When a father, the Original Poster (OP), decides against buying his daughter’s desired Dyson Airwrap due to its high price, he triggers an unexpected chain of reactions. Tensions rise as his daughter equates her father’s past extravagant gift to his son with her perceived birthday disappointment.
A Birthday Wish
OP’s daughter, a 14-year-old social media enthusiast, writes an expansive birthday wishlist. On top is the expensive Dyson Airwrap. Despite her interest, the steep price keeps OP from purchasing it.
Seeking to satisfy her, OP selects more modest items from her list. He also decided to pick out an alternative quality hairdryer and hair rollers. The intention is to encourage her independence without indulging in costly whims.
The Ungrateful Reception
When she unwraps her gifts, her disappointment is obvious. She sulks, issuing half-hearted thank yous, and retreats to her room. There is instantly an awkward tension in the household.
The Family Argument
A heated argument ensues later that week. She feels wronged and betrayed by her parents’ decision. She paints a picture of a profound injustice over the denied gift and claims favoritism to her brother.
OP recalls the previous year when he rewarded his son, Aaron, his 16-year-old, for exceptional academic achievement. A coveted, expensive Lego set is given to alleviate the strains of Aaron’s struggles with depression and anxiety. This event triggers a comparison in the daughter’s mind.
The Disparity in Gifts
The daughter believes there’s blatant favoritism, comparing the extravagant Lego set gift with her own. She feels that her father’s generosity extended to her brother, which wasn’t reciprocated on her birthday. She continues to get more upset with OP.
Although OP calls the hair dryer extravagant, he admits that the Lego set he bought for his son was more than the hair dryer. OP’s daughter was hurt that he received this when it wasn’t even his birthday, and she didn’t get something of equal value on her own special day.
Arousal of Sympathy
Feeling aggravated, she starts seeking sympathy from the extended family. She shares her perceived situation with them, painting a picture of inequality. She lays out the whole situation in order to get more family members on her side.
OP feels that his daughter’s behavior is a manifestation of immaturity. The two situations, in his eyes, are distinct, but his daughter does not see it that way. This is hurting his relationship with his daughter more than he could have imagined.
However, OP overlooks the emotional importance the Airwrap held for his daughter. For her, it was more than a hair appliance; it symbolized a step toward her aspiration of becoming a social media influencer. Her anger stems from her parents not understanding this aspect.
Was Getting His Daughter A Cheaper Gift Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “I was wondering how a Lego set is more useful than an airwrap? Neither child is owed gifts at all, but why get one such a large, expensive gift and not the other?”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “The way you talk about your daughter makes me sad. You dismiss something that is important to her, so therefore, you don’t buy it. But when you talk about your son, notice you didn’t bother to name your daughter. You gush over him and his hobby in an entire paragraph. And not only was the gift more expensive, you claim he needed it. He didn’t need a $700+ Lego set.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “I’m not saying that you have to buy kids everything they want. I’m saying you had the money, knew of her interest, ignored it, and then instead got a more expensive item for your son and supported his interest.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “Kids aren’t dumb. They know favoritism when they see it. Also, did you ask her why she wanted that particular hair dryer, or did you just decide on your own that it wasn’t worth the money? Honestly, you just sound like you think your daughter’s interests are frivolous and dumb, but your son is important and worthwhile. You should probably spend some time thinking about why that is.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.