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We all know how challenging it can be when siblings don't get along and how taxing it can be when the fighting continues on holidays.
Some families choose to go on separate holidays with one child, even if fighting isn't an issue, to ensure a parent gets quality time with one child. Add in a family split or another unusual family dynamic and things like holidays can get even more tricky.
But now a father has asked the internet for advice over his decision to take his niece on a holiday instead of his own daughter, and the fallout this created.
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© Getty A father has asked for advise after he upset his daughter by taking his niece on a holiday and not her.
The father, who called himself throwaway63618293, took to Reddit's popular "Am I the A---hole" advice column this week to ask if he was wrong to choose his niece over his daughter.
The man explained he has a daughter, Wendy, 14, who mainly lives with her mother, and a niece, Claire, 15, who lived with him. He said he had been raising Claire ever since her parents died when she was very young.
"Wendy and her mum live far away and she has custody so I only see her once a month," he explained, adding he had a closer relationship with Claire, with whom he shared "a lot more in common", but claimed, "I love them both equally."
"A while ago I got a bonus at work and I decided to go on a trip but I couldn't afford to take both girls and also the girls don't get along," he said, adding this was "mostly Claire's fault."
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READ MORE: Heartwarming video: Family moves into hospital car park during three-day labour © Getty Images/iStockphoto The man admitted his daughter and niece don't get on.
As "no one would have fun if I took them both" he said he decided to pick one, "and since Wendy can go with her mum if she wants, I decided that it's only fair if I take Claire."
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"So, we went to the trip but ever since then Wendy has stopped talking to me because she thinks it's not fair that I never take her anywhere and choose my niece over her, but I've raised Claire and I consider her my daughter, so I don't think I did anything wrong," he said.
"My ex, however, is calling me an a---hole and says that I always favour Claire, but that's not true."
In an edit to the post, he said the girls "fight like all siblings do" and "sometimes it's even Wendy who starts the fights", adding "no one is bullying anyone here. I'm not rewarding her but if your kid does something wrong you cant punish them forever."
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The post drew thousands of comments. © Getty The man admitted he barely sees his own daughter, who lives with her mother.
"If they're both under your care, you need to treat them as equally as possible. Should have taken both or taken neither. Or planned a comparable trip to take your daughter on separately" said one, while another agreed he "could've done two separate mini-trips."
"Never in a million years would I take one child on a vacation and leave the other home. If you can't afford to take both girls, you can't afford the trip and you pick something else," said another.
"Your daughter feels like you replaced her and you kind of did. You did not have to pick one... you made the choice to go that put you in a position to exclude your daughter, and that's all on you," wrote another. "If Claire doesn't get along with your daughter then you need to talk to her about it. She's had a rough life but don't let her be the reason your daughter cuts contact with you."
"Ugh, the favoritism is so obvious! I think Claire is the kid he wishes he had," wrote one, while another said, "By taking one child on a trip you clearly chose the one you favour… you are a cruel father," while another said, "Stop saying you love them equally, you don't."
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Others wondered what action he took when Claire caused fights. "If you'd love them both equally, you'd have put Claire in her place a long time ago. Because that's what good parents do. Don't let one child bully the other," wrote one, while another said, "Claire is hostile to Wendy and is being rewarded with trips without her."
Others said they had first-hand experience of this kind of situation.
"I'm going to explain this from Wendy's perspective, as a kid that has been in Wendy's shoes. Wendy does not care about the fact that you went on a trip with Claire. She cares that you excluded her from the trip. She cares that you prioritised Claire over her when you barely see her as it is. All she sees is you choosing Claire over her, again and again," wrote one.
"My dad went with his wife and his step-daughters on a cruise vacation and I was excluded. I was bitter about it for a long time," said another.
Another detailed how her father always took her cousin out but never had time for her, ending, "Just because Claire doesn't have a father doesn't mean that Wendy should lose hers too."
In an update, the father said he now got that "I'm an a---hole" and said he would "talk to both girls and see how I can fix this."
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