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Genes make family

(18 Posts)
CuckooSings Thu 24-Jan-19 11:14:58

Checking to see if i am overreacting or not and slightly scared of AIBU!

I have three dcs, my eldest 2 are my DH step children. Not sure if its relevant but he has full parental responsibility for them. When dc3 was born 3 years ago we had a lot of issues with the ex insisting the dc1+2 referred to dc3 as a half sibling not a sibling.

Ex remarried last year and his new partner changed his mind. DC1+2 now have a step mother and step siblings but neither family use step or half to define relationships. DC1+2 have a nickname for my husband and step-mum and we all work hard on making sure the dcs see us all as a family. I recognise i'm lucky to be able to do this and am incredibly blessed with step mum. Dc1 is autistic and dc2 has anxiety and attachment issues so this sense of family and belonging is really important.

My dad came round for tea and explained to the dcs a new scientific paper he has read that proves the genes matter more than nuture and only the people directly related to you are therefore family or have any part in influencing your personality angry. I countered it but he was insistent.

Am i overreacting to be utterly mad about this? I have spoken to dc1+2 and they were both a bit taken aback but seemed OK. I have also warned step mum as i suspect dc2 is going to have yet another insecure episode where she lashes out at everyone. We had just bloody reached a point of stability.

OP’s posts: |
NewLevelsOfTiredness Thu 24-Jan-19 13:08:28

What the hell was your dad hoping to achieve with that? Does he disapprove that you split up with your ex or that you found someone else?

As a stepfather I'd love to see this 'study'

NorthernSpirit Thu 24-Jan-19 13:10:05

Your dad sounds an arse. Why would he do that?

Does that mean that adopted children aren’t as ‘important’ as birth children? Family is what you make it.

Magda72 Thu 24-Jan-19 15:17:41

YANBU - why on earth did he do that??? Have you spoken to him to find out why he brought this topic up?

Beamur Thu 24-Jan-19 15:22:21

I would be furious with your Dad for this. Sadly I think it says a lot about how he views your SC's. They are not family to him.

Bosabosa Thu 24-Jan-19 15:22:37

I would be fuming . Absolutely fuming.
Where is this scientific paper? Ask him where he saw it.
I think that is terrible behaviour from your dad

RomanyRoots Thu 24-Jan-19 15:28:34

This is so sad.
I'm adopted and nothing like my birth family except in looks.
Of course there are personality traits and some physical similarities, but it stops here when you are nurtured by others.
My adopted family are the ones I consider family, they are all I've ever known.
I would love to know what this scientific study is, because it's bull.

Would love to see any studies or suggestions on where I could look for nature/nurture research, please anyone. {thanks]

HeckyPeck Thu 24-Jan-19 15:33:54

You’re dad is plain wrong. I’d tell him in no uncertain terms never to spout his nonsense in front of my kids again or he wouldn’t be welcome.

Can you talk to your DC again if needed and maybe mention all the people who influenced your life who aren’t related by genes? Off the top of my head my list includes:

Teachers (good and bad)
Friends
Aunts and Uncles
Step parents
Colleagues
Talks by scientists
Inspirational figures
Documentaries
Pets!

Handsfull13 Thu 24-Jan-19 15:49:49

Honestly I'd go both barrels at your dad for that. What an earth was he trying to achieve.

I'd tell him he's getting a time out from seeing the kids. He should know better then that. Especially with your situation which I assume he knows all about.

I hope your children settle and it doesn't cause too many issues.

SuziQ10 Thu 24-Jan-19 15:57:00

Absolutely absurd that your father brought up this paper.
It sounds like complete Bulls**t anyway.
Will you be speaking to him about this? I would. To make sure he never mentions anything of the sort again.

Reassure DC2 that families come in all shapes and sizes and they are very very loved by all their family (genes involves or not).

CuckooSings Thu 24-Jan-19 16:21:30

Thank you. I have just rang him and he apologised. He was interested in the paper and hadn't thoughts of how it would impact the dcs. He is autistic so i do believe him but i'm still fucking furious as he knows there are topics only to be discussed if the dcs bring them up. Plus this all came up a few years ago when we were discussing how to approach the ex and the half sister bollocks so the "rules" of family had been established. Even better it was from a library book so i suspect outdated and long proved wrong.

He has offered to speak to dc2 especially to apologise. I'll have to see if she'll speak to him. Dad hated my ex - we were very young and stupid and brought out the worst in each other.

