My SDD is almost 14. I've been with her dad (my dh) since she was 3 years old. Our relationship is good, and her mom and stepdad and me and my dh all get along well together. No problems there.
SDD stays with us every other weekend. In our house, she has her own bedroom. It is furnished nicely, and she's got her own TV and computer in there. We let her choose the wall paint, and are currently looking for some prints to have framed for the walls (she's picking them out).
The problem we are having, and have had in the past year, has to do with wanting to buy things for our other dd, and SDD getting in a snit over it. Our almost 7 y.o. has a very small bedroom, so we've been looking for ways to maximize space in there. We bought a laptop computer for her to use because she has a very small desk that I picked up off of Craigslist for $45. SDD has all new bedroom furniture, which I selected for her because it was pretty and we wanted her to have something nice for when she stays with us. Her desk is much bigger than dd's. It seemed natural that SDD would keep the desktop computer, since her desk is bigger, and dd would get the notebook. Just being practical. Honestly, dd could care less about such things at this point. She only cares that it works.
SDD thought this was horribly unfair. She even suggested we needed to get her a notebook computer as well. Dh almost caved, but I talked him out of it. How silly that would have been because we have a perfectly good computer in her room for her exclusive use. Why would we buy a brand new notebook computer only to have it sitting in a room that's unused 80% of the time? He quickly agreed and we held our ground on that.
Now I want to buy my dd a flat panel LCD TV. There is just no room in there for a large TV, and she really enjoys being able to watch her movies and kid shows in her own room. We are okay with this, and it actually lessens the arguing because we only have one other TV that she could watch, so there's no arguing or annoying kid shows in the background downstairs.
SDD has a very nice TV in her room. It's not a flat panel LCD, but it was rather expensive when we first bought it. Unfortunately, it is large and takes up the top of her dresser completely. But hey, it works great and it's a big screen, and it's hers exclusively. But.....you can guess what came next. It's not fair for dd to get an LCD tv. She thinks she should have one too.
I can understand being 14 and wanting all these cool things, but her room doesn't have the space constraints the other's does, and she's just not here enough for us to justify this kind of expense. She basically has two of everything, one set at her mom's house and one at ours. But she wants better stuff, and I'm at my wits end trying to figure out how to explain our rationale to her in a way that she will understand and accept.
So we haven't bought the tv for dd's room. I feel torn because I don't want to look like I'm favoring dd over sdd at all, but I also feel like I'm being held hostage by this. Part of me feels like I should be able to buy my dd anything I darn well want to. If it made sense and we could justify the expense, I'd run down to the store and buy sdd all new everything so there could be no complaints or comparisons, but it doesn't, and we can't.
Any advice for me?