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Extreme Favoritism: Mother-In-Law Edition

My sister’s MIL only liked two of her five grandchildren.  My niece was the number one favorite.  She could do no wrong with the grandmother and grandfather.  They took her on exotic trips like Jamaica and Hawai’i.  They bought her Halloween presents and just because presents.  They bought expensive and over the top Christmas and Easter presents. 

This caused a lot of difficulty because my niece did have a big brother.  They did almost nothing for him.  He’d get a book for Christmas.  Granted he liked books, but when you compare what she would get to a book… it wasn’t equitable at all.  (Not that I think you have to match dollar for dollar, because the thought that counts and all that but when the kids are 4 and 9, you kind of have to at least seem balanced).  They wouldn’t get him the other types of presents. 

And to make matters worse, ex-BIL would give the presents to the daughter despite the fact that there wasn’t a present for the son.  So my parents were frequently finding themselves making up for Lou and Papa Doc (is it at all weird that his favored grandfather name is the same one that a Haitian dictator whose regime supported state-sponsored terrorism used?).  The whole thing was just ridiculous.


4 responses »

  1. It breaks my heart to hear stories like this. Honestly, I would of said something about if I was your sister. To the point where I would not of accepted the gifts or allowed her to go on the exotic trips. If they wanted to take her on a trip then son should go too.

    No life isn’t fair, but shouldn’t family try to be?

  2. We used to fight with my sister about it, but ultimately ex-brother in law was the one who would give her the presents. They both did stuff like that to him too to a lesser degree. One year “Santa” gave her a Power Wheels Barbie Car and he got some legos. It was seriously messed up. Now they have a pretty decent relationship but I think much of that is because my niece (18) realizes how messed up it all was and when their mom died it was kind of ‘us against him’.

  3. I hate that also. My X mother in law tried to do that ONCE with my children. I have a son from a previous relationship and my daughter was the first granddaughter. The very first time my X mother in law tried to give more to my daughter then to my son I simply looked at her and told her it was not acceptable. I told my daughter that I was sorry but grandma would have to take back the gift until she had something for brother also. She did end up taking in back and not returning it until she had something for both children. That was when my daughter was 2, she is not 25 and it never happened again.

    You simply cannot let someone do that to your children. Your sister should have stood up to her husband and let him know it was unacceptable.

  4. By allowing this to happen, your sister is guaranteeing that her children, your niece and nephew, will grow up as rivals. He’ll probably resent her and want nothign to do with her when they’re adults, and she’ll have an incredible sense of entitlement. Nice parenting.


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