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What to do if SIL shows favoritism???

SIL insisted on giving my 7 year old a surprise party in August. He was thrilled! She got everyone there, had decorations and a cake and all that. Recently we asked, just out of curiosity, if she had plans to do the same for our oldest son, turning 10 on the 30th. We didn't want to step on her toes if she was planning a surprise for him. She gets an attitude and says "it will just be cake and gifts. No decorations, because it costs money." We didn't tell her she had to, but to do it for one and not the other is crappy. Her having the money is NOT the issue. Before you ask, yes I know its not. I know, because I do their parties. I talked to BIL's wife and she mentioned how her oldest had gotten 6 gifts from SIL, but her son got 1 last Christmas. Favoritism sucks. I think I should bring that to her attention. Would you?


Asked by Anonymous at 3:28 AM on Dec. 20, 2009 in Just for Fun

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • I can't stand people who play favorites with kids. My Grandparents did it with my brother and so did my Mom. I would just tell her that if she can't treat them both the same then not to have any more birthday parties for either of your kids. You know there are going to be hurt feelings and kids don't understand. And it's horrible that she treats kids that way, her hubby should be the one having a talk with her, not you.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:18 AM on Dec. 20, 2009

  • I don't know. I have the same problem with my sons fathers mother. She favors my son because he looks like her children and acts like her oldest son (my son's father)... Yea I mated with the favorite child and it was passed down.

    One time she was playing with my son and she gave him a kiss. his cousin was sitting right next to him and got no attention. the child later cornered my son and bit him so hard that he bled.... the drama

    Answer by MoMoFu at 3:42 AM on Dec. 20, 2009

  • I think it's terrible when a parent or grandparent shows favoritism, but it seems a little different to me with other people. I never had anyone offer to give a party for any of my children, & I think giving a birthday party at the holidays is difficult anyway, but when it's not your own child, probably even more so. I think it's good that kids have individual people that make them feel special. I don't think it should be done in a mean way, or hurtful way to the other children, but people do connect differently. (It does sound like your SIL may cross this line). When I was a kid I had a favorite aunt who treated me like I was special. She gave all of the kids equal gifts, at holidays, but she would come & take me to a movie & lunch just us, & she would call to ask me about school etc. Even today we're close. My brothers had relatives that did special things just for them. Every child needs someone who makes them feel special

    Answer by ohwrite at 3:54 AM on Dec. 20, 2009

  • besides their own parents, who they often feel have to think they're special. Again. I don't think it's okay for an aunt or friend to be mean, but the way the parents handle it, will affect who the child being treated special....and other children feel about the situation, or if they're even aware of it sometimes. I'm also very protective of my kids, so I understand not wanting one of your children to be hurt, but try to step back a little. If she truly does mean things, I'd talk to her gently about it, telling her how much you appreciate what she does for your 7 year old, but that maybe she doesn't realize the discrepancy in the way she treats the kids. Good Luck.

    Answer by ohwrite at 3:57 AM on Dec. 20, 2009

  • Well you should sit her down and tell her if she will not do the same thing for all your kids. Not to do anything. Parties, gifts etc....

    Answer by louise2 at 8:16 AM on Dec. 20, 2009

  • I would! Next time she offers anything, I'd say, "No, that's OK, we don't like how you don't treat our kids even close to the same. They notice." Plan your 10 year old's party, make it great. Then, if she says anything, I'd dismiss her, definitely.

    Answer by Pnukey at 9:35 AM on Dec. 20, 2009

  • I think it is your job to protect your kids from this kind of thing and would put a stop to it immediately!

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:24 AM on Dec. 20, 2009

  • It's hard to go against family. especially when it is not yours biologically. in my case this is second generation and the father sees it as an okay thing. saying things like our son is prolly favored at school too because he is a good kid. I agree with the majority people here with the thought of talking it out. if that is not an option I do understand and i would not let her throw any parties. make it clear and when she asks then tell her that you don't appreciate the discrepancy between the treatment of child. the lesson you intend to teach is something the woman should have been taught when she was a child.

    Answer by MoMoFu at 11:33 AM on Dec. 20, 2009

  • Thank you ladies, for all the advice. Yes, my main concern is how my children feel. I never asked her to throw a party for either of my children. I have always done them, and it was nice of her to do one for my 7 year old. I'm sure my 10 year old will be wondering why she doesn't do his party, but think of my BIL's three kids! She isn't equal with her gift giving, or attention, and she sees nothing wrong with it. When she has her own kids, she'll realize its not fair. I dealt with my sister being the favorite in my family. Her kids are also the favorites. Kids notice this stuff. I told SIL last night that although DH had asked if she had WANTED to give older son a party, I was doing it myself. Suddenly she acts offended and says she was "planning on it". I wasn't rude, as she so often is, but I was firm. I said, "no that's okay, I've already picked out his cake."

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:38 PM on Dec. 20, 2009