Kids should be treated equally and fairly

I can only offer two stories that have shaped my thinking on gifting money or other such generous donations to children.

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My Best Friend and her Brother

I have a best friend who’s parents recently purchased a brand new car for her brother and another for her brother’s girlfriend out of the blue because they felt bad. Not fiancee. Girlfriend.

My friend, had to scrape money to buy a used second hand car, never having been even offered the option of a brand new car by her parents.

Her brother is a dentist and went into heavy debt trying to open his clinic. The parents were just trying to be nice to help them out, like good parents,  because he had no cash to buy a car at all.

My friend has a separate, independent job, no debt whatsoever and is JUST starting out in her career….

Did her brother deserve the car more?

And even more difficult, did his girlfriend deserve a car AS WELL, but not their daughter?

She felt quite upset at the whole situation, because she had worked her ass off to get to where she was in her career, making a small amount of money per year, and her parents never even considered offering.

Who and what determines whether one child is more worthy to receive gifts than the other(s)?

The dentist brother, because he went into a lot of debt opening his own business and makes more than my friend per year, but still can’t get out of debt because it’s damn expensive to have your own clinic?

Or my friend, who has no debt, worked her way to where she was, and makes a pittance?

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The Tale of Two Siblings

I know another story of two siblings.

One promised his parents he’d become a doctor.

He bragged so loudly and so much, that his parents bought into his lies and started advance payments on what they thought was a sure thing.

They also started bragging to everyone and anyone that their son was going to be a DOCTOR.

The other said he wanted to become a simple mechanic. They said “That’s nice dear.”

The wannabe-doctor brother, coerced a brand new car out of his parents, tuition at the finest university money could purchase, and 4 years of drinking and whoring bliss, all expenses paid.

He ended up working in a cafe, serving coffees for a living, after all the money they had pretty much wasted on his education, because he couldn’t pass the interviews and exams to get into the schools he wanted.

Currently, the parents still pay for his lifestyle habit, supporting him, purchasing his first apartment for him, his divorced wife’s support payments, and paying for plane tickets for him to bring the grandchildren back to see them once in a blue moon.

They are digging into their retirement for all of this, having banked all of their money on the wrong horse.

The mechanic brother, didn’t go to college, went to trade school, became the mechanic for a prominent politician and settled quietly on his own with a divorcee with two kids. He never asked for a single penny from his parents, and nor did they give him or offer him any money or support.

Since the mechanic brother had announced early on his passion for cars, his parents backed the other brother and fully funded his crazy, unrealistic dreams about how rich and awesome he was going to be, regardless of the early signs that he would not succeed, due to his lack of worth ethic and possibly brains as well.

Who and what determines whether one child is more worthy to receive gifts than the other(s)?

The brother who had claimed he’d be a rich doctor who would take care of his parents in their old age, and bring the kids every summer with his wife?

Or the other, who didn’t ask for a single penny in support and took his lumps as the “dumb” brother?

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My Take:

Neither child in both stories was more deserving of money, gifts or anything else than the other.

Even if one child had a run of bad luck over the other children in the family, all gifts, and all distributions of wealth should be equal.

If you buy a car for one child AND his girlfriend, you should offer the same total amount to each of your other children.

If you cannot afford to do that, nor want to, then you have no right offering those gifts to that child.

If you pay tuition for one child to go to become a doctor, and you don’t want to pay for the other to become something less demanding or supposedly prestigious, then you shouldn’t pay for either.

Tit for tat. Eye for an eye. Fairness and justice in all situations.

There are exceptional situations for sure, but this is a post directed for 95% of all the cases out there.

I repeat.

Every gift, every contribution, given to children and grandchildren should be fair and equally distributed.

If not, it WILL cause resentment that will harbour and manifest itself for years to come into a shape of an ugly, ruined relationship between parent and child, or siblings will be pitted against each other in the end.

My friend still talks to her brother has a good relationship with him, but still feels miffed her parents passed her over. She cannot muster up the courage to ask them “Why”, but seems to just want to let it all slide.

The brothers, don’t speak. The second brother refuses to talk to his brother, and he has been estranged from his parents since he became a mechanic.

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About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.