If you were a stepchild... - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 56 Old 12-10-2007, 01:25 AM
 
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I would hope that, as a step parent, if the child is going to be in your home for ANY amount of time, you make them feel as if it is THEIR home. That you give them a very permanent place for their things...that you give them a SPACE that is their own if you can possibly fairly afford that space. A dresser, so they don't have to live out of a suitcase, a toybox or bin in which they are able to keep their things. I remember being refused a place of my own to sleep, blankets of my own (I had to bring them from my mom's), and that she kicked my stuff around and called it four letter words. I lived out of a suitcase and the SUITCASE was "in the way" all the time.

I hope that, if you have children of your own, you allow EQUAL treatment as far as holidays go. I mean both in TIME and in gifts. I remember getting one count it ONE gift at christmas, and LITERALLY her three children got so many gifts that they filled an entire hallway leading to the family room, floor to ceiling and wall to wall. One year, our VCR broke. My dad got us a new one, but made my mom tell us that it was from "santa" (though we were allll old enough to know differently) because had she found out, he would have caught heck (yes, I know, he could easily have grown some, uh, male hormones). Otherwise, that year, I got an outfit. My brother got three paperback books, and my sister got a my little pony. Again, they got so many gifts that we could literally not see space in the hallway.

I hope that you will consider what they like to eat and not ration it (as long as their father sees the food as healthy/fair game, etc, for them to eat). I remember my father's other kids eating as many sandwiches as they wanted, but we were only allowed a half sandwich, and ONE bowl of cereal or piece of fruit or whatever. It was definately rationed. Put household food that is safe for them where they can reach/access it and understand that you WILL go through more food while they are there.

Know that they are NOT trying to TAKE their father, or their father's time FROM you or your children, but that they ARE hoping to continue to HAVE A RELATIONSHIP with their father. Work to FOSTER that relationship.

For instance, even now that I am an adult...his wife's kids (we call them HIS kids) have children now. We are not allowed to have time alone with him, and are not allowed at the "family" gathering that they have (her kids, him, his wife)so invited him over for Christmas morning, when he is usually unoccupied, to watch our children (my brother comes and stays with us from out of town) open gifts. In response, he is now required to go over HER kids' houses, from house to house, instead of coming here. Because, if he's willing, well then, they get first dibs. *sigh* All we ask is an hour or two of our father's time...and that that time is given willingly. SHE KNEW HE HAD CHILDREN WHEN SHE MARRIED HIM!!! Please, remember that they are his flesh and blood, and help him to have special and alone time with them. Not that you shouldn't be included even MOST of the time. Y ou are his wife. However, they were FIRST his children, and deserve to have time all to themselves with him JUST BECAUSE they EXIST, and they LOVE him.

Show interest in their activities. Ask THEM if you could attend their sports events or dance recitals or whatever. Let THEM know that you are interested. Even if they don't reciprocate (they ARE children, after all) at first, it will mean something to them that you care enough to ask.

Don't expect them to jump up and down that you are in their lives, but jump up and down because they are in yours. Doesn't make "fairness" sense at all...and we WERE excited that my dad had found somebody to love and that she was in our lives, until she started to actually open her mouth... *sigh* she was just plain mean. But, again they are kids, and sometimes a new person as the object of their father's affection can take time to process and grow accustomed to. Respect that. And keep trying.

Thank you, too, for caring enough to ask.

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#32 of 56 Old 12-10-2007, 09:39 AM
 
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I hope that you will consider what they like to eat and not ration it (as long as their father sees the food as healthy/fair game, etc, for them to eat). I remember my father's other kids eating as many sandwiches as they wanted, but we were only allowed a half sandwich, and ONE bowl of cereal or piece of fruit or whatever. It was definately rationed. Put household food that is safe for them where they can reach/access it and understand that you WILL go through more food while they are there.
Wow. I'm sorry you had such a rotten Stepmother. I can't imagine anyone rationing ANY child in their care's food, whether it's a stepchild, biological child, neice, nephew, neigbor's child, whoever. Please know this is not the norn for most Step parents.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#33 of 56 Old 12-10-2007, 09:44 AM
 
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courtenay_e's post just made me feel sick inside. How completely horrible of your stepmother to act like that. And how terrible of your dad to witness this without saying anything.

