Recently my younger brother mentioned to me on Facebook that our dad bought our cousin a car. Well, gave her the money to buy a car since she lives interstate, but you know what I mean. He was surprised: Our dad wouldn't do that for any of us - his own kids - so why would he do that for our cousin?
While I didn't know about that specific situation, I'm not surprised at all. I love my family, but I know there's a bit of a problematic relationship dynamic between my uncle and his kids. The kids see their dad as an unending well of support (both emotional and financial), while in reality, my uncle needs to focus on saving for his and his wife's retirements (given she's unwell) rather than constantly bailing his kids out of whatever crisis they're currently going through.
My dad knows this and has the capacity to help out, so he does. My uncle is his oldest friend, so in his mind,
giving my cousins economic outpatient care helping out my cousins is keeping them from hitting up my uncle for money, thus helping my uncle.
I'm not sure what to tell my brother, if anything. On the one hand, I don't want to say anything lest it sound overly critical. On the other, I kinda want to tell him that our dad does this as a favour to our uncle, and that we should try our best to never find ourselves in a similar situation as our cousin.