Same love for dsc as for ds?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 10-30-2006, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I might get a few people here that don't like this topic, but I was wondering... Do you think stepparents feel the same sort of love for their stepchildren as for their biological child? I feel guilt constantly because I don't think I love my sc as much as my 3 yo (from a previous relationship). I'm not unfair to them and I would never let them know that in any way but I still feel guilty.

On another rant - I think my dsc are teaching my ds horrible manners and habits. Both sc are overdramatic, whiny and disrespectful. DS never exhibits any of these behaviors the weeks my sc are with their mom but he gets a terrible attitude like them when they are there. H tries to discipline them but it is too hard and they pretty much ignore me when I try to tell them anything. This is getting to be such a big problem, it is adding to our already failing marriage.
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#2 of 7 Old 10-30-2006, 12:50 PM
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I don't think you should love anyone the same as you love another person.

Instead of feeling guilty help build some love by making it a point to connect with them at least once every day they are with you. How old are they? This will only take a few minutes a day. When you first see them greet them as warmly as they will allow, and try to get some physical contact. Try to do it one on one (ie without ds or dh right in your faces too), if they won't hug then shake hands or high five and try to have a nice thing you thought about them when they were gone (I was watching ____ and though you would have liked _______).

Sure you might feel stupid if you are reaching out for a kid who isn't paying much attention, but that's part of being a stepparent (a thankless job if there ever was one) and even if the kid won't make a move back, I think many of them do appreciate it.

Another way you can connect is helping them. I think this is one of the hardest things for stepparents to do, especially if the step kids are older and can do the thing by themselves, but everyone likes to have help. Again, if you could just spend 2 minutes helping them with a chore or getting ready I think most kids really like that.

The easiest is just to stop what ever you are doing when they come to you and pay attention.

About the whining, many kids go through phases where they whine (if your dsc are about 5,6, or 7 I think that is prime time for whining). On the whole whiny and dramatic (while annoying) are relatively minor problems and you wouldn't want to force them to be respectful (that's fear not respect). I think following some of the suggestions above will work the best for increasing the kindness in the family.
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#3 of 7 Old 10-30-2006, 02:18 PM
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When dh and I had dd, dh told me one night that he now felt terrible for ds1. He said that noow that he had a baby of his own, he realized he could never feel the same way about ds1 that he did about his own baby. I pointed out to him that he wouldn't feel exactly the same way about our next baby, either. I also pointed out that he hadn't met ds1 until ds1 was seven. That's a lot of years of day-to-day interaction that were missed. As time has gone on, I think dh thinks of ds1 more and more as his child...part of our family. The awareness that he's a "step" isn't so close to the top of his mind, anymore. He's been here through ds1's triumphs and tragedies...watched him rehearse for the school talent show, and watched him struggle with a broken finger, and given him "I'm proud of you" hugs and "that sucks" hugs, helped guide him through the rocky preteen social years, and just plain spent a ton of time with him...and they're father and son now, in all but biology. I'll always think it's a shame that they missed out on ds1's first seven years together, but they get closer every year.

I really think it varies with every family - circumstances are always different. How old was/were the child(ren) when the step-parent came along? How involved is the step-parent in the day-to-day childcare/childrearing? Is the bio-parent encouraging a close relationship, or fostering distance? There are SO many factors involved...

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#4 of 7 Old 10-30-2006, 03:17 PM
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I've known my DDs1&2 since they were very young...3 1/2 and 18 months, and I would jump in front of a bus for them just as I would for DD3, and future DS. I adore them, and miss them every minute that they're not here. I learn something new every day that makes me love them even more, just like bio-daughter. But I'm very lucky in that biomom allows me to have such a close relationship with the girls. I know a lot of women who are much less willing to allow a new woman to help raise their children. We're lucky.

I agree with the PP who said it all depends on the family, because it does. A person who becomes a step parent to a teenager isn't going to love that teen the same as their own bio children, because there's so many more years of history, at least from the step parents I've talked to.

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#5 of 7 Old 10-30-2006, 03:25 PM
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agree with PP. I met my 2dsd when they were 5&6. I see them for 2 weeks in the summer with no contact in between. Dh calls them several times a week but he doesn't like to discuss it with me. So of course I love my dd way more than them. Their level of love is more like the distant relative kind of way. Love 'em because they're family. It truly the day to day stuff that makes a relationship and Dh truly regrets never taking his ex back to court to adjust visitation. When ex moved away Dh just assumed they could work something out.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#6 of 7 Old 10-30-2006, 11:40 PM
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I love my dss very much, however his bio mom disappeared for 2.5 years (he is now turning 4) so i had the opportunity to really bond. now that she has come back it has been miserable, she is so nasty so it takes it's toll on the relationship between him and i. we are still primary but like pp said 'it is a thankless job'. i have insecurities too, technically i have no rights legally, he is a special needs child and we have invested ourselves with eachother heavily. i had a dd 11 mo ago and i am coming to realize that through birth and bf i have established a much deeper attachment to her than i ever did with him. it all part of nature and our enviornment. i practice unconditional love with him, it's a win win.
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#7 of 7 Old 10-31-2006, 12:25 AM
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I think its totally normal to feel the way you do. I know I do. Ive noticed it much more recently (in the last year) than before, but its true.

With our situation, I think a big part of it is that dsd is being raised so much differently than the way we are raising our son. We have dsd for 4-5 weeks during the school year, some weekends and the entire summer so we do see her pretty often, but our morals and our rules are hard for her to understand. She has no rules at her bedtime (shes 8), no schedule whatsoever, the only one on one time with her mom is going shopping for toys or clothes every week to make up for making her go to daycare after school.

I have been involved in dsd's life since she was 8 months old and have always considered her my daughter. I introduce her as my dd. When shes with us, I do nothing for my son that I dont do for her. If anything, she gets more personal time than my son. Still, I feel like the bond is slipping because she has no respect for people, which is something we have tried to instill in our kids from day one. Manners, too. She has none.

Just my 2 pennies.
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