The Internet has hit a “backless” mother who refused to defend her daughter, Emma, against her “negligent” father and ill-behaved brother, Ben.
The mother asked on Wednesday in Reddit’s “Am I The A ** hole” forum under the username u / Leading_Equal6340: “[Am I the a**hole] for not shouting my son out for treating my daughter badly? “The post has garnered more than 8,200 votes and over 2,700 comments.
Before beginning the story of Emma and Ben, the mother explained that when the children were younger, their father “pampered” Ben, but “was not sweet” to Emma.
“This made her sad and she cried and felt unfairly treated. I was feeling bad but I could not do anything about it so it felt better to pretend it did not happen and hope it got better , “wrote the mother.
“Emma struggled to cope with this and I think I expected me to stand up for her, but I hate confrontation and her father never listens to me anyway. I preferred not to discuss it with Emma and focus on “other things, but she said I did not. allow her to be upset and did not validate her,” she continued.
The relationship between Ben and Emma “dissolved” when they entered adulthood. But when their father reached out to Emma in an attempt to repair their relationship, Emma felt inspired to do the same with Ben. The two remained on good terms for a few years until Ben one day stopped talking to her.
“Emma was sad and thinks it’s because Ben does not like their father’s interest in her. Ben has not given her an explanation, but he told me a stupid reason, it does not make sense,” said their mother.
When she told Emma that she thought Ben had “behaved very badly”, Emma asked her mother if she had expressed her thoughts to Ben. She said “no” and as a result Emma lost it.
“[S]he shouted at me that I have never stopped her or protected her, and if I can not do it this one time, she will not have a relationship with me. That I enable this behavior at her expense and she is tired of it, “the mother wrote.
Psychologist Genevieve von Lob told HuffPost that many parents are “inherently attracted to one child.”
However, if left unchecked, every child may suffer long-term adverse effects as a result of their parents’ favoritism.
“A less favored sibling can tell me they have internalized a sense of being overlooked, of never feeling good enough, and a deep sense of inadequacy,” von Lob told HuffPost.
“A favorite child also suffers; sometimes they have developed a deep-rooted fear and insecurity about losing their first place or feeling pressured to live up to their parents’ expectations,” she continued.
Psychologist John Duffy told HuffPost that favoritism can also lead to “serious differences between adult children.”
To prevent these effects, Duffy reminded parents not to overlook the good qualities in their “other children.”
“In many families – mine included – the rule supporter is the most valued,” Duffy said. “The child who pushes the most against the grain is often least valued. If parents could find appreciation and admiration for the other child’s positive qualities, then perhaps more equality could be felt between all siblings.”
While it might have been natural for Ben and Emma’s father to have a favorite child, most commentators slammed the mother for allowing Emma to be neglected by her father, arguing that she also neglected Emma. Some also called her “weak” for not confronting her own son.
“YTA you are a ** hole]and so weak I feel with Emma,” said u / HotBoxBakes.
Redditor u / Suitable-Cod-1381 replied: “Absolutely spineless.”
“YTA. Poor Emma, a life of being neglected by both parents,” Fabulous-Housing102 added.
“You have failed your daughter all her life and you do it again. You refused to overcome your fear of confrontation to protect your daughter. You clearly have no idea how much it has hurt her over the years, otherwise you would not be . here with apologies for your behavior, “commented u / bamf1701.
“YTA and your cowardice will cost you your relationship with your daughter,” u / mjcatz said.
“You come up with excuse after excuse for why you never protected your daughter from her father, and now you do the same with her brother, and fail her again,” u / pocket_novelist replied.
Newsweek contacted u / Leading_Equal6340 for a comment.