Dad Forces Teen to Give Up Bedroom for Baby Half-Brother

Gillian Sisley

Should one child ever be favored over the other?

It isn't always easy to invite a new family member into the picture, especially after divorce or separation. It's estimated about 650,000 divorces are finalized in the US every year, and of those divorces, most will go on to remarry.

With that said, 1/3 of divorcees will already have children, and may want to have more children in their new marriage. That may not always be possible due to infertility, which affects about 1 in 5 women in the US.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a man forces his teenage daughter to move out of her bedroom so that he can make room for the newborn baby he just recently had with his new wife.

Should one child ever be favored over the other?

A Reddit post published on May 9th, reported on by Alice Gibbs from Newsweek, has gone viral 16,100 upvotes and 6,500 comments.

The author begins his post by stating that he has a 14-year-old daughter, Harper, from a previous marriage, and he currently has full custody of her. 5 years ago he met his current wife Nina, and they tried for a kid but couldn't have one. After a visit to the doctor they learned that there were some infertility issues, so they used a sperm donor and that resulted in their newborn baby.

With that said, the author clarifies that his daughter was never happy about the pregnancy, and it's only gotten worse since her half-brother was born. He says that he and his daughter used to spend two days a week together, without anyone else there, but with the half-brother now being born he can't do that anymore. He states that he can't leave his wife to take care of their newborn son alone for 2 days a week, which his daughter has been very angry about.

Already feeling like she was being cast aside, matters were made even worse when the author and his wife decided they would make a nursery for their son, rather than having him in their bedroom. The house has four bedrooms, two master bedrooms and then two regular bedrooms on the other side of the house. One of the master bedrooms belongs to the couple, while another belongs to his daughter, Harper.

The author adds that it's been ‘very difficult’ for them to go to the other side of the house multiple times a night to care for the baby, so the author woke his daughter up and told her to pack up her things and move to another bedroom so that they could give her room to the newborn baby.

Preferential treatment of one child over the other causes lasting trauma.

Psychologists can agree that showing any preferential treatment to one child over another child can have very damaging effects on their psychology. The child who is passed over can experience mental health struggles, and increased risk for feelings of loneliness and isolation that can follow them into adulthood.

The author said that at first things seemed to be fine, and his daughter agreed and started packing her things, but less than an hour later the author's brother showed up asking for the daughter. It turns out she had called her uncle and asked him to take her in. She came out with her things, and told the author that he could ‘give the room to his son now’, and then left.

The author told his daughter that she could only leave for one night, but she's been gone for 3 days and is not planning to come back, nor has she talked to her father since. He is now wondering if he was in the wrong for asking what he did of his daughter.

What do you think? Was the father justified in telling his daughter that she had to change rooms so that it would make it easier for him and his wife to check on their son during the night? Or is the father very clearly tossing his daughter aside in favor of his new son, and neglecting to care for both of his children equally?

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