Dad Wonders If He's Wrong for Secretly Paying 1 Twin a Higher Allowance for the Past Year

As families adhere to social distancing and stay at home orders, plenty of parents are taking advantage of the opportunity to get their kids on a set schedule with chores. Take, for instance, the mom who set up a genius reward system for her son's efforts around the house. Every parent has their own way of motivating kids to check off their to-dos, and for one dad, that looks like a set allowance for each of his four kids. But, as he admitted in his controversial post, not all kids are paid equally.

  • The original poster (OP) shared that he has twin boys who are 14 as well as 10- and 7-year-old girls.

    "All of them are pretty responsible kids, and consistently do their chores as they're meant to," he wrote. "We have a little chart that says what all their jobs are, with each of their roles being proportional to their ages. The boys take on the largest number of responsibilities, which each of them alternating jobs every week."

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  • "Officially," the kids have been paid according to their ages and responsibilities. 

    Both boys have gotten $15 a week, the 10-year-old gets $10, and the 7-year-old gets $2 ("mostly for symbolic purposes," he joked).

  • But for the past year, one of the twins has been getting $5 more than his brother.

    "One of my boys (call him A to differentiate) is a real leader in the home," explained the OP. "He's just naturally brilliant with people, is constantly dealing with conflicts between his sisters and his brother, takes charge in rough situations, and is really considerate of others. He's always been the 'frontman' between his brother and him, with him speaking for both of them while his brother hangs back. Though we've never told him to, and though it's not his responsibility, he's always been a real help to his mother and me in keeping the house running smoothly. His brother (call him B), on the other hand, is much more reserved. He keeps to himself. That's not a problem, but we do recognize that A takes on more 'emotional labor' in the household than B."

  • Given the differences between sons A and B, the OP and his wife believe the pay increase for son A is fair.

    "A's taken on more responsibilities in the house, even if they weren't responsibilities we told him to take on," noted the OP. "The boys both have debit cards (got them when they were 13), so we put the money directly into their accounts and neither of them see money getting exchanged." 

    That said, the "frontman" twin knew he was getting more money than his brother.

  • Son B recently learned what's up, as well.

    "They were online shopping for video games, and B questioned why A was able to afford stuff he couldn't (A hasn't really spent his extra money, so it's accumulated a fair bit)," explained the OP. "A admitted to him that he's been making more."

    The OP shared that son B is "absolutely furious." "He says that it's totally unfair that they've been doing the same amount of chores, but A's been making more money," he wrote. "But we don't really know how to explain to him that A deserves recognition for the less easily quantifiable work he does in our family."

    The dad then turned it over to fellow Redditors.

  • Over 2K commenters weighed in, the majority of whom believed he was in the wrong.

    "Surprise fact -- people have different personalities and demeanor," one commenter wrote. "One of your twins happens to have a higher emotional IQ and the other is a bit more introverted. You even say in the post that you can't explain to B why he's making less money. Of course he's upset."

    Another commenter agreed. "Many twins seek differences between each other, and you've now given them one that mom and dad value twin A more than twin B. I get where you're coming from with the emotional labor stance, but by 'rewarding' twin A for his personality, you're inadvertently showing twin B that you prefer twin A's personality more, and, by extension, that you prefer twin A over twin B. Emotional labor is not something you can healthily apply to your kids. That's between you and your wife. You're showing twin B that his personality isn't worth rewarding, and that he isn't worth as much as their twin. ... Oof."

    Another commenter even mocked the OP, writing, "Hi Reddit, we treat one of our children as if he’s better than the others, to the point where we’ve discussed it as a couple. He is clearly our favorite child. However, the less favored child doesn’t seem to know his place! Why doesn’t he understand that his brother is just better than him? Please co-sign my bulls---."

  • The OP didn't weigh in again once he was skewered by his fellow Redditors.

    Here's hoping he heard their disapproving message loud and clear.