I could never imagine treating DSD like that. She is a part of the family, no more and no less than DS.

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#34 of 56 Old 12-10-2007, 09:50 AM
 
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Wow. I'm sorry you had such a rotten Stepmother. I can't imagine anyone rationing ANY child in their care's food, whether it's a stepchild, biological child, neice, nephew, neigbor's child, whoever. Please know this is not the norn for most Step parents.
No, it surely is not--reasonable portion control is one thing, but the only excuse for rationing like that (half a sandwich?) is genuine lack of food. And if that were the case it gets spread across all takers.

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#35 of 56 Old 12-10-2007, 09:56 AM
 
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Both my sm and sd treated me like I was their own child. I was never referred to as STEP. Just, this is my daughter trisha. My sm however, had a hard time dealing with the fact that my mother and father would still need to interact, and she didnt' like not being included in some conversations. My mother however, did make it VERY difficult for my SM to be involved in my life. : I love this smiliey!

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#36 of 56 Old 12-10-2007, 11:16 AM
 
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Thank you all for posting your very personal messages in this forum. I was looking for something for my fiance(DF)/future SD to my DS to read. I think this may help. It's been really hard so far. DS(10) and I don't get along well as it is and DF is just making it harder. He doesn't know any better really. He just became a dad to our daughter 14 mo ago and is suddenly SD to a 10 year old with ADD and Mood Disorder NS who is very difficult to live with. On top of that DS's BD(biological dad) doesn't pay support, I just get $136/mo from SS. DF has alot of animosity to DS's dad because of this and it kind of spills over to DS sometimes when he is angry at him. He was great to DS when we met, it's just since we all moved in together a year and a half ago it's been getting bad.
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#37 of 56 Old 12-10-2007, 11:53 AM
 
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courtenay_e's post just made me feel sick inside. How completely horrible of your stepmother to act like that. And how terrible of your dad to witness this without saying anything.

I could never imagine treating DSD like that. She is a part of the family, no more and no less than DS.
Oh, I know that many, MANY step-parents are not like that...which is why I have never acknowledged her as any kind of parent. She is my father's wife.

But...the way she treated me and my siblings has deeply affected the way I see things with other children. For instance, my girlfriend had perterm labor at 21 weeks, and the baby was born and then died. She spiraled downward for several weeks, and then admitted herself to the hospital for emotional issues. I had care of her two youngest children for the almost two weeks she was in the hospital, and then for a couple of weeks after that that she was in the day program. I made absolute SURE that her children KNEW where the food was, and that, as long as they cleaned up after themselves, and were not wasteful, they were welcome to eat when they were hungry. I also went to target and bought them little sterilite dressers,so that they had a PLACE to put their clothes, and made sure that my son's room was clean and the sheets were fresh, so that they had a PLACE (my son sleeps with dd anyway most nights, so wasn't hugely traumatized by this) to be. These seem like small gestures...but when they came in after the weekend with their dad (dealing with his own greiving and keeping the household together issues), and found the dressers? THey were sooo excited, they were jumping up and down! Realizing that kids are adaptable, but still need to feel as if they belong is an important thing. Kids just want to be loved and made to feel safe and secure. That happens by remembering that YOU are the adult, and acting as such (ie: not like a territorial animal).

My father has his issues. It took me many years of counseling and WORK to realize why he did what he did (and continues to do so). I have forgiven them both, because I can't just CAN'T walk around with so much anger and hurt inside of me. It's not healthy! And, too, the experience has made me who I AM, and led me to my husband and children. SO.

To reiterate, I strongly understand that all step parents are NOT like she was. She is one sad, messed up woman (I just described the tip of the iceburg, mamas). Luckily, I had a fairly stable mother, whose mama-bear capacity was incredibly huge, and helped me to get through the crap still a sane person. However, if you/your DF can come out of my story realizing that even small actions like helping consistently to make sure that the child feels loved, safe, and secure, no matter how they act...then it was a story well shared.

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#38 of 56 Old 12-13-2007, 04:21 AM
 
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I wish my stepfather hadn't been a UAV in nearly all respects. I wish my mom hadn't had to spend so much of her precious time (she had me summers and half of the other school breaks) with me mediating between us. I wish he had pulled the stick out of his a** just a little bit... Like, it really is okay to lean on a wall!

