Daughter Refuses To Talk To Her Mom Because Of An 'Unfair' Birthday Gift — Her Brother Got A Car, She Got A Gift Card

There's a pretty stark difference between a car and a gift card.

daughter upset with mother over difference in birthday gifts Khosro, mimagephotography, Daniel Tadevosyan, atakan | Canva

A mom on Reddit is confused by her daughter’s response to the birthday gifts she gave both her and her brother. As a result, she’s decided to no longer speak to her, but the mom sees no reason why.

Seeking advice in the form of outside opinions, she penned a now-deleted post on the AITA subreddit and asked whether or not she was wrong for the way she gives different gifts to her kids on their birthdays.


The mom gave her daughter a gift card on her birthday, while her son got a car.

“Here's the deal: For my son's birthday, I bought him a car,” she explains in her post. “It's a used one, nothing fancy, but it's a reliable vehicle to get him around. On the other hand, for my daughter's birthday, I gifted her a $300 Visa gift card.”

No matter which way you slice it, the scales are very clearly balanced toward the son’s gift. If you can show me a working car in decent condition for $300, then I’ll eat my hat, but until then, her daughter received the short end of the stick.

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She knows it as well, because the moment she opened her gift, she was visibly disappointed, according to the mom. “When she opened her gift, she got visibly upset and called it unfair,” she says. “She said it wasn't fair that her brother got a car, and she only got a gift card and that I was showing favoritism.”

The mom tries to explain why she believes the situation isn’t unfair, but the daughter was having none of it. “Now, I understand that on the surface, this might seem unfair. But hear me out. My son has shown a strong interest in cars for years, and he's been saving up for one. He's responsible and has a part-time job, so I thought it was a good time to help him get one. He was thrilled, and we even went car shopping together.”

We don’t understand the nature of this car purchase — maybe her portion of the payment only equaled out to $300. But many would argue that, either way, the value of a motor vehicle far outweighs a gift card.

“My daughter, on the other hand, never expressed any particular interest in anything specific. She's more into shopping and fashion, which is why I thought a Visa gift card would give her the freedom to choose whatever she wants,” she explained. “Plus, she's been asking for extra money lately to buy clothes and makeup.”


mom gifts daughter a gift card and son a car for their birthdayPhoto: Reddit

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When your kid is accusing you of picking favorites, you should be inclined to listen.

Parental favoritism is a term that describes the way parents treat one child differently than their other child or children. They pick favorites and treat that child better, and this has an incredibly adverse effect on both kids.


Parental favoritism is a delicate situation, as you’re affecting multiple relationships — the ones you have with both of your children, as well as the relationship they have with each other.

Favoritism from parents can have a lasting negative effect on children, including how they treat and perceive relationships, personal self-esteem, and feelings of social connection, according to the Institute for Family Studies.

Kids who felt like their parents did not have a favorite child often reported that they were much closer to their siblings compared to those who did — 30% compared to 48%.

Likewise, kids who felt like their parents didn’t have favorites had closer relationships with their parents as well. Sixty-eight percent of Americans reported being satisfied with the relationship they had with their parents after growing up in a household without parental favoritism, compared with 47%.


It may be hard to feel like you’re not doing a good job, especially when you thought you were doing right by your kids, but if that woman’s daughter feels like she’s picking favorites, she might be inclined to listen.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.