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When is it ok to refer to step child as your own

(97 Posts)
Crowdblundering Fri 03-Mar-17 18:12:21

Dawn French was on Steve Wright on Weds and said "I have a 22 year old (referring to her own daughter) and two 27 yr olds (or something).

The two older children are her husbands from his previous relationship and she married him 6 years ago in 2011 (I think - I went to her show last year).

I just felt a bit hmm for the kids mum who I presume brought them up (French clearly did not) and how I would feel if it were me claiming these grown up children as my own.

I have 3 step kids from my partner (two mums) and I would never say they are "my" children I say "between us we have 6 children".

I think it would royally piss me off if one of my kids mums publicly claimed my kids who I bought up alone as theirs.

DreamingOfADifferentMe Fri 03-Mar-17 18:14:25

Hmmm, tricky one. If asked, my husband says he has three children, despite the eldest not being his biologically. He's been his stepdad since my DS was four, and has weathered the storm so I think he's more than earnt the right to say he has three children, just as I do.

If someone comes into a family when the children are much older, I'd probably phrase it differently...

DJBaggySmalls Fri 03-Mar-17 18:17:46

I think each family needs to sort it out for themselves.
Its potentially a diplomatic problem, because you either give the biological parent the rage or differentiate between birth and step children, which is not always ok. At the hospital when they are asking for genetic info its necessary, socially not so much.

Aderyn2016 Fri 03-Mar-17 18:18:55

I think if you are raising them and the bio parent is absent then it is okay to refer to them as yours. But not otherwise. It would piss me off massively if another woman referred to my kids as hers.

Owlzes Fri 03-Mar-17 18:20:03

My stepmum refers to me as hers.

I'm OK with that. She's been a really positive presence in my life for many years since my mother passed away, and she's the only grandmother my kids will ever have. We're a family. That's alright.

Doesn't mean my mum wasn't also my mum. I can have two and love them both.

greenworm Fri 03-Mar-17 18:21:03

Well I think it's one thing if she just inelegantly answered the question not remembering to specify they were stepchildren, which is entirely possible ESP if the discussion was about how many children are in your house/life/family type thing.

Another thing to actually fervently claim and act like you are the mother of stepchildren when in fact their actual mother is someone else and still very much in that role in their life.

It doesn't seem worth getting her up about unless it's the second case, but I'd be surprised at that from Dawn French.

tigerrun Fri 03-Mar-17 18:22:21

I'm one of five (one biological, 3 step) and my stepmother who is lovely and has been around for 35 years now since I was 10 will refer to me as her daughter. My stepfather who is a bit of a bellend doesn't, which is fine by me. So I reckon it is down to the quality of the relationship myself. I wouldn't get het up about it unless it was personal though - each to their own.

Branleuse Fri 03-Mar-17 18:22:34

my partner says he has three kids, even though my eldest is not his. I think its normal, and it wouldnt be nice for the child to not be considered as family

WhereTheFuckIsWonderWoman Fri 03-Mar-17 18:22:38

DP tells people he has a six year old. He's been in her life (a slow and gradual process) for as long as she can remember and he's been my support during pretty much everything. I like that he feels able to say it because he's been such a positive influence and a more constant presence in DD's life than her dad has been.

Crowdblundering Fri 03-Mar-17 18:25:32

I get it when you have been a continual presence since the kids were small but these kids were adults when she met and married their father.

She was joking about grandchildren and saying she was desparate for them and asked how old her child was and she said I have a 22 yr old a x year old and an x year old which just made me think it was a bit unfair - obvs I could be doing her a total injustice as I have no idea about the relationship.

BarbarianMum Fri 03-Mar-17 18:33:00

I think it also depends on context. It can be quite hurtful for a stepchild to be singled out ie "oh no, these two are mine but that one's not" in casual conversation with strangers.

fuckoffdailysnail Fri 03-Mar-17 18:43:12

My stepdad says he has 2 children (he met my mum when me and DB were 14 &15) he also proudly says he has 3 grandchildren and dotes on them all. They all call him grandad. I view him and love him as a father, he's bloody brilliant and I introduce him as my dad

Laska5772 Fri 03-Mar-17 18:44:08

well I do refer to my DSD as my daughter and her children as my DGCs , but , I certainly wouldnt to her mother if i ever saw her ..

