not mad, it was an accident, but please be more careful with her devices,” he said.

However, when Mark recently broke his iPad he was treated much differently than compared to Cass.

“A week later, Mark broke the iPad he's had for over 2 years. Mark is rough on his stuff and a bit on the clumsy side,” he explained.

Mark was berated for his actions and punished, with the father explaining that “it's going to be a while until his iPad is going to be fixed and the money is going to come out of his allowance” in hopes that it teaches Mark some responsibility.

The two argued, resulting in Mark getting grounded for a week.

“Now my wife is mad at me, saying the way I reacted to Mark was unfair compared to the way I reacted to Cass. That I was forgiving and understanding to my daughter, who's older, but not my son, who's much younger,” he wrote.

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Users agree the father is in the wrong.

Despite how much he attempts to explain away his actions, there’s no denying the father is showing extreme favoritism towards one child rather than the other.

"YTA [You're The A--hole]," one user wrote. "Your son managed to hang onto that iPad for 2 years and yet you claim he is rough on his stuff and doesn’t take care."

"Your daughter broke her new phone in a matter of months. You may be acting out of guilt towards your daughter but you shouldn’t take it out on your son."

Another user wrote "Parenting out of guilt does kids no favors. And being over the top over stupid shit doesn’t either. You handled both situations quite poorly."

"Obviously, YTA. You can't expect an 8 yo to be more responsible/careful than a 17 yo," a third user claimed. 

"What's your goal here, to raise two responsible kids who appreciate the value of a dollar, or to buy your daughter's affection out of guilt?"

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Victoria Soliz is a writer with YourTango who covers news and entertainment content. Her work explores pop culture trends, film and TV, and celebrity news