How do you feel about your step kids? Honestly

(97 Posts)
jenniferlawrence Sun 01-Dec-13 18:21:54

Just wondering to what extent other step parents have managed to bond and build a loving relationship with the step kids.

I've been in my step sons lives for 8 years, since they were 2 and 4. We get on fine. They are respectful towards me. I treat them fairly, ensure they are well fed, safe, happy and in clean clothes. I ask them questions and listen to them. I stick up for them when I think my husband is being hard on them but that's as far as it goes. I always assumed that a bond would develop over time but I've always found it hard to relate to them. They are easier to get on with when we just have one but we usually have both together. I know my husband wishes I had a closer bond with them but I feel that they don't want to be close to me as they are close to their Mum (rightly so) and I didn't want to push them. I care about them and feel protective but I don't adore them like I do my daughter.

So, how do you honestly feel about your step kids?

fubar74 Fri 31-Jan-14 12:12:24

MatryoshkaDoll, I agree our relationship suffered because of my 'relationship' with his DS and I say that term very loosely.

Basically I don't have a relationship with SC, and prefer it that way because I can't deal with the softly softly disney approach when he wasn't like that with this kids when he was with his Ex

freckledleopard Thu 30-Jan-14 15:49:42

Thank God for this thread. I was a step-mother 50% of the time to my now ex-husband's son, and it was a hellish experience and a key contributing factor as to why we divorced. The situation was fairly unique - his son is autistic and neither my ex or the mother would deal with, or barely even acknowledge the situation. I couldn't cope and the marriage ended (as well as there being other reasons).

I'm now in a new relationship and my partner has a four year old son. He is super cute, fun, very boyish (which is a massive contrast as my DD, now a teenager, was always very girly). I like spending time with him, playing trucks, drawing etc, but I am still so scared of committing to this relationship, knowing how my marriage turned out. I'm worried that whilst it's easy to play happy families whilst dating, things can turn very different when you commit as a couple and move in together. Day to day reality is different from weekend visits and I worry if I can cope. I don't want history to repeat itself.

I don't want to simply tolerate a step child either. I'd hate for DD to be 'tolerated' (my ex-husband was a very good step-father to her) and would want to really love and bond with a step-child.

The whole blended family thing is a minefield confused

ScottishPies Thu 30-Jan-14 15:26:50

i wish I'd known of this board and of this thread in December.

My DP has 11yr ds who is lovely and friendly and loves/adores his dad. And Dp loves/adores ds. I have been with Dp 14months, spent every wknd with them and been staying with DP since Sept (not moved in, staying while look for somewhere to rent). I sadly have no dc. Dp has ds 50/50.

Ds found it difficult to adjust when DP first started dating me, and then again when I started staying with dp. I get on with ds okay, I think he is a great kid, and but there has always been a clear difference in his mind about the role his dad plays and the role I play and I have always felt on the outside of this little unit of two (three is you include the dog!).

DP made it clear on several occasions that ds always comes first and that if i want to be with DP i had to adjust my life to dp, ds and the dog.

Ds always refers to his dad on any discussion/decision, even down to what we have for dinner - when I tried to make suggestions about what to have for dinner (because I know dp got fed up of thinking about it and I like cooking) he would dismiss my suggestions and say lets wait for dad to decided. And any day out would be directed by dp/ds, my suggestions tended to get dismissed. I was consistently patient and never showed any irritation, although I did feel as though I was a stranger in their home they were being friendly to.

Unfortunately, the relationship also suffered other pressures which lead to one to many rows and me moving to staying with my parents 25miles away just before xmas.

I love DP and I care for dss, but I'm not sure how things will pan out. Perhaps I need a separate thread of my own!

Kaluki Wed 29-Jan-14 11:57:23

Marwois - he's asking too much of you. You can't just turn love on like a tap.
If he won't listen to you and ignores you when you ask him to make changes and set reasonable boundaries then how on earth can you be expected to bond with the dsc. He can't have it all ways.
My feelings for my DSC have evolved over the years from indifference to dislike when they were at their worse and with DPs help I am now at the point where I do love them and want the best for them but it doesn't come close to the love I have for my own dc.

ShesYourDaughter Tue 28-Jan-14 16:55:29

Marwois, two years ago I asked my DP to join me in a New Years resolution that we would be more of a family unit, rely on each other, discuss things, share or at least communicate on parenting, do things together. She promised.

It was the last New Years resolution I made.

Not because we didnt try, we tried very hard. It's just not that easy and trying and failing was doing more harm than good.

There were times in the past when I actively didn't like the dsc's, that grew to a more neutral stand, and now after looking after them single handedly for 5 days I think we've come to a positive point.

