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Do your family accept your stepchildren?

(23 Posts)
Waitingforastartofall Tue 02-Oct-12 22:43:51

My mum and my dad genuinally love my stepchildren and by all accounts and purposes treats them as they do my son. They are bought christmas,birthday ect and she asks after them, comes to family parties ect.

My nan and grandparents on both sides however are very standoffish about the Sc , for example dont buy stepchildren birthday presents and only do at christmas as they buy for whole family. If i ever talk about anything to do with money such as uniform cost or such they will say oh you shouldnt be paying ( i personally dont have a problem with us, the weeks they are with us they are our financial responsibilty which includes clothes,trips ect)

They are in no way mean about the children and ask after them lots. I just dont understand why they cant view us a family unit rather than oh this week your a family then another you have got the children. I like to think that i have never seen it like this and my family is complete when we are all at home.

So in the interest of discussion do your family accept your SC as part of your family and if so why do you think this is, or why not.

BizarreLoveTriangle Tue 02-Oct-12 22:50:22

My parents completely accepted my step-children. They are invited to all family events and my parents try to time their visits so they can see them.

DP's parents are a bit stand-offish towards dd1 as she was born before dp and I got together (dp doesn't consider her a step-child, though). It is a little strange as dd2 was conceived before we were together so they obviously see the birthday as the key moment in determining whether they love the child or not. They get her a birthday present as they know that dp will kick up a fuss if they don't. She has been upset by this favouritism in the past and that upsets us, so I really wish they didn't do this. I am less bothered that they don't see their step-step-grandchildren (my ex's children) as family.

Waitingforastartofall Tue 02-Oct-12 22:55:55

That makes sense, its a difficult one sometimes I think they should make more of an effort but have said a number of times about family meals ect and seem to get the same old oh we will do it on x day then. I really don't understand it

Fooso Wed 03-Oct-12 08:58:05

I think its a generational thing - my sister has been brilliant with my DSC's (who live with me) and introduces them as her neices etc - my mum and dad are nice and polite but still call them the wrong names sometimes - after 3 years! luckily my dP and I do laugh about this... especially at Xmas when all my DSD's presents were addressed to Sophie when thats not her name!

Kaluki Wed 03-Oct-12 09:27:25

I think grandparents should accept the step dc's but I really don't think they should have to treat them exactly the same!
My parents are fond of my sdc but they don't love them. They buy them birthday / Christmas presents but my dc get more. DPs parents are the same too. All the kids are happy with this.
Tbh my attitude is that it is my choice to have the dsc and I can't just suddenly tell my parents they now have two extra grandchildren who they have to treat the same as mine!
I was a step dd and neither of my step grandparents treated me as a grandchild - I would have thought it odd if they had.
I find it odd that people are expected to love and bond with children they aren't related to. It is something that happens or doesn't - it can't be forced.

Fooso Wed 03-Oct-12 09:44:54

I agree with Kaluki - i think as long as the DSCs are treated with kindness by the extended family then that should be enough.

Revelsarethebest Wed 03-Oct-12 11:58:01

This may all shock you but.......

My mother and my family have NEVER met my step children or seen a picture of them! SC come once a week. Admittedly my family dont visit my house, as i live 45min drive away, but i visit them around once or twice a week.

This christmas my mum is talking about coming mine for xmas dinner, but we dont know whether we will have the SC with us. My mum said she wont come if the SC are here as she doesnt really like kids, and she knows the SC can be alittle misbehaved!

So now my family dont get the SC any presents cards etc, and the SC aged 8 and 10 never ask about my family, they probaly think i havent got one!

However im 38+3 pregnant and my family have shown alot of interest in this baby.

Kaluki Wed 03-Oct-12 13:58:48

Well not everyone loves children - they don't have to!
I know people who love their own dc but wouldn't tolerate other people's children for longer than an afternoon.
That's their choice.
Congratulations Revels on your pregnancy!

Waitingforastartofall Wed 03-Oct-12 17:57:45

Ah that's lovely, congrats on your pregnancy is a very exciting time. On the whole they have been fab i just wonder why it changes for instance sd got a birthday present from my grandparents this year however ss didn't. Makes me wonder if they don't mean too just sort of fade in and out. We all spend a lot of time there as a family which they are always lovely to them

Hassled Wed 03-Oct-12 18:01:04

My DH has my older DCs as his stepchildren. And his parents have, on the whole, been great - as generous with them at birthdays and Christmas as they are with their actual grandchildren. But every now and then there will be something that reminds me that they do see them differently - e.g. a big family meal recently and FIL says something about how nice it was that "everyone" was there, except of course the step-GC weren't there. It's like a kick in the teeth for me, unreasonable as that is.

charlottery Wed 03-Oct-12 21:42:28

I don't think my Dad sees my stepson as part of my family, even though dss lives with us at least half the time. He'll come with presents for my two girls, but nothing for dss. It drives me mad, I'd rather he didn't bring anything. I think he disapproves of my dh, and the choices I've made and is expressing it in this way (we don't have the easiest relationship!)

purpleroses Wed 03-Oct-12 23:00:56

My parents are generally sensitive and would like to include them but they live 100s of miles away and there are 4 DSC (plus my 2) It's just not practical to take them all to visit and young teens wouldn't really want to either. Must be easier when there's only one or two of them and they're small.

