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Wwbu stepchildren?

(21 Posts)
Pyjamaramadrama Mon 22-Dec-14 11:40:36

Due to age gap my dniece is only 5 years younger than me.

Dsis met her current dp when dniece was 9, and her dp had two dc's, aged 9 and 11. They live with their mother but see their df regularly, and they've always spent Xmas day with their dm.

At Xmas myself and family so mum, dad, other siblings would always give dniece a 'proper' present. Then send a token gift to dsis stepchildren such as a selection box. All of their names always went on cards.

This has gone on for years and all of the children are now adults in their late 20's and one has moved out etc. we still send a proper gift to dniece and a token to stepchildren wine, beer or chocs. None of the children including dniece send anything back or write a card which is fine.

But it now turns out that dsis is really angry that the family haven't treated the stepchildren the same as her dd for all these years and has fallen out with us over it.

PetrificusTotalus Mon 22-Dec-14 11:42:44

well, she should have said something earlier.

RoastingYourChestnutsHurtsAlot Mon 22-Dec-14 11:44:01

I'm with your sister. I'd be furious if my in laws treated my kids differently because they're DH's step kids.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 22-Dec-14 11:44:17

I should add so as not to drip feed we are not a wealthy family but have all tried to make an effort to send dniece a decent gift at Xmas as she doesn't know her df and dsis isn't well off either, whereas stepchildren have had a wealthier background anyway.

There is also no treating differently in general terms, they'd all be invited to any meals out as a family it's just the gift value thing.

pinkyredrose Mon 22-Dec-14 11:45:24

She is BU. I take it she's been treating your DN exactly the same as her own DC? Thought not.

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 22-Dec-14 11:47:13

"it's just the gift value thing"
so you have been sending the message for years that they are worth less?
OK.
Still she could have said some thing earlier.
Also they are adults now so you can stop sending presents.

FlowerFairy2014 Mon 22-Dec-14 11:49:37

We never bother with worrying about present values in this family. Also I told the family to stop sending any of my children over 18 presents at age 18. It is quite a good cut off age.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 22-Dec-14 11:51:46

They're not 'worth' less. But the way we've seen is that they weren't babies when their parents met, they always have spent Xmas with their mum and her family, dsis and her dp took seperate holidays with their own children for a while, it was never that my parents were their grandparents or myself and my siblings their aunts and uncles, as they already had their own established family.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 22-Dec-14 11:54:43

I think that dsis would be very upset if I stopped sending her daughter presents even though she is an adult.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 22-Dec-14 11:59:09

It's one of those things, for example dsis said she always considered herself a single parent even though she had a dp, stepchildren had trust funds set up by their mum, dad and grandparents, whereas dsis daughter never had that. Stepchildren had driving lessons and cars bought for them.

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 22-Dec-14 12:01:14

i can tell you are feeling bad about this pyjamarama. Point those things from your last post to her. She is being v ungracious if you have been turning up for years with gifts.

Sn00p4d Mon 22-Dec-14 12:06:53

Does her dp have siblings? Did they treat your dn the same as dps children if so? Need to look at both sides of it, the partners children will have family on his side who are in the same position as you surely?

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 22-Dec-14 12:08:07

Well I do and I do believe that a blended family is still a family. But I suppose I judge each situation on the circumstances and in the circumstances of their family I did what I felt was appropriate at the time. There were lots of factors that came into it.

Speaking only for myself I was a teenager when they met so the world looked very different to me then too. I wasn't an adult dealing with tiny children.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 22-Dec-14 12:14:50

Snoop, well he has, and one doesn't bother with gifts at all. The other did do separate gifts in the beginning and I believe was quite hostile about the relationship in general. But I think that what's happened is in more recent years that person has actually started sending more valuable gifts to sisters dd. however my gift giving has toned down anyway as they are adults.

There have been other issues too around dsis being unhappy about gifts and not liking them, and complaining about vouchers and money not being thoughtful enough.

Sn00p4d Mon 22-Dec-14 12:15:58

I have a stepbrother, he's been in my life for 20 years now. We were both young kids when our parents met, so sounds fairly similar? "His" family have never, ever, given me gifts for anything, other than my big birthdays and I think my wedding. "My" family, including my own dad oddly, have always given him Xmas and birthday presents, or did up until he turned 21 and will no doubt buy for his wedding/big events should he choose to have any.
I've never resented "his" family for this and still see them very much as a part of my ridiculously extended and unconventional family.
You've done absolutely nothing wrong. Not a thing. You've taken steps to include them with token gifts so they've never been left out. For her to take issue with this when they're now adults is just odd and possibly symptomatic of something bigger worrying her.
Try not to let it upset you flowers

Mrscog Mon 22-Dec-14 12:17:51

She should have spoken up before! You can't 'fall out' with people without giving them the chance to rectify their behaviour.

I could understand more if the step children had all been with you at Christmas etc. then I think more equal presents would be appropriate, but it doesn't sound like this is the case.

chanie44 Mon 22-Dec-14 12:19:13

Why do you think she is bringing this up after all this time? Has something happened?

I do what you do with regards to the step-children. Sil has a step son and we get him a token present for Xmas. I don't know of that's the 'right' thing to do, but that's what we do.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 22-Dec-14 12:23:49

I suppose in hindsight, as an adult with my own dc's, I wish I'd just bought them all the same until they were 16/18 or whatever. But at the time that they were children I was very young myself, and there were lots of other things going on.

Dsis took issue with a lot of things at the time over the step dc's being 'spoilt', seeing their dad too much, not enough, their dad paying too much maintenance, the ex apparently spending it on nights out and shoes. It was often all quite hostile. I never wished to ignore the children but my niece was my niece to me. I probably felt that had I spread a £20 present budget over 3 children my niece would have received less, and dsis still would not have been happy as she'd have seen it as them getting more, they get enough from their own family etc.

I can't say all this to her as she shuts the conversation down and so the grudge is still there .

Aeroflotgirl Mon 22-Dec-14 15:01:37

Yanbu at all, why did she not say anything earlier! She dident get you anything, at least you got presents to their fami,y. As a kid a selection box would have been ace.

Aeroflotgirl Mon 22-Dec-14 15:03:01

Don't beat yourself up over it, they probably loved their choccies.

Infinity8 Mon 22-Dec-14 19:05:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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