Dad Is Put on Blast for Buying Sons a Car After 16th Birthday But Not His Daughters

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In some households, a teen has to hit certain milestones before they're given the green light to hit the road in their own car or family vehicle. One dad in the Am I the A--hole subreddit says his 17- and 19-year-old sons scored scholarships, so they were given their own cars. But his 15- and 21-year-old daughters took issue with this philosophy, accusing their parents of favoritism and sexism.

  • In his post, the original poster (OP) explained that all four of his kids play sports.

    "Both of my sons are basketball players and received full ride college scholarship offers in their 10th grade years," he noted. "In both instances, as a reward, their mother and I bought them a car at either Christmas or their birthday for their outstanding accomplishments." 

    The OP's daughter's 16th birthday is next month, and she asked if she could get a car -- if not for her birthday, then for Christmas, because her two older brothers did. "I told her no, because those weren't simple gifts for no reason, and they were rewards that they earned," the OP explained.

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  • The dad claimed his daughter "immediately" started to "lose her composure" and complain that it is "unfair."

    She called out the parents for giving the boys cars, whereas she and her older sister "never got treated like that." According to the OP, his 15-year-old then accused him and his wife of being sexist and showing preferential treatment to the boys.

  • He tried to shut down her "preposterous claims" and exclaimed that the boys didn't get cars for their gender.

    "They got them as a reward for getting a scholarship and that if they didn't, they wouldn't have gotten it," the OP explained. "I also told her if she gets one that I'd buy her one too. She then tells me she thinks that I think they're better than her just because she hasn't gotten a scholarship yet."

  • That's where the confrontation between the youngest and the OP ended, but soon, the dad received a call from his eldest daughter.

    According to the OP, his 21-year-old cursed him out for making his youngest cry and making her feel "inferior to her siblings." 

    The OP concluded that his wife agrees with him, but wanted to know if he's the a--hole.

  • Commenters pointed out that the standard set in this household is out of whack. 

    "It is NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to get a full ride scholarship for sports being a female," one commenter explained. "Universities do not put their money into women's sports. When I was applying for schools, every school I spoke with said the max I could get for a soccer scholarship was 60% (guys could get 100%). Your daughters are at a disadvantage from the start with this."

    The commenter went on to explain another piece of the puzzle: "She clearly feels as if you favor your sons more than her. I think that you need to have a conversation with your daughter, because she clearly feels inferior to your sons. ... Maybe tell her to do some sort of other work for the car."

    Another person responded, "Sons get full ride to college + new cars. The daughter presumably will need to pay for college and have no car. I wonder why she thinks she's being treated unequally."

  • A few fellow Redditors were on the fence about the dad being the jerk, but they thought he might want to rethink his parenting strategy.

    "You have to accept any fallout form the reward system you have put in place," wrote one user. "Have you set out any criteria that the girls can hit to 'win' a car?"

  • To that, the OP posted a defensive edit.

    "It seems the consensus, if I’m not wrong, is that the fact two kids got a vehicle at 16, based on them getting college scholarship offers, when she hasn’t gotten one yet at a similar age makes her feel like her brothers are better and I’m showing favoritism," the OP wrote. "Also, it’s easier for them since they play basketball. So I suck? lol" 

    He continued, "I’ll just buy it prematurely since she was going to get one regardless anyway, and this way, if she gets it at the same age, she can feel happy, lol. Hopefully, the boys don’t get mad that they had to do something that she didn’t, and I get accused of preferential treatment again."

  • Commenters pointed to the OP's edit as proof that he's in the wrong.

    "You suck based on your edits. 'Lol's? Really? Plus, now you're changing your story," one person commented. "You say in the edits that your daughter would have gotten a car anyway, which completely negates what you said earlier. You wrote 'I told her no, because those weren't simple gifts for no reason, and they were rewards that they earned.'"

    Another commenter wrote, "I disliked you before I got to your edit, then my dislike fully bloomed into loathing. We only love superstars in my family." The person summed up the entire debacle: "You just don't get it."