I wish my stepfather hadn't tried to hide all the wedding photos and memorabilia from my mother's marriage to my dad when I was going through her stuff after she died.

I wish he hadn't taken my several hundred dollar inheritance from my mother.

My step mom and I have a much better relationship now than when she was married to my dad.

But I wish that, after she had a baby with my dad, she had not told me flat-out that she felt I was an intrusion into "her" family. Like, seriously, I saw him first, lady!

I wish that, after I ran away/moved out at 17, she had allowed me to come back. I know my dad wanted me to, but she put her foot down. I wish she had allowed me to even visit more than the very infrequent visits I had. I wish my dad hadn't had to surreptitiously slip me money I needed.

I wish she had seen me as an equal part of the family.

However, now... She and I are really good, even if only superficially. When she introduces me, she introduces me as her daughter. She has only done this since my mom died, and it means a lot to me.

And there was one really good thing she did when they got married, that I didn't know about til years later. My dad has insecurity issues, and for the longest time was desperate to create that perfect nuclear family that he never had. It was why he was with my first stepmom, and why he married this stepmom. He wanted me to call her "mom", like I did with my first stepmom (this really, really hurt my mom). But my stepmom nipped this in the bud, before he even brought it up to me. She told him, "she already has a mom, a wonderful mom, and I am not here to replace her. Period. I want to be her stepmom, but I cannot, should not, and will not try to replace her mother." I am tremendously grateful to her for that.

Also, it is really important to have the stepparent's parents treat their new grandchild no differently than any grandchild acquired any other way! That gave me a really great, stable foundation. My stepdad comes from a Jewish heritage, and because his family integrated me so fully, DD sometimes forgets that we aren't technically part Jewish !

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#39 of 56 Old 12-13-2007, 10:20 AM
 
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My stepfather is fabulous. I can't think of anything he didn't do for me.
I actually rarely even refer to him as my stepfather - he is my dad!

These are the things he did that really stood out for me -

1.When he started dating my mother he took my sister and me out too. He asked us how we felt about him hanging out with our family. he and my mother did things alone but we also did lots of things all together and jus with him.

When they got engaged he asked us how we would feel about becoming a family. Allof us children were included in their wedding ceremony.

2. He always referred to me and my sister as his daughters. Not "Leslie's girls" or "my stepkids" but simply his daughters. He even refers to my dh as his son! He now refers to our children (including my stepson ) as his grandchildren. He actually asked that we please have the grandkids refer to him as "Grampa" because he had to call his granparents "Grandfather and Grandmother *lastname*" and he thinks it affected their relationships. He didn't want to be this cold, detached person for his grankids the way his grandparents were for him.

3. He never took sides with his biological children over my sister and me. He did have kind an old fashioned attitude about the boys doing more physical chores and the girls doing more homemaking - which never bothered m, I liked that stuff and I also like being "daddy's little girl" - but he treated all of us girls the same. In fact, of all my siblings he and I probably have the best relationship.

4. All through highschool he continued to do special things with each of us. I went away to boarding school and he was usually the one to come and get me for breaks. I really treasure the conversations we had on our drives to and from school. He made an effort to know us - and he does, really well. I still get phone calls from him when he's heard something ona radio show he thinks I might like, or to ask if I heard about this or that. When he visits he brings me books he has read that he thinks I might like, that kind of thing.

5. He was really open with us - he wasn't blabbing about his sex life or anything, but he shared his life experiences and how he tried to process them with us willingly. He and my mom struggled and he always let us know how things were going. When I reached adulthood he even asked for advice sometimes.

6. He never said bad things about our biological father and that side of our extended family, even though just about anything he could have said would have been justifiable. I know, just because I know him so well, that he can't help but hate my bd, but he never actually said anything about him. It can't have been easy, but I think it was another sign of his respect for us, espcially my sister. She had a very hard time with bd - love/hate.

7. He is a really good role model all around - he works really hard and is know for being an unusually honest business man, he is very much involved in community and social programs, he doesn't overindulge in anything,he eats very well and is active, he is constantly trying to "improve" himself - he has in college all through our childhood, after that he started taking seaman's classes and is now a licensed sailboat captain....

