Parental favoritism is not only inappropriate but also deeply troubling. This issue becomes particularly concerning when a parent gives preferential treatment to their stepchildren over their biological ones to maintain a stronger connection with their new family.

A netizen recently asked, Am I a jerk for giving my dad his money back in front of his other kids and telling him he was no longer welcome at my graduation? We need you to decide. 


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OP’s graduation ceremony is being held next week. His dad had given him some money in advance to pay for the party. OP lives mostly with his mom, but they were supposed to host the event together.

OP’s Relationship With His Dad

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OP and his dad have a rocky relationship. After his parents divorced when he was 4, they split custody of OP and he was able to stay a good dad.

Dad Met Jane

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When OP was 10, his dad met Jane. Jane had three kids, twins and a single kid. They got married when OP was 12 but he would say even before that he felt like his dad prioritized her kids over OP a lot.

His dad would cancel plans with OP if they wanted to do something and would either do the thing with them or force OP to go and say it was even better than their plans when for OP it wasn’t. 

What Does OP Say

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Think going for a hike with OP vs. taking them to an indoor play area. Or seeing a movie with OP vs the kiddie park. One more example is when OP was given a ticket for a concert he and his dad both love. His dad was supposed to buy a ticket to come with him for some father/son time, but actually spent it on his youngest stepkid who wanted their room painted.

It Hurt Him

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OP’s dad told him at the last minute, and it hurt. There are other times stuff like this has happened. He didn’t show up at the hospital when OP broke his arm because one stepkid was getting their tonsils out and wanted both him and his wife there. He told OP’s mom over the phone to tell OP he was proud of him for being brave and understanding, even though OP never said that.

When OP would bring this stuff up to him he’d tell him it was natural to feel jealous of sharing his attention. That was all he would say.

What Happened In 2019?

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OP says, “In 2019 he told my mom he would split the cost of a trip I wanted to go on with one of my clubs because she didn’t have the money all by herself. Mom had her half saved. We told my dad he needed to pay.

He said bills were tight and it was the twins’ birthdays and the money needed to go on something for them. He told me we could do something as a family when the trip happened instead. I told him to forget it. That he was making it clear who was more important and I was going to stay with my mom where I actually mattered. Mom borrowed money to cover the other half of the trip.”

The Fuss About Graduation Money

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OP’s dad told him he regretted making him feel less important. They were working on things, and then the graduation money was given about a month ago.

Then a week ago, he called and told OP how one of the stepkids was being bullied, how bad of a time they’re having it, and with that money, they could help cheer them up for their birthday. OP was frustrated. He hung up. 

Two Days Later

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Then two days later, OP showed up at his dad’s doorstep, gave him the money, and told him he didn’t want to see him or his new family at his graduation and that he had chosen who was more important, so he better stay out of OP’s life.

His stepkids and two younger bio kids were there. OP didn’t stick around. He called and told OP they needed to talk it out like adults and that OP had hurt the kids’ feelings. His wife freaked out on OP so he blocked her.

“Am I a jerk?” asks OP.

He Wasn’t Even Being A Father

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“As a mom with kids from two marriages, I will absolutely say that you ain’t the jerk. Your dad consistently and constantly chose everyone else above you.  This is not ok.  Making and breaking promises is disgusting.  Saying one thing and then backing out is gross. And asking for the money back????    No. Just freaking no.   

He is not a father. He is a spineless sperm donor who deserves nothing from you. You needed a father and he was absolutely not it.   And I’m sorry.”

You Made The Right Choice

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“He has made it very clear who he has chosen. It’s up to him to reach out and make it up to you.” Said one. 

“You made the right choice. Parents who think they can take the relationship with their kids for granted because they feel they can always make it up are idiots. You don’t need to talk to him for a good while.” Another added. 

Just Go No Contact With Him

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“I hope you go NC with him now. He’s either gonna apologize with half-nothings and say how sorry he is, and then do what he’s always done, or he’s gonna try and guilt you into apologizing for something that was never your fault in the first place.

You don’t need such a crappy father in your life TBH. He’s made his bed. Let him lie in it. You are a strong person, and with this weight off your back, you’ll soar even higher.

Best of luck OP, and have a fun graduation. It sure will be better without your shame of a father in it. He’s only going to talk about his stepkids there anyways.”

Your Feelings Are Valid

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“Your feelings are valid. I get having to be “mature” because your step-siblings are younger doesn’t mean you have to deal with your dad being wishy-washy and always catering to his wife’s children. 

He doesn’t understand your feelings or perspective. Asking for money back to me is ridiculous, I’m not sure how his finances are but it doesn’t seem like he’s doing great to always sideline things with you for his kids. 

Now obviously, this is your perspective. Are you just naming off the bad times and bad times only? Or are there any good in between where your dad does stuff for you, and y’all go out?

I think regardless this is how you feel, jealousy or not it’s frustrating having anyone go back on their word. You’ve set a boundary, whether he likes it or not.. he’s disrespected both you and your mom. Your mom shouldn’t have to borrow money to pay for his half of something that he pledged to do. All for his “new family.”

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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