In a perfect world, parents wouldn't favor one kid over another.
But reality can be a different story, and dynamics of favoritism are often far more obvious to outsiders than parents think.
AITA for showing favoritism toward my grandkids?
My son married his high school girlfriend when he was 19. I told him I don't approve of his choice for two reasons 1. He is too young 2. We never liked his girlfriend so I will never help him with anything
They have 2 kids Jonah (M17) and Laura (F16). When Laura was born, my son begged me for help because they couldn't afford childcare for 2 kids even though they both work full time and neither can become a SAHP because they need money.
Even though I told him I won't help I decided to help anyway because of my grandkids. I hired a nanny for them.
The problem is that whenever we were at their home I noticed that his wife only takes care of Jonah and leaves Laura completely to the nanny. I never saw her play with Laura or anything while she was always holding Jonah and playing with him
Once I told her it won't kill her to touch her daughter sometimes which caused a huge fight. I fired the nanny and told them the only help I will give is that I will babysit Laura for them and pay for everything she needs but I won't help with anything else.
My wife and I took care of Laura more than her own parents did. My sweet daughter turned 16 a few months ago. I bought a car for her (she earned some of the money by helping me with my job and I paid for the rest).
Jonah is turning 18 in a few months and my son asked me to help buy a car for him. I told him I'm sorry but I won't do that because I made it clear that I will only help with Laura's expenses.
He accused me of showing favoritism and called me an AH being a terrible grandfather for giving one child a luxury life but not doing anything for the other one.
I told him I'm doing this because he and his wife are terrible parents to Laura so someone needs to favor her.
People were quick to weigh in.
ESH. You thought it was wrong that your daughter-in-law showed favoritism, so you responded by…showing favoritism? Are you familiar with the phrase “two wrongs don’t make a right?”
ESH: you and your son are fighting through his children. This is horrible. You may think that you're balancing the scales; but what you're both doing is:
Setting the two children to compete against each other for their parents' and their grandparents' love and affection. This will have ramifications in their relationship throughout their adult lives.
I do hope that they can overcome it when they're grown up enough to get away from all of you. And also, providing a godawful example for them on how to behave with their own children (that it's okay to have favorites) when they become adults.
ESH except the kids. It's not your grandson's fault that his parents are AHs, don't take it out on him. By all means tell your son and DIL to pound sand, but don't take it out on the kids.
YTA, and I refuse to believe you don’t know it. You decided you hated your son’s wife well before Laura was even born.
You not only constructed this narrative in your head to justify that hatred, but have carried it for decades past the point where any of your already flimsy evidence even holds up. The only person guilty of blatant favoritism and mistreatment here is you.
And again, I refuse to believe you don’t know it, or you’d be able to present even a single reason for writing Jonah off on any basis other than that you’ve just decided to scapegoat him alongside his mom.
NTA. Reading through comments I wish I had a grandparent that stepped in for me. I am a middle child and attention stayed on the oldest (boy) and the youngest (girl and she was very center-of-attention type person).
So by the time they decided to notice me all they could muster up would be oh hi didn't see you there and walk away kinda type of greeting.
It feels so crappy when your mom says 'oh you can tell me how you feel' and still doesn't do crap when you say you feel ignored.
Maternal grandparents lived in another state and saw them like three times before they passed away...paternal GPS lived overseas and I only knew of a grandmother and saw her once and she wasn't very engaging when she visited so yeah.
NTA. They CHOSE to neglect their own daughter in favor of their son. You were only making up the loss that she felt from seeing her parents choose her brother instead of her over and over again.
Is it favoritism? Yes. Is it well deserved? Yes.
You helped your granddaughter because she needed it after being neglected but her own parents. Your grandson didn't need anything from you because his parent gave him everything and left nothing for his sister.
You did the right thing, you loved her when her own parents wouldn't.
Keep doing what you're doing because she is going to need you just as much when she goes off to college. She'll need someone to visit for weekends and breaks and summer. The holidays and to bring her kids to see you all.
Because her parents won't support her and won't be there for her since they'll be too busy giving all their time, attention and money to the brother.
Remind her that no matter what happens you love her and will always be there for her, to support and love her and your house is always open for her if she needs it. Because I bet her parents will kick her out at 18 and let the brother stay, she'll need you then.
NTA. Look, if the parents had STEPPED UP and NOT FAVORED the son, this wouldn't have been an issue. Obviously, there was neglect and favoritism, he could have called CPS but he didn't. He STEPPED UP when his own child wouldn't.
Parents could have saved what they didn't have to spend on a second child and bought their boy a car.
They didn't, they just expected grandpa to do it so they could continue to not financially plan for the big purchases if they wanted to help their child.
THEY ARE NOT ENTITLED to his money! He can spend it however he wants because HE EARNED IT and NOT THEM.
The parents just don't like that the child they didn't mind throwing/neglecting away got an ally and someone to depend on for emotional and literal support.
Good on you grandpa, way to be a supportive system for your 'daughter.'
Most comments here are really so wasted. If you read some OP comments you will see that the girl was treated like she didn't exist. That's why OP takes care of her. The girl had to do therapy to deal with the fact that her own parents ignored her.
So good for OP to be there for her. And he buys a car for her but he has to buy a car for the other kid also? Why?
Every time someone posts here about how they get less in gifts or wills they are called entitled and everyone screams 'parents and relatives don't have to give you anything, it's their money.'
Grandparents see that girl (probably because of gender) is treated badly, they raise her and provide for her. How those grandparents spend THEIR money and if they give more to her because the boy gets everything from his parents, it's their right.
I would do the same. If my hypothetical son would buy a $10 gift for the girl and a $100 for the boy, yes the girl would get $200 from me while the boy would take less.
And I would explain to him that the reason for the unfairness is his parents and I just make things fair. Now if OP is having more money than that great son of his tough luck.
How do you find it normal that a mother can babysit one kid but not the second one? NTA OP, let people have their little tantrums in the comments.
This post seems to have divided a lot of people, but the comments are still piling up.