TICKLETUMBLE Thu 04-Oct-12 16:38:04

My mum has always accepted the youngest dss who lives with us full time as family, his half brothers that visit at weekends were always treated with a little reservation - they are only family part time I suppose.
My brother and his familiy accepted all of them equally.

Seems to be a generational thing.

Mintberry Mon 08-Oct-12 14:32:15

I guess I can understand what Kaluki is saying about grandparents not being obliged to treat your step/kids the same, but I think it's really sad in, for example, charlottery's case where the SC is left obviously sidelined. Grandparents big boys and girls now, and children shouldn't be feeling rejected and shunned to protect their ideals.
My Dad really winds me up when, if I mention buying DSS a present or spending time with him saying something like "don't do too much, remember he's not yours." Ugh! Thanks for the reminder, I had forgotten for a moment. hmm I hate this old fashioned and frankly mean view that just because someone isn't blood tied to you you shouldn't love them or want to do nice things for them!
If you've chosen to take someone else's child into your life, then relatives should respect that decision just as much as respecting your decision to have your own kids.

overthemill Mon 08-Oct-12 14:39:13

everyone in my family accept my dsc as part of the family except my dad (now in his 80s). It has caused a rift between us. he doesnt buy presents or cards or anything - for me it is ridiculous as they live 50% with us and are my own dd's beloved siblings, so to ignore them ignores part if her family. when he sends gifts for dd at xmas for example i get something for the other 2 and say is from him.

zanz1bar Mon 08-Oct-12 14:55:49

its a tricky problem for grandparents and great grandparents, attitudes have changed but that generation do seem to think the 'blood line' is more important than the family unit.

I have been very lucky and my step daughter has been accepted completely by my parents and in major part due to the fact my father is himself a step son.

my step gradfather was in my fathers life from the age of 7, but on his death last year my father discovered he was not in the will, only his half brother(the blood line son)
It broke his heart!

So he has made sure that all his grandchildren are treated the same in his will. it involed a tricky conversation with some members of the family, he wanted to make sure anything that could be inherited by the grandchildren should be for ALL the grandchildren. some contrived situations were created where if so and so died in a car crash then step daughter died, the hierloom could end up in ex wives family.
my answer is so what, if you start creating divides based on the inheritance of aunt maudes sideboard you have warped priorities.

taxiforme Mon 08-Oct-12 15:11:30

For discussion, to throw a pebble in the pond. I have a feeling that the time when the "divide" really shows is likely to be when there is an issue about a will. It is a minefield sometimes even in non blended families TBH.

This seems to have provoked some "discussion" in our family (not me and DH) but with an uncle who is 80, very well off and has an adopted son and two bio daughters. He has two bio gc, four gc to his adopted son and two step gc. Poor bloke has not died yet.

taxiforme Mon 08-Oct-12 15:25:03

X post with Zanzibar

Gosh, my parents have not made provision for my step kids in their will. I am cool with that as is my DH. I don't think it is expected, they only see them maybe twice a year as we live 300 miles away.

They have no bio gc as my bro and I dont have kids.

Its all a bit straightforward. Their attititude seems to be that once they are gone, then they will leave it up to my bro and me what we do with our share of what is left.

As Zanzi says though, you have to be careful as feasably your relative's and your assets could end up being passed to an exW through the sc.

NatashaBee Mon 08-Oct-12 16:06:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Way2Go Mon 08-Oct-12 17:21:39

My DMIL has 5DGC, 3 are mine and DH's and 2 are DBIL's Stepchildren. DMIL favours our children completely and does not see DBIL's kids as her DGC at all. DMIL once said that the DSC already have their own real DGP's. It seems a bit odd to me but my DBIL and DSIL seem ok with it. confused. I think it has come about as much by DSIL's actions as much as DMIL's.
I don't know if it would have been different if the DC's had come into my DBIL's life when they were younger. They were about ten when DBIL moved in with their DM.

overthemill Tue 09-Oct-12 07:46:00

i don't care about inheritances - i care about day to day acceptance of members of my family being treated as though they are a genuine part of the family.

cjdamoo Tue 09-Oct-12 08:07:03

My husband took on my eldest 3 at the age of not quite 2 not quite 3 and 6. The biological had choosen not to be involved. The way Husbands family welcomed my children was amazing. His parents were in a different country but his nan and aunts and uncles took them in, In a way that to this day makes me feel all mushy inside. We now live abroad near his parents and siblings and they too treat the kids equally not that we see a great deal of them. I actually miss the closeness we had with his family in the uk

Waitingforastartofall Tue 09-Oct-12 11:34:30

I think its really lovely, and in no way was i referring to inheritance ect as my parents arent in a position to leave in wills it hasnt ever been considered or discussed. I wouldnt expect it. Its just smalls things like family who send presents to myself and my ds but ignore dp and the sc even though we always send presents as a family, and my brother telling me on a constant basis that i "chose to take on someones kids so shouldnt moan" when on the rare occasion i say they have behaved like zoo animals been a bit of a pain. My grandparents are especially annoying about money matters and if i mention going shopping for shoes/school uniform ect will say oh well thats their mums responsibilty dont buy it..hmm what about the days my sc are with me and their dad do he is their parent too :S things like that baffle me

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