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.....but honestly, really do your parents treat or feel the same about their dgc as their DSGC ?

(51 Posts)
Marilynsbigsister Sun 05-Jun-16 21:16:54

In the knowledge that threads about threads are frowned upon, it just made me think and want to ask all you lovely step parents, here in a safe place.. (Rather than the vipers den of AIBU where all step parent are wicked step child haters) do your parents really consider your step children on an equal basis to their biological grandchildren. I know my mum doesn't and tbh I think the whole thing is really a kind of silent conspiracy that this is what they should be feeling but actually don't.

To put in context, my parents would never in a million years be mean to my DSC. They send birthday gifts without fail. They chat when they come over to visit, but this whole 'if your parents can't treat them the same you shouldn't engage - all seems a little, well, made up ? My dcs dads parents are dead, so they only have one set of gp's , whereas DSC have 2 sets of completely adoring GPs. (Dh's are equally nice to mine, but don't for example have them to stay for weeks in the holidays etc, ask about school, chat on the phone. It's very similar to how my parents are with dhs children. Friendly, kind but no real bond.

Interested to ask, are there any of you out their where your parents genuinely treat your children and your partners children from a previous relationship absolutely equally...and for that matter extended family...would your Aunties/Uncles / cousins for example be upset if your step children weren't at a family party held by the grandparents/great grandparents to whom they had no biological link. ?

coffeeisnectar Sun 05-Jun-16 21:22:59

No. My parents treat my DSD's very fairly but they don't spend as much on them at Christmas or birthdays for example as they do my two or my sisters dc.

My dd's have me, my dp, my parents and that's about it.

My dsd has her mum, her dad, her stepdad, me, her older sister and one set of grandparents plus her stepdads parents and my parents as well as several aunts, uncles, godparents etc. She gets way more in terms of presents, money spent on her, holidays, attention and weekend visiting other people than my two.

So I don't feel my parents are doing anything wrong in treating her as the child of my partner rather than a grandchild because honestly, that's all she is to them. My dp's parents are no longer around and while I know they would have adored my girls (I've known his parents for over 30 years and they were lovely) ultimately they would never have been their grandchildren, just my children iyswim.

Stardust160 Sun 05-Jun-16 21:27:48

I'm a mother and have a DS from another relationship. My in laws don't refer to my DS as their grandchild he calls them on a first name basis. It is awkward one they get him birthday presents and Christmas presents but I do have two other DCs who are my DHs biological children . Inlaws have taken the other two DC separately but never DS only once prior to the other DCs being born. DS has a massive family on his DF as his GPs remarried so split again so he is spoilt. It would be nice if they were more hands on with him but it's only fairly recently they been abit more involved with the other two which I would imagine will ease off again. It would be nicer if they were more involved in all DCs lives but you can't force people. My DH is brilliant though and is involved in DS life since the age of two spoilt him with presents footie kits etc

Stardust160 Sun 05-Jun-16 21:30:08

My DS would always be welcome at DH family gatherings he wouldn't be excluded and the other two invited but my DD lives with us full time

noisytoys Sun 05-Jun-16 21:36:01

I have step grandparents and was never treated differently to the biological grandparents. My grandad passed away recently and knew he was going to pass so wrote his own funeral speech. There was no mention of me being anything other than a grandchild. My own children have step parents and grandparents. I was told from the start by the in laws that family is love not blood. I love their son and they love my children.

plumpynoo Sun 05-Jun-16 21:47:17

Nope. My parents are not particularly interested in DSD. They do a little gift for her at xmas, and are happy to have a chat if they are here the same time as she is, but really, as she is resident at her mums, they dont see her that often. I don't think she really finds this odd tbh, as she already has two sets of grandparents who are blood, so there is no need for two semi-strangers to act like doting grandparents. Although i suppose things may be different is dsd were closer in age to my children (there is an 11 year gap!)