HeckyPeck thanks to dc1s autism and obsessive need to panic we actually have a list written in order of who the dcs would live with if the adult dies. It starts with me, then if i die step dad, then if he dies Dad all the way down to their Scout leader. So basically all the people who have some influence on their lives.

OP’s posts: |
SandyY2K Thu 24-Jan-19 21:23:52

I guess he was just saying what he read, but I disagree with it.

genes matter more than nuture and only the people directly related to you are therefore family or have any part in influencing your personality

If a person was brought up by someone who was not related to them, that person would indeed influence their personality.

Knowing that you're part of a blended family, it was insensitive of him to discuss this in your home.

AnneLovesGilbert Fri 25-Jan-19 18:10:48

What a prat, sorry OP, that must have been really upsetting.

We have lots of adoption in my family and I’m a step mum and have a step mum so it pisses me off on many levels! Family is what you make it, fuck anyone who says otherwise.

I did have a wry chuckle (after I stopped fuming internally) when my SM told me I can’t have “just the one child” (yet to arrive) because otherwise it’ll be an only child. Firstly, I said it won’t, my husband has two DC and it’ll have a brother and sister, to which she replied no, as they don’t live here full time they won’t be “real” siblings. And secondly, my dad is an only child (and adopted!) and there’s nothing wrong with him... hmm

You can’t argue with stupid, though I admit I did still try.

Bosabosa Fri 25-Jan-19 19:25:15

I am constantly correcting people who say to me that my child is an only child... there are two half siblings who love them very much!

AnneLovesGilbert Fri 25-Jan-19 21:05:34

That sucks Bosabosa and it’s bizarre anyone feels the right or need to comment.

Ella1980 Sun 27-Jan-19 04:56:57

It wasn't an appropriate thing to say at all and I'd have been offended too. But am I right in that I think you said your dad is autistic? It's not an excuse because like you say he still should have really known not to mention it in front of kids. Having said that, my brother is autistic and has huge filter issues too. We often have to explain to him what is and isn't acceptable to say in front of others because he doesn't have an awareness really.
My own pov is that it's a mixture of both nature and nuture. My boys live with their bio dad for half of the time and with myself and fiance for other half. Both kids are like their bio dad in a few ways, my eldest more so. I find this hard at times because ex was vile to me throughout my marriage so I have to be careful to step back when my eldest says things and I think "Hmmm just like your dad".
But...since my fiance has been around the boys have learned a lot from him too. He is absolutely a positive role model. He has taught them tolerance and respect for others, including for their mum. He has taught them to accept others for who they are and not judge people bssed on rhier colour/background/bank balance. He has demonstrated to them what a loving and balanced adult relationship should look like.
My mum and dad also see the boys very frequently when they are in my custody and this has been an extremely positive change. My ex didn't let my mum and dad have much contact at all when we were together and I can see that now my boys have been allowed to develop a close relationship with their grandparents. This has also had a hugely positive impact and influence. My mum was diagnosed with cancer last year and having the boys around has been so, so beneficial for her. It makes my heart sing to see her and the kids together.
My ex and my fiance are as far removed from each other as you can get (thank goodness!) and the boys have two very different homes with very different rules and principles. I categorically know in my heart of hearts that although nature plays a part in how my kids will turn out, nuture also does as well 😊

Jadems9 Sun 27-Jan-19 22:26:21

I’d be curious to see that paper and to see how outdated and inaccurate it is.

From my experience, step-parents have just as much, if not more influence sometimes. My sister-in-law is the stepchild of my mother-in-law but I never even knew for months until it randomly came up. Her own mum abandoned her and my MIL raised her. You can definitely see the influence she’s had in her life and she is 100% family.

My own step-mum, wasn’t too much of an influence on me, save a few recipes! She wasn’t overly involved in my upbringing and I see her as more my sister’s mum. That said, when I became a step-mum she was one of the first people I turned to.
My sister is actually my step-sister and I 100% treat her as my family. She’s my sister, genes or not. And so much of our personalities are similar, right down to our taste and outlook on life.

Finally, I’ve been an unofficial stepmum for 3+ years now (slightly more official now because I’m engaged to DP and taken over some care for DSD - 14yrs). DSD’s mum kicked her out over Christmas so she lives with me and DP now. She’s also ASD, which is why her mum kicked her out (wasn’t coping). 100% this new arrangement has influenced her already, and for the better. She’s calmer, seems less anxious and more secure. Just a much happier and bubbly girl compared to before when she was very scared and would lash out.

So I deeply disagree with the idea that a step-person could have any less influence on a child or sibling compared to blood relatives.

pineapplebryanbrown Mon 28-Jan-19 22:08:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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