It's not a parent child relationship it's a mutual respect and regard, they realise I'm there to support and guide them as much as mum, and have a bit of fun along the way. I find them quite good company, in an exhausting way!

But I'll never feel that deep empathy I don't think, or make any decisions with my heart instead of my head.

May just be a case of they're getting older, no mum around to play up for. I'll find out next week.

To be honest my own kids became a bit like strangers for a few years at a semi independent age where the only use they seemed to have for me was as the person to test how far they could go! Teenagers huh?!

Marwois Tue 28-Jan-14 15:54:04

I've been seeing my OH for just over a year and have known his children (dsb's nearly 4, and 5) for about 4 months. My OH has said if I love his children then he'll do anything for me...!

I know having read here and elsewhere, and having been in a relationship, where I had a dsd and the relationsip didn't work out, that it's not always possible to love your dsc. I do like my dsc, but due to the previous relationship where I did bond I am, I think understandably, apprehensive and scared. I bond with with all my nieces and nephews but it's all just different kind of relationship levels isn't it? So no problem bonding in my eyes.

OH and I do not live together and yes we both have baggage which we bring - I am faced with "love them as I do" which is having impact on relationship with OH. Do I take my time to get to know them or jump in? Both the dsc really love it when I'm there, and ask if I'm going to be there but it's overwhelming me (past relationship baggage I think). My parenting suggestions have not been welcomed and ignored but it's not unreasonable for boundaries to be in place for children (and step-parents)?? ie it's ok to wake up in the morning at 5am; rather than teaching boundaries to stay in bedroom etc??

It's also important that OH sees them on his own so I have gone and done things when we've all been at his - it's healthy isn't it rather than trying to force a unit onto a group of people??

I'm struggling with communication at the moment with the OH who has given me alot (support etc), but also is very keen that we are a 'family unit'...End of tether at the moment...

impatienceisavirtue Sat 11-Jan-14 00:28:54

I care about them because they're DH's kids.

But I have to say, reading some of these threads have made me feel a lot better - I really was starting to wonder if I was an incredibly awful person as, though I wouldn't openly admit it, I generally find them rather unpleasant :/

Not DH's fault - it is apparent from the way he parents them, the way he has always parented them and the way he parents my 3 DCs that the, er, issues that they are developing are coming from some spectacularly bad parenting moves from their BM.

MrsExtraOrdinary Wed 08-Jan-14 12:35:05

Jennifer I think you've summed it up entirely! I live with one of my dsc and have done for 4 years after his mother rejected him. However there is no love there. I care about all of them but I don't love them like I do my own.

colditz Tue 07-Jan-14 17:23:46

Trooper, how old are all the children?

trooperlooperdo Tue 07-Jan-14 13:59:57

I actively dislike the eldest girl (and everything she does only serves to prove my feelings about her are spot on) and completely indifferent about the youngest. after the way the eldest has assulted and bullied my child, he can't stand her either.

Xalla Tue 07-Jan-14 06:09:01

*I do a lot for dsd who we have 50/50, I don't love her though I care about her. No idea how she feels about me, 1 minute she's all over me and the next hates me.

When she's here 3/4 days on the trot I find myself going out on errands just to avoid her. It's her dad she's here to see it's not my job to be around 24/7.*

Yep, I can totally relate to that too.

hiltontribe Sun 05-Jan-14 12:38:31

Things were good with dsd until she started writing 'I hate my step mum, she is a bitch, she can't be in charge, she's not my mum' on every bit of paper she could find. She'd leave them for me to find, the sweetie pie!

She moved to her mums 6 months ago and the difference in the house is unbelievable. No fights, shouting or tears. However I would have her back without a second thought.
For all that she was a pain in the arse, I miss her. It's just a shame she doesn't miss us! She's more like her mum than me and Dh would like to admit!

PixieFairy Thu 02-Jan-14 14:51:41

I'm fond of them. We get on fine and they're polite. However, it's not how I feel with my own dc. Thankfully DH understands what I mean when we've spoken about it. We're not as close as most step parents but I think that's to do with the living distance between us.

colditz Thu 02-Jan-14 14:42:06

I love them. They have been in my life for half of their lives (more for dsd) and we know each other well. Their mother, while being a source of deep irritation to me sometimes, is doing a very good job with them, and they are pleasant, polite, well socialised, intelligent and fun.

WoollyNortherner Thu 02-Jan-14 14:38:48

I like my dsd, I care for her greatly but I don't love her. She has a totally different life at her mums and her attitude, values and aspirations are very different to what I have encouraged in my ds's. She is very young for her age, very dependent, very clingy, needs constant attention and loves a bit of drama. She also refuses to share ANYTHING but thinks nothing of just helping herself to my ds's things.