Marilynsbigsister Sun 05-Jun-16 22:07:58

This is really interesting. Thanks everyone ! I knew this was the place to ask this question. A place where I would get the truthful answer rather than the histrionic screaming in AIBU. I can see it now..' You should go no contact with your parents if they don't treat all children equally !!! blah blah blah'

But I think , when you actually live it rather than pontificate on the theory only, you soon see that you can't MAKE people feel what they actually don't ! No matter how politically correct they think it is.

My parents for example will come over to visit. Live about an hour away. They mostly time it when the DSC are with their DM. If they do come when they are here, they will bring sweets/treats for everyone but my mum will slip 'extras' for her Bio GC when we are alone together. DGC never lose out. They have a massive family on their DMs side.

As for family gatherings, if it is something casual where the date can easily be chosen, then my parents will choose a date when the DSC aren't around. (Their behaviour is pretty appalling TBH - they constantly bash each other despite being young teens - in the manner of 7/8 yr olds - which is not endearing) but if it's a birthday/anniversary then they will invite everyone and be generous to all. Extended family rarely ask after my DSC unless talking to DH directly on the subject.

It seems the real story is that SGC are only regarded as 'the same' as DGC in the idealised 'blended family' world. !

patientzero Sun 05-Jun-16 22:16:05

My step dad's family never treated me any differently from my brothers who were their biological grandchildren. My own mother has very little interest in my DSD, despite knowing I won't be having children of my own. So I guess it just depends on the people involved

Biglettuce Sun 05-Jun-16 22:16:25

It is a fools errand to treat DSGC the same as DGC in my view. It is hard enough creating a bond between SP and DSCs. And step grandchildren shouldn't be forced to suddenly view their step grandparents the same as the ones they have known all of their lives.

However, no one likes to be excluded, and a step family is still a family. My mother strikes a good balance, she is so sweet to my step kids, sends them all birthday presents and is very kind to all of them. However none of them have bonded with her, but she opened the door, emotionally speaking, if any of the kids did want to.

None of us make a big deal of them coming to family events. Sometimes I've felt a little sad that my DSCs haven't gone to big events for their step grandparents, as there is a slight expectation from other family members that we will all attend. But truth it, my step kids are teenagers and they wouldn't be in the least bit interested, would sit around feeling bored and make that publicly known, which would spoil it.

Thymeout Mon 06-Jun-16 09:18:48

No - I think it's wishful thinking that, deep down, even sm and sd feel the same about birth children as step children, let alone gps.

It's not so much the blood link as having bonded with that child as a newborn. There are often threads from dils saying they don't understand why gps want to have their gcs on their own. Well, this is one of the reasons why it's a good thing. Gps need to form a one-to-one bond as well as parents.

It's much more difficult if they are suddenly introduced to a step grandchild of school age. They may make an effort to be equal-handed about gifts and invitations, but they will never feel the same, unless for some reason they spend more time with that child than their birth gcs.

It's the same as with new partners. Over the years, they may have developed a strong relationship with an ex. It's unrealistic to think they can turn those feelings off just because their dd or ds has changed partners.

CassandraAusten Mon 06-Jun-16 09:24:53

I have three DC, my brother has one DSC. I genuinely believe that my parents do treat their DGC the same as their DSGC.

Maybe it's easier because my brother has no biological children of his own. Maybe that makes it easier for them to think of his DSC as "his"?

CassandraAusten Mon 06-Jun-16 09:29:40

Also my brother's DSC has lived nearly full time (plus infrequent contact with her biological dad) since she was 2 years old. I agree with Thyme that this has helped the bond.

OSETmum Mon 06-Jun-16 10:05:18

No, but I think as long as they're friendly, kind and make an effort eg. buying them a present as well as their grandchildren, that's enough.

Wdigin2this Mon 06-Jun-16 10:25:19

I am a GM and a SGM, I treat them all the same, as in presents, looking after, playing with etc. but no, I really don't feel the same about DSGC as I do about my own....and I think that is quite normal!

