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Parent Scoffs After Wife Suggests Daughter Help Stepsister With Money Since She Makes More

teen girl in front of ATM holding money and a debit card
PictureNet Corporation/Getty Images

Blending two families into one after marriage is difficult enough without children.

Adding two teenagers of about the same age is rife with opportunities for rivalries, jealousy and hurt feelings.

That’s why a stepparent turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

SeaNectarine6440 asked:

“AITA for refusing to making sure things are equal between my daughter and stepdaughter?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“My wife and I each brought a daughter from previous relationships into our marriage. Despite being only a year apart in age, our daughters were completely different and that’s why I’m here.”

“My daughter has always been athletic and outgoing.”

“Growing up, she played basketball, softball, soccer, volleyball, and even golf. In middle school, she picked up tennis and never looked back.”

“I paid for her to have private lessons and when she found out how much I was paying for those lessons, she decided that’s what she wants to do as her teenage job.”

“She’s now a junior, is one of the best players on her HS team, and teaching tennis lessons. She teaches elementary school kids and charges $75 per hour per kid.”

“With her skills and outgoing personality, she has a waiting list of kids and makes about $1,200 a week. She could make more but I limit her hours so that she can concentrate on school.”

“My stepdaughter is reserved and not very athletic. We always tried to sign her up to the same sport and team with my daughter but she either objected or quit a couple of weeks in.”

“I get it, sports is not for everyone so I never made her feel bad about it.”

“She recently turned 16 and got a job at a burger place nearby. She’s making $13 an hour and brings home less than $200 a week.”

“My daughter recently decided that she wants to be independent by buying her clothes and electronics with her own money. Obviously she can afford the latest styles and gadgets.”

“She recently brought herself the top of the line Mac. My stepdaughter is jealous of her sister and have been very vocal about it.”

“While we were bed last night, my wife said it was unfair one is making so much more than the other. I answered that there’s nothing we can do about it and it’s a good life lesson for the girls.”

“My wife then suggested we have my daughter use her money to help my stepdaughter buy the same things or we cover the pay difference between the girls. I laughed because I thought she was joking but she wasn’t.”

“We whisper argued for about an hour before we went to sleep.”

“This morning she brought it up again and said I’m refusing because I’m playing favorites and that’s an AH move for a parent. We argued until we had to leave for work.”

The OP provided some clarification later.

“I’ve read through most of the replies during my lunch and I’ll get through the rest after work. I’ll answer some common questions.”

“We tried to sign my stepdaughter up for the same sports as my daughter because we thought it would be a bonding experience. We also wanted to get her out of the house and meet people because she spends most of her time in her room playing World of Warcraft.”

“We didn’t make her participate but asked that she try things for at least a couple of weeks then she could quit if she wanted to. We tried to get her to sign up for things that she enjoys but she always refuses.”

“Before getting this job, she spent much of her free time playing games so I’m at a lost to think of any marketable skills she could leverage into tutoring.”

The OP summed up their predicament. 

“I refuse to equalize the pay between our daughters.One is making almost 6 times more than the other.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors overwhelmingly declared the OP was not the a**hole (NTA), with a few calling the parents out for signing the daughter up for sports.

“NTA what is fair is not always what is equal. Your daughter has skills that are in demand, and her salary reflects that.”

“Your stepdaughter is starting out on a typical student career path, and her salary reflects that. Forcing your daughter to fund your stepdaughter would be the height of unfairness.”

“Your wife needs to stop trying to turn your home into a crab pot and let her daughter figure out where her own talents lie.”

“My brother-in-law has a doctorate, with a well-paying job in his field, his wife is in high fashion, and they live a dual income, no kids life. They are buying real estate in New York.”

“My husband and I are civil servants with children to raise. According to your wife’s ideas, my BIL should be sending me palimony checks every month to support my children. After all, he’s my husband’s brother!”

“That’s not life, and she would do a disservice to her daughter with her bad ideas.”  ~ MelodyRaine

“NTA – This one is VERY cut and dry for me. Very.”

