For some families, blending biological kids, stepkids, and half-siblings under one roof is a seamless dynamic that results in that quintessential “big, happy family.” For others, though, the favoritism between bio kids, stepkids, and half-sibs can be quite a point of contention, and this Reddit dad is fostering a dynamic between his sons that unfortunately falls into the latter category.
Taking to the platform’s “Am I The A—hole” forum (although, spoiler alert: He really should have been able to figure it out for himself) this dad is asking the internet to clarify if he’s handled a certain situation like an a—hole.
For context, he explains, “I (37M) have been married to the woman of my dreams (41F) for around 9 years now. When we first met she did not tell me that she had a child from a past marriage but when I found out I did not care and married her a year later. She gave birth to my biological child 2 years later.”
With just this morsel of information, it’s already clear by the way he writes “my biological child” that there’s a difference at the very least in how this man thinks of his two sons. This is confirmed as he continues, “Her son (11M) Jeremiah is a little rascal. He loves to wind up and annoy people as much as he can. He has always been like this but I tried to develop as much of a positive relationship I could with him. I tried and I tried but him and I never seem to get along. My biological son (7M) Lucas is a calm, playful child. I love him more than anything in this world.”
This guy has been in Jeremiah’s life since he was 2 years old and he still refers to him as “her son.” It seems reasonable to assume that, being in Jeremiah’s life from a young age and raising another son alongside him, this Reddit dad would have some responsibility for the kid’s demeanor and behavior that he so clearly abhors. Ignoring his role in this situation, the dad also bad-mouths Jeremiah — a literal CHILD — and proceeds to refer to Lucas as his pride and joy. The favoritism is strong in this one.
The dad gets to the heart of the issue: “So basically, a couple of days ago, Jeremiah was playing with a football indoors and broke a vase. This vase had a lot of sentimental value to me as it was one of the last gifts my mother gave me before she died of cancer in 2014. He told me he didn’t do it but I did not know any better since he is known for doing this type of stuff. I scolded him for it and grounded him from using the PS5 for one week.”
Make note of how Reddit dad writes, “Jeremiah was playing with a football indoors and broke a vase” like it’s a hard fact.
He continues, “3 days later, my biological son Lucas came up to me and admitted that it was really him who broke the vase. He looked like he felt really guilty and he didn’t mean to do it so I had no choice but to forgive him and assure him that it is okay.”
Are you staring blankly and hearing crickets in your brain because the WTF vibes are so overwhelming? Because same. Again, the dad is sure to refer to Lucas as “my biological son,” but the real kicker is “He looked like he felt really guilty and he didn’t mean to do it so I had no choice but to forgive him and assure him that it is okay.” There were quite a few red flags for favoritism up to this point, but this is just a blatant difference in treatment of the two boys that’s simply unacceptable.
Stepdad of the year continues, “My wife pointed out that when I thought it was Jeremiah, I grounded him but when it turned out it was Lucas I did not even scold him. I know it’s a bit unfair but Jeremiah has a history of trying to wind people up so I believed a punishment would be suitable for him.” He somehow has the audacity to ask, “AITA for this?” We can’t help but bark a dry laugh at the ignorance of it all, and we aren’t alone.
Redditors scolded the dad with unflinching vigor, just as he did with Jeremiah, with one user replying, “YTA. Lucas broke the vase and let his brother suffer for 3 entire days before finally confessing. Of course he should be punished and of course YTA.”
They continued, “You should apologize to Jeremiah. You accused him of something he didn’t do. It seems that you’re punishing him because ‘he has a history of winding people up’ but that has nothing to do with the current situation. He didn’t break the vase. He didn’t deserve to be scolded or grounded. You punished him based on your own prejudices and are going easy on Lucas because of your own favoritism. You need to set this right or you’ll end up with a resentful stepson and an entitled brat for a bio kid.”
Another user wrote, “You even wrote [Jeremiah] broke it knowing he didn’t. It is all about how you speak about him. MY BIOLOGICAL child, my BIOLOGICAL son, he is not your stepson he’s HER son. You’re such an AH.” One Redditor agreed, writing, “You clearly favor your child over your stepson. Maybe he acts out because he feels/sees the difference in how the two boys are treated.”
Other users called out the dad’s problematic behavior, with one Redditor writing, “You’ve been Jeremiah’s stepfather since he was 2 years old and been in his life since he was a baby but still haven’t properly bonded with him? Sounds like a you problem.”
Another user called out the bigger issue with resounding clarity: “The event in question was the breaking of the vase not the boy’s entire life. You punished him and later discovered you were completely wrong — massive apology required.” They continued, “As for treating your son like a special little angel for the same offense — shame on you. Plus he let the stepbrother take the blame for days! For something he did! You need to take off your rose-tinted glasses and discipline your boy equally as you did the other, this blatant and shameless favoritism will only breed contempt and resentment from the stepson and from your wife.”
Sometimes you need a firm reality check to get your s—t in gear, and that’s exactly what Reddit gave this dad. We can only hope he’ll take it to heart and change his behavior going forward — or else he’s in for some rough teenage years followed by a lifetime of resentment with Jeremiah.
Before you go, check out these unbelievable stories about Reddit’s worst dads.
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