Wdigin2this Mon 06-Jun-16 10:27:37

PS: And I've been with DH way before any of the DGC were born, so they all know us both as grand parents!

crusoe16 Mon 06-Jun-16 10:29:47

No. My parents are kind to DSD, remember her birthday and at Xmas but they don't ask after her in the same way as my DC when they call and I know she won't be included in their will and I don't think DH or her DM would expect them to.

DSD is fond of them, calls them Granny and Grandad etc but is aware they're not her 'real' GP's and is much closer to her DM's and DH's parents.

Another point is my parents have never really had much 1-on-1 time with DSD as we've never asked them to look after her like we sometimes do the others. So they haven't had the same opportunities to bond with her. It's not the case now but when DSD was tiny, if we had ever left DSD with my parents, her DM would have probably threatened to stop contact so we got into the habit of mostly seeing my DP's when DSD was with her DM.

We wouldn't ask to change the contact schedule so DSD could attend my DP's milestone birthdays / anniversary parties etc either. I think you have to draw the line somewhere.

AGruffaloCrumble Mon 06-Jun-16 10:37:12

The responses here make me feel really sad. My DD from another relationship has been around DP's parents since she was 6 months old and we've since had our own DD. They are brilliant and love both DD's to bits. They have photos of both around the house and treat DD1 exactly the same as their other GC. To be honest I would be inclined to go NC or at least reduced contact if they treated DD1 differently. She has her own affectionate nicknames for them and loves them to bits. Maybe it is different as she is younger and has been there for most of her life.

BadMum1705 Mon 06-Jun-16 10:52:28

My eldest is from a different relationship and has never been treated any differently by my in laws, except my bil and his family.

Christmas and birthdays he was completely fussed over by mil until she died last year, fil still does with help from sil now. I've been with dh for 10 years now and Ds is 11 so he knows no different but obviously knows they are step as he sees his dad regularly.

Bil and his family are a different story. They can't accept Ds, never have and I suppose never will but as we aren't close its not a big deal

throwingpebbles Mon 06-Jun-16 10:55:53

I am obviously lucky. My parents have welcomed their "bonus" grandchildren with open arms and don't treat them any differently. In fact I think DSD reminds my mum of her as a child so she is very attached to her. I love that they have responded this way, they just see the extra joy in having two more grandchildren.

HormonalHeap Mon 06-Jun-16 11:05:07

it wouldn't even occur to me that my parents would feel the same way about my dsc. How could they when they aren't their grandchildren? In the same way I wouldn't imagine dh's mum wouldn't for my children- I think that's ridiculous. Do I love his mother like I love mine? No, one's my mum and one isn't!

SoakedinBleach Mon 06-Jun-16 11:21:23

I have never been treated any differently, but I have always referred to my stepdad as my dad and thought of him as such. In fact I often forget there is no blood relation! I was thinking the other day how much my dd looks like my (step) cousin! I am also the oldest grandchild so have grown up always being there to my cousins. I was only 2 when I came into the family. My dad or his family have never once treat me any different to anyone else in the family. I've been so lucky to have my family!

BoboChic Mon 06-Jun-16 11:23:53

It's completely wrong for GPs to muscle in on other people's GC (their SGC) and usurp a role they don't have.

throwingpebbles Mon 06-Jun-16 11:29:08

Why are they muscling in? Or usurping? Just an added bonus not trying to replace? V weird to see that negatively!

Wdigin2this Mon 06-Jun-16 11:36:24

Agruffalo there's no real reason to think badly of SGP's if they ^feel* differently about their own DGC. The important thing is that they ^treat* them the same!
How you actually feel about a person, is not really in your control, but how you behave is, which is why my DH and I give the same amount of time and attention to all of our grandchildren!

MrsJayy Mon 06-Jun-16 11:41:50

I was a sgc and my stepgran was lovely to me and didnt treat me any differently to my sister or her bio grandkids when she came along she died when i was 17 my sister was still a toddler so sadly doesnt remember her. The extended step family dont think im one of them though but thats up to them though

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