“Your wife is asking you to both punish your daughter for her success and to also reward her daughter for her (comparative) ‘complacency’.”

“It’s surprising your wife wouldn’t be able to see how unfair that actually is.”

“There is no logical reason to force your daughter to share her (incredibly impressive) income with her stepsister in my opinion.”

“Now, your daughter has reaped the benefits of private tennis lessons, but it sounds like that was the biggest ‘leg up’ she was given.”

“I can see you and your wife paying to give her daughter a similar leg up if she showed the interest, but ultimately both of these young women are sleeping in beds they’ve made.”

“Your wife is being entitled and unreasonable.”

“There is nothing wrong with daughter’s existing income.”

“Treating her daughter the way she is suggesting now will do nothing but enforce and reward her crappy and jealous behavior.” ~ Aggressive-Bed3269

“NTA. Stepdaughter shouldn’t benefit from her stepsister’s hard work ‘just because.’”

“Your wife is silly even to suggest that your daughter should have to pay for anything regarding her stepsister. Outrageous to even think it, let alone say it out loud.”

“You’re not playing favorites. If your wife gets her way, all she will do is breed resentment from your daughter to her stepsister.” ~ HeirOfRavenclaw

“NTA – why would you punish one child to benefit the other? It is a good lesson for both girls.”

“The one who makes less is learning she needs to learn valuable skills to pay for what she wants. The one who makes more is reaping the benefits of consistent effort.”

“I do think you should look into getting your stepdaughter lessons in things that interest her, not just what her step-sister is doing. Help her try some things out.”

“Maybe buy her a few things so she doesn’t feel quite so left behind, but not as nice as what your other daughter is able to buy for herself.” ~ guardlamamama

“NTA. Your partner wants to take money away from your daughter (money that is hers, that she earned), and give it to her daughter.”

“That’s favoritism.”

“It’s not your daughter’s fault that her stepsibling makes less than her, and the stepsibling should learn not to aspire to spend more than what she can afford.”

“Your partner is setting up her daughter for failure as an adult.” ~ Em1-_-

“Your wife and stepdaughter are not entitled to anyone’s money except their own.”

“My brother makes way more than me. Does this mean he has to help pay for my new car?” ~ Mereadsalot

“NTA but you will be if you go along with this by forcing your daughter to give her money to your stepdaughter or paying for your stepdaughter to buy the same stuff as your daughter.”

“Honestly, your wife gets major side-eye just for the suggestion, and from now on, you need to be watching her behavior closely.” ~ Ok-Abbreviations4510

“NTA. Your daughter has earned her own money so she can buy what she chooses. If your stepdaughter can’t because she earns less, it’s ok too.”

“If she wants something, she should ask her mother to buy it, not her sister.”

“And your wife should be understanding that her stepdaughter can spend her money buying things for her, not for your stepchild.” ~ MJ_092023

Many pointed out income inequality is going to be a factor for the rest of the daughters’ lives.

“NTA. Your wife’s daughter is not entitled to your child’s money. Your wife can supplement her child, but she cannot steal from your daughter.”

“I can’t imagine my parents saying that I was entitled to one of my sibling’s incomes because I was jealous.” ~ Gevalty

“NTA. My sister is a lawyer making bank while I just started my career in IT recently.”

Like your daughter, my sister’s much higher salary and pay in general is due to the work she put in on her own.”

“She is now reaping the benefits, and I am definitely not entitled to the same lifestyle she has just because we are siblings.” ~ ChanceAd3606

“NTA – in the future, if your daughter only earns 50k a year and your stepdaughter 150k, is your wife going to expect her child to give her stepsister 50k to make it even or for her (your wife) to make it even?”

“Nope, because that’s just plain stupid.” ~ Altruistic_You737

It’s unfortunate these teens are facing a harsh reality so early in life.

But Redditors all agreed forcing one child to subsidize the other wasn’t the right answer.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.