All these little things grate on me and cause tension in the house. We try to treat her the same as my ds's and certainly don't encourage her behaviour, but its an uphill struggle as she's only with us 50% of the time and she idolises her morally challenged mum.

bluebell8782 Thu 02-Jan-14 13:46:33

I love my DSD - she's ten and I have been in her life since she was 5. I don't have children of my own so I don't know how different the feeling would be but I do know I would fight to the death to protect her, I feel warmth and teary when I look at her sometimes and feel happy when she smiles.

She will always love her dad but I'm now starting to worry that I perhaps will be in the firing line in her teens. I think she is starting to feel guilty about her love for me as her mum despises my existence. She did tell me once that she loved me which I will always remember.

Princessjonsie Thu 02-Jan-14 03:28:01

We have a better relationship now older and the penny has dropped I'm going nowhere . I still dread vists as he is so disruptive to home life and makes everything difficult but surprise myself how protective I am towards him. I think I don't care but if anyone hurts him I'm like a lioness with cubs. Mother instinct is a powerful thing

oadcb Fri 27-Dec-13 22:48:17

I really dislike mine. I try my hardess and its been flung in my face too many times.

My DSS is a selfish money orientated lazy bratt

My DSD is lazy muniplitive.

I've decided to detach completely now and just do damage limitation of the effects of their behaviour on my children.

oadcb Fri 27-Dec-13 22:46:27

I really dislike mine. I try my hardess and its been flung in my face too many times.

My DSS is a selfish money orientated lazy bratt

My DSD is lazy muniplitive.

I've decided to detach completely now and just do damage limitation of the effects of their behaviour on my children.

NachoAddict Fri 27-Dec-13 22:07:50

I love dsd, not as much as my own dc but genuinely love her. That's not to say she doesn't irritate me, she does but them so do my own dc sometimes. I teared up when dp and I taught her to ride her bike, I feel proud of her and miss her when she's gone.

I do sometimes resent the behaviour of the adults around her but that's not her fault and sometimes she has an attitude that gets on my wick whereas I am probably more tolerant of my own dc because I have more control over their behaviour etc.

MatryoshkaDoll Fri 27-Dec-13 19:49:55

Anyone feel like their relationship with their DP isn't as good as it potentially could be because you don't love their DC like they love them?

I sometimes feel like DP is disappointed in me that I'm not totally besotted.

LoodleDoodle Fri 27-Dec-13 16:24:04

Delurking here. Honestly? I loathe mine, with a passion. Spoiled, difficult, nasty to my DD. One is more likeable, I care for her although it isn't love. The elder is vile, vile, at 11. Not their fault, their mother truly is vile, and it's learnt behaviour. They'll never know how I feel about them, but honestly? I count down the minutes till they're gone.

Loveineveryspoonful Mon 23-Dec-13 10:08:12

Clingons?
Wish I could share this pun with dh, he's a massive Star Trek fan ;)

Of course its lovely to see kids hug their dads (or wrestle when they're too manly to hug, as ds with his dad), but I don't think any sm is that stupid to not be able to tell the difference between a genuine hug that's given with love, and a clingyness that simply suggests "naff off, he's mine" in no uncertain terms.

Would love to hear from those sms who have open, honest, great relationships with their dsc where territorial clinging beyond the age of 2 or 3 is not a problem.
What do your dps do different? (I'm pretty sure its a reaction caused by vagueness in dads whose uncertainty in new relationships make their dc feel uneasy too, but could be wrong...).

TinselTaTas Mon 23-Dec-13 05:48:06

I do a lot for dsd who we have 50/50, I don't love her though I care about her. No idea how she feels about me, 1 minute she's all over me and the next hates me.

When she's here 3/4 days on the trot I find myself going out on errands just to avoid her. It's her dad she's here to see it's not my job to be around 24/7.

shey02 Mon 23-Dec-13 01:41:09

I think maybe the 'love' part might need to be reciprocal and the 'bond' part is perhaps formed by doing/taking care of and responsibility for them and them to a degree of you, other family members and the house... I had a great relationship with my ex-bf ds, I would say I loved him and although he never said it, I think he loved me to. We shared good family time and just chilled like a normal family would.

FF to my new life and new partner and much as I want to have a relationship with my boyfriends dc, we spend so little time together that every time is like starting again and I worry that bonds will never form. It needs time and effort and reciprocation and normality. Plus when kids are coached to hate you for no reason, I wonder if there's any hope anyway.

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