In case you can't tell, I him. I even named my little boy after him!

Anyway, it thought it might be helpful for you to know what a wonderful stepparent looks like along with the not so great ones. He hasn't been a good stepparent, but a really respectful, loving, supportive parent.

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#40 of 56 Old 12-13-2007, 11:48 AM
 
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My SO offers the following advice as someone who became a stepchild in his teens:

Sometimes stepmothers become stepmothers as a result of an affair with their now-stepchild's father. This will not necessarily doom the stepfamily relationship, but it complicates things, especially when the child is old enough to figure out what is going on.

However...most stepchildren at one time or another will blame their stepparent for the demise of their parents' marriage (or for a lack of reconciliation). This is normal (editor's note: I get that occasionally and I didn't even meet my partner until more than a year after my stepdaughter's parents split), but try not to get defensive--in this case, there's at least some truth to it. Your stepchild may be angry. This is normal too--don't try to refer your stepchild to counseling (he or she may need it, but that's not your call and it's insulting to be told reacting normally to a difficult situation is somehow deficient).

And, another point: Eventually, your relationship may become solid in spite of the circumstances of the beginning. However, this does NOT give you blanket license to call your stepchild your "son," especially if he's quietly harboring some last resentment over your role in his parents' divorce--some people upthread indicated they were happy their stepparents called them their children, but that should be the stepchild's (as well as your) call.

Finally: If your stepchild's mother dies, all of the goodwill you built might go out of the window for awhile. This does not matter how old your stepchild is. Regardless: Do NOT call yourself mom and your stepchild your child during the grieving process unless specifically asked (the possible exception: if you've done it for years and your stepchild would welcome that consistency). And whatever you do, do NOT badmouth the late mother, her parenting, or really anything concerning her, to your stepchild. If you must, call a counselor or a girlfriend or post here...but as far as your stepchild is concerned, his or her mother was perfect.

My SO's mother died when he was in his 20s, after his dad and stepmother (a former affair partner) had been married for almost a decade. His stepmother swooped in and declared that she was really the real parent, because his mom was a busy professional and outsourced his care to others (never mind he didn't see his dad or stepmother for about five of his teenage years). This poisoned the relationship for many years; only in the last five years or so (pretty much since my SD was born) has the relationship between my SO and his dad and stepmother become OK.

He's still uncomfortable with his stepmom calling herself my SD's grandmother--but I asked him: "If SD has children, would I be one of their grandmothers, or just their grandpa's wife?" His reply? "Of course you'd be their grandma." He realized the lack of parent-child bond between him and his stepmother doesn't make her a bad or invalid grandma (especially since he likes that my parents are becoming grandparental toward SD as well).

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#41 of 56 Old 12-14-2007, 01:55 PM
 
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And, another point: Eventually, your relationship may become solid in spite of the circumstances of the beginning. However, this does NOT give you blanket license to call your stepchild your "son," especially if he's quietly harboring some last resentment over your role in his parents' divorce--some people upthread indicated they were happy their stepparents called them their children, but that should be the stepchild's (as well as your) call.

Finally: If your stepchild's mother dies, all of the goodwill you built might go out of the window for awhile. This does not matter how old your stepchild is. Regardless: Do NOT call yourself mom and your stepchild your child during the grieving process unless specifically asked (the possible exception: if you've done it for years and your stepchild would welcome that consistency). And whatever you do, do NOT badmouth the late mother, her parenting, or really anything concerning her, to your stepchild. If you must, call a counselor or a girlfriend or post here...but as far as your stepchild is concerned, his or her mother was perfect.
: ITA w/ this!

My mom had been dead for 3 years before my stepmom started making a point of introducing me as her daughter. Also, it was after I had written her a really nice, long mother's day card, thanking her for how she'd stepped in and really filled the void my mother left. (There was not a dry eye in the room after that card!) And she still doesn't call herself my mom, just calls me her daughter.

I H.A.T.E.D. it when, as an older child and teen, my stepfather referred to me as his daughter. I don't know how I would have felt about it, if I hadn't hated him. Because, although I hated it, it also contributed to my feeling of security in my place in that side of the family, since I didn't live there most of the time. But there are other ways to make a child feel secure than to call your stepchild your child when they hate it.

