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Woman bans ex from bringing their son treats if he doesn't bring anything for her daughter too. AITA?

Woman bans ex from bringing their son treats if he doesn't bring anything for her daughter too. AITA?


"AITA for not allowing treats to be brought in by my Ex-Partner for our son unless there are treats for my daughter too?"

I (34F) am a single mother to two children, (10F) and (6M), they have different fathers with my daughter being the child of my late husband who died when she was two years old. I fully admit that I was not ready for a new relationship when I met the father of my son and it's what led to our relationship falling apart though we tried to make it work.

My Ex-Partner (37M) and I have been separated for two years, it was rough in the early days of our separation but for the most part things are fine now except for an issue I've had recently. Lately every visit my ex-partner will bring our son treats; be it a McDonalds Happy Meal, some crisps and juice, a pastry, basically anything junk food related as a treat because I'm usually quite strict about the children getting those regularly. This wouldn't be an issue except for the fact it's only our son who gets these treats and my daughter has to see the man who was a major part of her life for so long all but ignore her now.

I've spoken to my ex-partner and made it clear that unless he brings treats for my daughter too he can't bring any treats for our son into the house. What he does when he takes him out is between them but this isn't fair to do in front of her. I also made it clear I don't expect him to spend his own money on her as at the end of the day she isn't his child, but just to text me before he arrives to let me know what he's bringing so I can send him money to get her the same. I really don't care that she'd think they're from him I just hate her feeling ignored.

He thinks I'm being ridiculous and should just buy her treats myself if I want to do that, that she isn't entitled to get the same things as our son and this would only hurt our son. That isn't the point and I feel like he's missing it. I don't think I'm in the wrong here, all he has to do is pretend to be the one giving it to her and it feels cruel to me that he won't even go along with that. Maybe I'm too focused on my daughter to see the bigger picture and I'm being unreasonable. So AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

CheerilyTerrified said:

I think if it is small things like sweets or chocolate, and it's not a special occasion, and you are willing to pay for it, and it's only about stuff that comes into your house, then NTA. I know everyone will probably be all, he doesn't owe your daughter anything. But they are still kids, and they don't nuance and adult relationships, they just seem one kid getting treats and they don't. If couse it will make them feel shit, and of course they don't have the emotional maturity to understand. It just seems mean to bring stuff for one child and not another.

If I was visiting someone and I was going to get a small treat for a child who I knew was there, and when I was on my way I found out another child was at the house, I'd get two treats, because I'd feel like an ahole if I gave something to one child and not another, for no reason.

chaenukyun said:

NTA - It doesn't matter if she biologically isnt his child, it’s an awful thing to do to children. This isn’t a large present or a birthday gift, they’re small treats and if he brings for one child in the household he should bring for the other. Or at the very least do that outside of the home when he has your son/is out spending time with his son.

It’s odd behavior considering he would have at one point been a fatherlike figure to her and a rude thing to do in general. If he has manners, he would bring for both and his refusal to accept your money to bring for your daughter makes me think he’s doing this for his own ego or to show he can surprise “his kid.” It’s very selfish behavior on his part and you tried to provide a solution. He’s so immature for doing this to a child.

Reasonable-Bad-769 said:

NTA. Damn your ex is cold to do that to his (ex) step daughter. Like you said, it's one thing if he's doing it out of the house but it feels almost punative to your daughter. Your requests are completely reasonable. Tell him he's directing his anger at the wrong person - it's clear he's doing this to hurt you. Hugs to your daughter.

heythere427 said:

I would never arrive at someone's house with some kind of treat for one child and not another. Your ex is being more than rude he seems to be acting deliberately hurtful to your daughter. Good for you for advocating for your child. NTA but your ex definitely is

cadaloz1 said:

NTA and you've been entirely reasonable, offering to pay for comparable for her. He's a total AH with some issues, to be consistently mean to a little girl like this. Glad to see you've gained some wisdom from all this, and hope you're just taking a break from the whole serious dating thing for a good long while. Honestly, sometimes it's just more trouble than it's worth, and your ex is a case in point.

Skyward93 said:

NTA - This wouldn’t hurt your son in anyway and it’s concerning he‘s using that excuse. It feels like he’s trying to cause alienation. You could have banned him from bringing the treats into your house entirely and it’d be reasonable. He doesn’t get to overrule your house rules.

HollowAn$s said:

NTA but be prepared to deal with this for the rest of your life. What happens when son gets a new car from dad that happens to be better than daughter's car? What happens during holidays? What happens when one child has extra help paying for college but the other doesn't? What happens when son comes home with stories of treats and trips with dad? Will he be forbidden from discussing it with your daughter?

No bringing treats to the home for just one child, that's a fine rule to have. I understand it. "In this house we treat all children equally." I wouldn't allow anyone to come in my home and ignore my child. That's fair.

But prepare yourself and your daughter to deal with the fact that there will always be a disparity. Your son has two parents. Two sets of holidays, gifts, extended family. Your daughter has one parent. Things will always be different. Try to avoid creating a competition. Your daughter lost her father and her father figure, that has to be incredibly painful in so many ways. A donut isn't going to change that. Hugs to you mama. This sh$t sounds rough.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for these co-parents?

Sources: Reddit
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