However , Dsd was pretty much brought up by us from the age of 5 (as sadly she and her mother were never able to maintain a good living relationship together and DSD doesnt see her much ). She is NOT my 'real' natural daughter I do know that .. ( but then she is my daughter absolutely to me and so are the DGCs my GCs also.. Id do anything I could for them just as I would for my natural son. Family can be what you make it..

I have grown up with my DSF who I think of as my only dad.. and he considers me as his only daughter..

SilenceOfThePrams Fri 03-Mar-17 18:50:05

In the context of wanting grandchildren, I think claiming three adult children absolutely fine - I assume she'd be as much a grandparent to children of her step children as her husband will be. Certainly amongst my friends, it's not uncommon to have three or four sets of grandparents.

Similarly, I'd think it fine to say for eg "oh, we have 4 children" in general conversation, rather than "he has 2, I have 1, and we have 1 together."

It's not about denying the presence of any other parent, just shorthand and a way of being inclusive, rather than excluding any of the children.

Willyoujustbequiet Fri 03-Mar-17 18:52:14

I'd be furious if any future wife of my deadbeat dad ex referred to herself as my dc mum.

Its ok if you are raising them as a RP and the bioligical parent is absent but otherwise no.

MsAwesomeDragon Fri 03-Mar-17 18:53:55

Dh's step dad claimed dh as his own although he only met mil when dh was 21. Dh's dad is still alive but we never ever see him, so actually as an adult dh was closer to his step dad than his dad. His step dad was my dds' grandad and acted like it, he was generous with affection and gifts, the dds miss him.

Dh has known dd1 since she was 6 (she's now 17). She calls him daddy (ironically in a teenage way), he's the only dad she's ever known, he thinks of her as his, they would remain in contact if dh and I ever split up.

Our family is full of step-relationships, but it's never mentioned as being any different to full biological relationships. We're family, that's all there is to it.

greenworm Fri 03-Mar-17 18:54:12

I agree Silence. IME children differentiate very little or not at all between step grandparents and full grandparents, presuming they spend similar amounts of time with both from birth which would generally be the case.

ShatnersBassoon Fri 03-Mar-17 18:54:22

I think in the situation of a brief interview on an entertainment show, to clarify would have been unnecessarily precise and would have been confusing for the listeners (who mainly couldn't care less about the ins and outs of her family).

Owlzes Fri 03-Mar-17 19:09:49

SilenceOfThePrams - very much agreed on the grandparent thing. My DSM and DF have 8 kids between them and (at last count) 11 grandchildren. None of those 11 really differentiate between which grandparent is the biological and which isn't, because really there is effectively no difference. And I think I'd be quite upset on their behalf if there was.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Fri 03-Mar-17 19:18:00

I have a DSD and that's how I describe her. I would never say DD. She already has a DM and claiming her as my DD would feel massively disrespectful.

Crowdblundering Fri 03-Mar-17 19:21:03

Prawn I kind of agree.

My son gives his step mum a Mother's Day card. This is arranged by his dad (who I get on fine with) but he had an affair with her while I was pg and I have brought him up mainly alone (he has had regular contact and paid his way) - he never organised anything for me on Mother's Day - and I am his mother sad

pinkish Fri 03-Mar-17 19:25:10

I think family consists of a) biological links and b) loving and chosen links. It's actually impossible to say what a relationship is because you do not know what the b) is. And it will vary depending on whether the other parent is in the picture or not (just as it does with adoption)

Personally I say 'we (dh and I) have 3 kids', but 'I have 2 kids and my lovely dss'.

pinkish Fri 03-Mar-17 19:25:39

We definitely wouldn't do that crowd

CannotEvenDeal Fri 03-Mar-17 19:30:54

I my case my dss only has one mum and that is 100% me. I've raised him for 10+ years since he was a toddler and I've got the green light from his bio mum to adopt him. They've had zero relationship for years through her choice and I love him so, so much. Usually though I'm not keen on ppl saying dc if they are dsc.

Aderyn2016 Fri 03-Mar-17 19:34:33

Bloody hell Crowd - that would make me spitting mad!

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