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#42 of 56 Old 12-14-2007, 04:39 PM
 
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I wish that my stepdad (who was 17 years older than my mom with 5 adult children...they got together when I was 12 ) had understood that my brother and I had been raised a little differently than his own kids...and that he was joining our family, and shouldn't have expected us to match his prior parenting experiences.
We're great friends now, but we fought a lot when I was a teen...I would have responded differently had he talked to my mom first and they discussed things with me together, or just my mom.

My stepmom is the greatest. It's an unusual situation, in that I've known her since I was a baby, but she married my dad when I was about 16...but she and my dad decided that for "big" issues (ie that might require discipline), each kid's biological parent would address the issue (I have a brother, a stepbrother and a stepsister)...little things either parent would address. My stepmom was like a close friend and confidante. Never judgemental about my feelings about my mom or my dad (or anything), always listened, and always encouraged me to talk with my parents about my feelings. She is probably my closest friend to this day, I love her tremendously.
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#43 of 56 Old 12-14-2007, 05:47 PM
 
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This may be another personality vs. step parent issue, but it`s a big one in our lives. My husband`s Dad has been with a new partner for several years. He doesn`t consider her a step mother because he`d already left home (and was married) when they got together, but she`s part of our lives no matter what `title` she has.

She has decided that my husband doesn`t like her and makes her uncomfortable. She has therefore decided that she will not come to our house and we`re not welcome in their house. Well, the children and I are, but.... For the record, we`re not sure why she has come to this opinion, there has never been anything untoward said or done. Does my husband love her? no. Did they handle the announcement of the separation/ moving in together well? no. Was that years ago and over now? yes, and we are fine with their relationship.

My point is just that as the adult (even if the children are grown, there`s still an element of parent/ child relationships) please take the high road whenever possible. Assume the best, work on developing an appropriate relationship (ie don`t set up barriers unless truely necessary for your own well being) and if there`s a problem, TALK about it!

I think that this is appropriate for a new step parent of teens, too. Don`t expect them to love you instantly, but don`t announce that the child must hate you and is therefore not welcome in your home. (or make it more subtle but still the prevaling message)

Just my little soapbox due to the problems we`re currently having.
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#44 of 56 Old 12-18-2007, 04:11 PM
 
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That every trial given was only because we loved her dearly, and wanted proof all the time that "we" as a family were okay. That her love and attention to her "babies" was the greatest gift we ever got.

That we would never have put someone we didn't love and respect through the wringer, just to prove that she loved us despite everything.

That because we all had problems, her stepping up and protecting us and putting our best interests front and center was and is appreciated, even when we hated it.

That her grace in accepting the good feelings and bad made her a better Mother than we could have ever expected or hope for.

That in taking on being a Mother despite the challenges of taking on three deeply troubled children who were 7 to 11 and one crazy ex-wife, makes her the single most amazingly compassionate strong woman I have every had the honour to love me.

That when I compare my own best Mom moments, it is to her I hold my standard. And so, now my children benefit from her.

That in having her in my life, I KNOW deeply and in my heart of hearts that it really does take just one person to change a life, a person, a family, and a World.
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#45 of 56 Old 12-18-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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I wish my stepdad had realized it was okay to show physical affection and really get to know me. We never really bonded at all. I am more comfortable around him now that I'm an adult.

I had a stepmom, too, and she was great. Very patient and loving, she just genuinely thought I was all that, even when I purposely tried to make her mad-- -- she just never got mad! : She really made a big impact in my life. She's not with my dad anymore but we are still in contact to this day.

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#46 of 56 Old 12-18-2007, 04:20 PM
 
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That we would never have put someone we didn't love and respect through the wringer, just to prove that she loved us despite everything. .....

