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A family cruise vacation created tension when a father rewarded his 16-year-old daughter with an “expensive” dress for looking after her younger brother. While the father saw it as a sweet gesture, his wife disagreed, arguing it was unfair to their sons.
A Family Cruise With the Family
The original poster (OP), Matt, went on a weekend cruise with his wife, Sophie, and their kids. Matt has four kids: a 20-year-old son, 16-year-old daughter, 13-year-old son, and seven-year-old son.
Independent Vacation Style
Matt’s oldest son spent most of his vacation time doing activities. He’d have breakfast and dinner with the family but go his own way in between.
Balancing Family and Couple Time
As much as Matt and Sophie enjoyed spending time with their kids, they also squeezed in some time for couple’s activities. The cruise included clubs for kids, and although Matt’s daughter, Bella, enjoyed her time here, her younger brother didn’t.
Bella Takes Charge
Bella noticed her younger brother wasn’t enjoying the club, so she decided to “be a good sport” and take her brother swimming and to trivia and animation classes.
A Proud Father
Matt noticed Bella taking care of her younger brother and thought it showed great maturity. However, that’s where things headed downhill.
A Dress for Bella
On the second-to-last day of the cruise, Matt took Bella to a gift shop and told her to pick whatever dress she wanted. Matt was impressed with his daughter and felt she deserved to be rewarded.
A Furious Confrontation
Bella was naturally excited and chose a dress that cost $80. She wore her dress for dinner that night; when Sophie found out about the dress, she was furious.
A Clash of Opinions
Sophie confronted Matt, demanding to know why he had bought their daughter an expensive dress and nothing for the other children. Matt tried to explain his reason for rewarding their daughter, but his wife wasn’t hearing it.
“She said we can’t buy an $80 dress for our daughter and nothing for our sons.”
In the end, Sophie expected Matt to apologize to his other children, but Matt refused. Matt maintained that he had no reason to apologize since they had taken their children on a vacation that cost thousands of dollars.
A Thoughtful Gesture
“Green flag, green flag! What a thoughtful way to acknowledge your daughter. You’re right, your 20 year old son got a free vacation as did your 13 year old and 7 year old. Your daughter graciously did a service for the family.”
Enforce Equal Treatment
“If your wife is concerned about all of her children getting an ‘equal treatment,’ this should also include their responsibilities. It was very sweet of your daughter to spend time with her brother and allowing [sic] you and your wife to have some alone time.”
A Lucky Father
“Your daughter very sweetly provided babysitting so you and your wife had time to yourselves. The dress was a very reasonable gift and $80 for a dress isn’t bad.”
Innocent Act Turns Into Argument
Matt also felt that if they bought their other children expensive souvenirs, they would most likely lose them. Matt had mixed feelings about how an innocent act of kindness turned into a heated argument.
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