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Teen Outraged After Parent Secretly Buys Her Brother A Laptop Because He ‘Needs It More’


Being fair as a parent is never easy.

When you have more than one kid that can multiply the possible unfair, with one choice.

But is a parent always wrong in those choices?

Case in point…

Redditor 839159 wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for not telling my daughter that we bought her brother a laptop?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My kids (F[emale] 14, M[ale]17) have been insisting that I buy a laptop for them.”

“They both have tablets that they use for school but they complained that they need a laptop.”

‘I could only afford one laptop and knowing my kids, they will fight over it every day if I make them share.”

“So I had to give it to one of them and I knew that my son needs it a lot more than my daughter.

“So I bought one for him and to avoid drama I told him to just use it in his room and not to let his sister see it.”

“It was fine for a few days but then my daughter started to get suspicious about why my son spends all his time in his room.”

“So yesterday she ran to his room and opened the door without knocking and caught him using his laptop.”

S”he literally threw a tantrum, like crying and screaming at us until I sent her to her room.”

“She called her grandparents and told them about it and while they are on our side they say we are a**holes for keeping it a secret.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP WAS the A**hole.

“YTA. Of course your daughter found out.”

“And of course she’s upset – her parent went behind her back and got an (expensive) gift for her brother and then lied by omission about it.”

“Guess what you taught her: that her needs don’t matter compared to her brother, you’ll lie to her so she can’t trust you.”

“And she can’t trust her brother either.”

“Adults would have sat down and had a conversation or worked out a schedule for them to share.”

“Too bad if it’s harder for you. Grow up.”  ~ cubbiegthrow

“YTA for all of the reasons listed above.”

“Also, between the two of them, your son is old enough to get a job and buy his own laptop while your daughter is not.”  ~ MeanSeaworthiness995

“My kids had to have a made to specs laptop.”

‘They were expensive.”

‘But, I chose to send my kids to the school they attended.”

“No way I could have bought a laptop for one child because that one appeared to have a greater need?”

‘A 14-year-old is on her way to high school and so the need is just around the corner?” ~ AndSoItGoes24

“I’m the youngest in a family where my parents didn’t have the extra means to buy an equitable amount of things we needed.”

“The items in question were passed down from oldest to youngest.”

“Whatever could be passed on- it was saved.”

“Eldest gets a fancy scientific calculator needed for school, its passed onto middle child, then to me when I needed it.”

“Same with clothes, toys, backpacks etc.”

“It sucked, it wasn’t ‘fair’ but I cannot in good conscious call a parent an a**hole for operating like that when times are tough.”

“However, I will say YTA for OP for not explaining that to their youngest.” ~ LobotomyxGirl

“My family did similarly – but something along the lines of a laptop that would be needed for each kid  and not actually laptops, as I’m that old!”

“We’d all get one at a specific age they had deemed responsible enough.”

“I got to go off to college with my fancy typewriter with memory, and my brother got the equivalent in updated technology at the same age.”

“His was absolutely better than mine being newer and with technological advances, but I understood it wasn’t fair for me to always get the new thing if I could still use my old one.”

“OP needed to discuss this with daughter – keeping secrets in a family is toxic.”

“It would have been totally fair to commit to her getting one at 17, too – and then follow through on that!” ~ human060989

“I agree. It’s absolutely bizarre that a situation like this hasn’t popped up before in some respect.”

“It’s not uncommon for the oldest to get the new thing first- or all the new things before it’s passed down.”

“Sucks for the younger kids, and I didn’t fully understand the reasoning until later on in life.”

“I suppose I’m grateful that a things like cellphones and personal computers (i.e, a non-desktop computer that is not shared with the whole family) weren’t an issue for me growing up.”

“The lunch box and matching raincoats for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lunchbox?”

“That was a fierce debate.”

“Think of the reverse situation, where the item in question was so cool you didn’t want your annoying little sister to have it, even if you had well-outgrown them and the lunchbox was a bit sun-faded.”

“That was one of the biggest fights I had with my brother- who I adored.”

“No, I was finally in kindergarten and it was my time to have all of the Ninja Turtle accessories and pajamas.” ~ LobotomyxGirl

“My parents did some things like that.”

“But lots of things were based on age.”

“I’m older (but the youngest) so no phones or laptops.”

“But I got my own speed bike when I turned 10, I got to get my ears pierced when I turned 12 etc.”

“My sister told her kids (all 4 of them) that they couldn’t have a cell phone until they were in High school.”

“So the oldest had one for years before the youngest got theirs.”

“No one thought it was unfair.”

“I also didn’t get to have a drivers license until after both of my sisters could, and consequently a car as well.”

“Nor could I go to the bar.”

“Should we cry to the government about how unfair that is?”

“I’m assuming the 17 year old had a higher need because of their age/grade level.”

“They could have easily told the youngest that they would get one when they got to that grade as well.”

“The oldest had to mange without one at that age, so it’s only fair his sister does too.”

“Hiding it, was just an all around bad plan, as well as some piss poor parenting.” ~ Ancient_Potential285

“Has nothing to do with his being male.”

“As soon as I (a woman) was old enough to work, I had to earn my own money to buy things I wanted.”

“It didn’t bother me that my younger siblings didn’t because they would once they got older too.”

“That’s how it worked.”

“It sounds like they wanted laptops more than they needed them since they already had tablets.”

“So if he wants an upgrade as a nearly adult young man, there’s nothing wrong with expecting him to earn it.”

“Instead, they bought the boy a laptop and hid it from the daughter while they left her with nothing.”

“Is that more fair?” ~ MeanSeaworthiness995

“YTA. You acknowledge they both need the laptop, but throw up your hands and say you had to pick one because they would fight over it.”

‘Are you not the parent?”

“Set a schedule – kid 1 gets laptop from 4-6:30, kid 2 gets it from 7-9:30.

“This is not hard.” ~ Neither-Bookkeeper39

“OP, are you kidding me?”

“I had to get my three kids laptops during the time that shall not be named.”

“I got them each $150 laptop off Ebay.”

“They didn’t need anything fancy, just stuff for school.”

“If you couldn’t afford to get them each a laptop, you should have gotten them each a cheap one, not got one kid a laptop and then told him to lie to his sibling.”

“But I guess losing their trust was cheaper in the short term.” ~ crystallz2000


“I don’t know about OP’s family, but when my family could not afford to get us each a laptop they just bought a family desktop that we all had our own user profile on.”

“At the very least OP shouldn’t have hid the fact that they bought their son a laptop and could have told their daughter that they will get them one next.”

“I do think the first is the better option tho and I say that as the eldest sibling.”

“A desktop would be enough (unless OPs son is going to college then a laptop is kinda necessary).” ~ phantomixie

“It’s a clear sign of favoritism.”

“The daughter will learn that she is unable to rely on her parents and will probably minimalize the contact if not break it up in the near future.”

“I had a similar situation.”

“My brother got this and this and I had to wait 6 years to finally get the new computer since mine was old beyond usage.”

“In these 6 years he got 3 different consoles.” ~ Creative-Bar1960

“Disagree. YTA because you could have been a parent and explained that a 17 has more news of a laptop than a 14 year old, she can have one when she turns 17.”

“OR You are both to share the laptop, decide on a way to share it and I will review if it’s fair before I buy it You took the shitty way out.” ~ Throwaway936292

Well OP… Reddit seems to be clear.

Maybe take this situation from another angle.

Doing one’s best isn’t always the best.

Best outcomes are fixable.

Sometimes with purchases.