That when I compare my own best Mom moments, it is to her I hold my standard. And so, now my children benefit from her.
: :

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#47 of 56 Old 12-18-2007, 04:40 PM
 
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I hated that I suddenly had to call my stepfather "Daddy" when I was 4...and was so incredibly relieved when my mother and he separated for a while when I was 16, because I could start calling him by his first name. I never returned to "Dad" ever again. I have a BIL who has his stepchildren call him by a father-type name (different from what they call their real dad, but it still means dad and it's what his biochild calls him, too) and it freaks me out, because well, every once in a while the 12 year old tries to call him by his name and instead he gets corrected. As much as I'm sure BIL loves and cares for and treats the children very well, I just wish the older boys didn't HAVE to call him by that name...they can still love him without having to call him that.

My mother and stepfather made me pretend my last name was his when we went to church or to the "country club", pretending he was my real father because they were worried about what people would think and I HATED it...I wanted my own name.

I hated that he didn't think of us as a father would think of his own children, yet he felt entitled to "punish" my brother (physically) for what he felt were transgressions, yet he had no love for him and things never got better, they only got worse. A step-parent should have no right to spank/hit/belt a step-child....none whatsoever, no matter WHAT the bio-parent says.

A step-parent should NOT become one if they are going to be bitter about what they give the child, the time the child takes of their partner, of what they might need to do for the child (driving the child, cleaning up after, feeding, parenting). My step-father really should never have had children...he simply had no parenting or even kindness instincts at all...he should have just found his sexual jollies elsewhere, with someone who had no children.

It drives me bonkers when I see posts in this forum where step-parents are complaining about the behavior of their step-children, or how they never get time with their partner because of the annoying step-child, who might have major problems related to the separation or death of his/her parents and who can 100% tell that the step-parent doesn't REALLY love them. My step-father never REALLY loved my brother and I and we knew it from toddlerhood. On the other hand, when my sister (his daughter) was born, she was treated completely differently from birth. I was old enough to never begrudge that, as I felt we had always been treated so poorly and was happy that at least my sister was not being treated poorly, but my younger brother did not have the maturity to feel that way, instead he felt jealous and hurt.

I think this is a great idea for a thread and a really good one for all step-parents to read.
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#48 of 56 Old 12-18-2007, 04:46 PM
 
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I havent read the whole thread, but this is what I wish I could have said to my stepmom: "I know you don't love me, you barely tolerate me. I hate you for taking away my father. Even now, as an adult, I haven't forgiven you. I wish I could, because there is blackness in my heart....and I want it to be gone. But I just can't figure out how to let it go."
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#49 of 56 Old 12-18-2007, 05:11 PM
 
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I hated that I suddenly had to call my stepfather "Daddy" when I was 4... <snip> My mother and stepfather made me pretend my last name <snip> and I HATED it...I wanted my own name.
:

My stepfather also showed us very little, if any affection, and yet was perfectly comfortable meting out spankings and other punishments . . . Unfortunately, he thought he was doing the right thing.

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#50 of 56 Old 12-18-2007, 06:29 PM
 
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I wish my stepdad had realized it was okay to show physical affection and really get to know me. We never really bonded at all. I am more comfortable around him now that I'm an adult.
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#51 of 56 Old 12-18-2007, 06:38 PM
 
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:

My stepfather also showed us very little, if any affection, and yet was perfectly comfortable meting out spankings and other punishments . . . Unfortunately, he thought he was doing the right thing.
Although my dad didn't show us affection (but did to his own daughter), he also never punished us.

My mom was the punisher and she had poor aim with the belt when she closed her eyes.

My dad adopted my brother and I when I was 8 and he was 11, although he had married my mom when I was 3.

We had our name changed (left up to us to choose whether or not to, although I said yes out of guilt) to my step dad's name when he legally adopted us and our father gave up his parental rights.

I wish I had been able to take my mother's maiden name when she divorced my father when I was 2.5 and married my dad when I was 3. I really didn't want to have either of their names.
I'm married a second time now, and I have my maiden name, which is my step dad's last name, and it just feels weird.

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#52 of 56 Old 12-18-2007, 06:47 PM
 
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Although my dad didn't show us affection (but did to his own daughter), he also never punished us.

My mom was the punisher and she had poor aim with the belt when she closed her eyes. <snip>

I'm married a second time now, and I have my maiden name, which is my step dad's last name, and it just feels weird.

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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#53 of 56 Old 12-19-2007, 08:49 PM
 
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I wish she did not treat me as her competition over dads attention/affection.
I wish she didn't turn into Dr Jeckle when dad wasn't around and scream and yell over stupid little things.

