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Firstborn tells 'awful' parents, 'being there for your new kids doesn't make it better.' AITA?

Firstborn tells 'awful' parents, 'being there for your new kids doesn't make it better.' AITA?


"AITA for telling my parents that being better parents to their younger children does not make up anything to me?"


My parents had me when they were still pretty young (both 21). They weren't really secure and didn't have a maternal or paternal instinct back then. Because of this my dad's parents stepped up and they would take care of me when my parents were busy with school or work or anything really.

I was basically raised by my grandparents for 13 years and when I was 13 it only stopped because my life got busier at the encouragement of my grandparents. I was in extra curricular's (paid for by my grandparents) and spending more time with friends and exploring the world.

My grandparents taught me a lot of skills from cooking and cleaning to how to take care of myself. They did it because they were aware I might not get taken care of if something happened to them and I was left with just my parents.

For years my parents resented me. I know it, they know it and my grandparents know it. They showed it in smaller ways. Complaining when I asked for their signature or when my grandparents told them they needed to show up at parent conferences at my school.

They would grumble about me being sick and ask my grandparents to "deal with it". Sometimes they would take me to an amusement park and get annoyed when they couldn't go on all the rides together because that meant leaving me alone.

Sometimes my grandparents had plans and couldn't let me stay with them for a night and my parents wanted to go out. Then they had more kids who are 3 and 1 now and they are way better parents to them. I'm not saying they're perfect because nobody is.

But they are being parents to them. They deal with every tantrum without acting like they hate the baby, they play with them, read bedtime stories, sing with them, fight over who stays home with a sick kid because both want to be there. They know their 3 year old's favorite foods and music. They want these kids.

It only came to my attention recently because my parents suddenly decided the three of us needed therapy, that they felt them being better parents to their younger children meant I would forgive them and it would make it up to me for not being there for me.

Even though they still aren't. They talked about me being distant and not spending time with the family and how they don't know me. I told them of course they don't because they were never around me and when they were, they wished I wasn't there.

I told them they can't honestly expect that being better parents to their other kids would make it up to me. They mentioned something about siblings and how I speak like they're not and I said because my parents are dad's parents, not them, and the kids I live with have different parents to me and a very different life.

I also reiterated that being better to them is good because no kid should go through what I did, but it doesn't make anything up to me. They told me it was spiteful to not take joy in my siblings having better and they accused me of being stubborn and unforgiving. AITA?

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


NTA - your egg and sperm donors didn't want you as their child and pawned you off onto grandparents, who thankfully stepped up to the plate. "They told me it was spiteful to not take joy in my siblings having better and they accused me of being stubborn and unforgiving."

How is it spiteful to not take joy in watching your younger siblings actually have their parents engage with them instead of throwing them away???

The OP responded here:


My theory is my parents assumed that I would automatically have this really deep love for my siblings and would see them as that; siblings, and that it would bridge the gap between us without them making any effort toward me. I think they set up this idea and when I didn't feel that way, they were like omg how did this happen, he should be happy.


So they've accused you of being "stubborn and unforgiving": have they also asked for your forgiveness? Acknowledged how they failed you? (Even if they had asked, that wouldn't make them ENTITLED to your forgiveness, but it would be a first baby step.)

The OP again responded:


They haven't directly addressed that they failed. But they sort of acknowledged it by saying they felt being good parents to their younger kids would make things up to me. They have not asked me for forgiveness.


NTA The point of therapy is to be honest. You gave your parents an honest assessment of your childhood, their parenting and how it impacted you and how you feel about it now.

"They told me it was spiteful to not take joy in my siblings having better and they accused me of being stubborn and unforgiving."

You told them some hard truths, they didn't like hearing it. You were not spiteful, stubborn or unforgiving in anything you said. Your parents and younger siblings are part of your extended family but your core family consists of you and your paternal grandparents.


NTA. This is probably a prelude to making you their babysitter. "This would be a great way for you all to bond so that we can go off and be a couple again."

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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