I am glad she never asked me to call her Mom.
I am glad she didn't bad mouth my mother.

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DGS born 2005
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#54 of 56 Old 12-22-2007, 04:47 AM
 
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My parents divorced when I was 18 and my mom remarried about 8 years later. My "new and improved dad" eventually adopted me as an adult when I was 26 years old--I changed my birth certificate and my last name to reflect my new identity. He has adopted 3 other of my siblings as they turned 18 (biodad refused to sign the paperwork before they turned 18, even though he was in prison for abusing the girls in our family).

I cannot imagine a more perfect father--he loves us fiercely and treats each of us as his own children. I know that I can always turn to him for wise counsel and sound advice. And he is a fantastic grandpa to my boys. What more could a girl ask for?

Dissertating wife of Mr. Amazing Man, mother to Boo Bear ( ) Captain Knuckle (13), and The Professor (5). Expecting Penelope Rose 5/10/2010 via planned c/s.
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#55 of 56 Old 12-22-2007, 05:04 AM
 
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Treat all your kids equally, regardless of whether they're "yours" or "his".

My older brother and I were informed that the only way we could go to college was if we got at least 50% of the tuition covered by scholarships and financial aid. My younger brother (my stepmom's bio son) is going to an out of state school, and my dad/stepmom are paying his tuition. He never even applied for financial aid. Yes, I'm bitter.

Don't let your biological kids get away with behavior that you punish your stepkids for. My older brother and I would be grounded for a week at a time if we didn't make our beds as soon as we got up in the morning; my younger brothers are 19 and 15 and still don't know how to make a bed at all, much less any of the other chores my older brother and I were required to do. (Our own laundry, dinner dishes, mow the lawn, etc). I don't mind that we were required to do chores, but I did resent that my two younger brothers didn't have to do the same chores.

Do not try to incorporate "mom" or "mama" into your name for your step kids. They will call you Mom if and when they choose to do so, and it is not your right to appropriate the title for yourself. If anyone else in the family, yours or his, tries to have your step kids call you "mom" or "mama", correct that person in front of the kids. The single thing that damaged my/my brother's relationship with our stepmom more than anything was our aunts (father's sisters) informing us that we needed to call her Mama Lynn. No, she was NOT our mother, and no we would NOT be referring to her as such. Now, 20 years later, I refer to her quite lovingly as my 2nd mom, and I do feel that way about her...but that's MY choice to make, not anyone else's, and all my aunts accomplished was inspire further resentment against our stepmom in my brother and me.
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#56 of 56 Old 12-22-2007, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Treat all your kids equally, regardless of whether they're "yours" or "his".

My older brother and I were informed that the only way we could go to college was if we got at least 50% of the tuition covered by scholarships and financial aid. My younger brother (my stepmom's bio son) is going to an out of state school, and my dad/stepmom are paying his tuition. He never even applied for financial aid. Yes, I'm bitter.

Don't let your biological kids get away with behavior that you punish your stepkids for. My older brother and I would be grounded for a week at a time if we didn't make our beds as soon as we got up in the morning; my younger brothers are 19 and 15 and still don't know how to make a bed at all, much less any of the other chores my older brother and I were required to do. (Our own laundry, dinner dishes, mow the lawn, etc). I don't mind that we were required to do chores, but I did resent that my two younger brothers didn't have to do the same chores.
Your post bothered me I know I grew up more spoiled than my siblings :, and I did not grow up in blended family. I simply was the youngest of the bunch, which meant by the time I was growing up my parents were more finanacially secure (my dad's company took off), and I think in many ways they were tired of being strict parents.

I thought about this before, and now your post made me worried... Today we don't own a house (DSD is 14 y.o., and has her own room at our place), we are doing ok, but I can tell that things are slowly picking up, and in a few years we might be in a much better place financially than we are right now. I'd hate to think that DSD will look back on this and think "wow, my siblings (unborn yet heheh) get a lot more than I did at my dad's growing up". I worry she'd just look at it as if we didn't treat her equally... She is truly our world today, and I don't want her to ever feel mistreated and unloved. We are planning for college, but can we afford an out of state tuition in four years? Dunno

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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