If you were a stepchild... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 56 Old 11-29-2007, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please tell me, what do you wish your stepparent knew when you were growing up?

Serious and sweet comments are equally welcome.

Thanks,

-stepmom in training

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#2 of 56 Old 11-29-2007, 11:21 PM
 
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clarification please.
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#3 of 56 Old 11-29-2007, 11:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I mean something along the lines "My stepmom always used to say ..., and I really wish she kept her mouth shut!", or "My stepmom never knew how much I appreciated ..."


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#4 of 56 Old 11-29-2007, 11:42 PM
 
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My step mom referred to the children that lived with her as "my children" - this was my bio brother (her step-son) & 2 1/2 siblings, and me as her "step-daughter" because I lived w/ my mother.

Not the nicest thing to say.
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#5 of 56 Old 11-30-2007, 01:10 AM
 
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My Stepfather treated his son like "his" and me and my two other siblings as "Anne's (my Mom's) kids". And it especially showed at Christmas and on birthdays when it looked likt the livingroom had thrown up with gifts for my youngest brother, and the rest of us had to sift underneath for our smaller, more generic gifts. We just wanted to be treated equal and treated like we were as important as his "real" son.

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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#6 of 56 Old 11-30-2007, 01:18 AM
 
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I wish my second step-mom had known how devastated I was when she and my dad split up.

I wish my step-dad would have taken an interest in my extra-curricular activities.

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#7 of 56 Old 11-30-2007, 12:26 PM
 
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I wish my stepmom had forced my dad to step up and make me at home. I wish she had confronted me when she found my teenage demand letter asking that my dad make me feel more welcome and had talked to me and done just that. I wish she and I could have been closer when they were married (now divorced for almost a decade, I love her more than I was ever able to then and see her several times a month even though she's out of town). I wish she had set aside her jealousy issues with my mom while they were still married- I understood them, but they made it all the harder. I wish she'd asked for or even insisted on counseling for her and I alone....We'd have been where we are now much more quickly. I wish she had understood that comments about my dad giving me $$ were my way of coping with the fact that he was more apt to pay child support than bother to follow through on promises of visits (we lived 2 hours apart).
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#8 of 56 Old 11-30-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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My first step-mom had it rough. We didn't like her at all since we viewed her as a marriage wrecker. My second step-mother is wonderful even if we had our ups and downs (my dad married her when I was already 18). Since I have no relationship to my bio-mom, I call her mom and refer to her two children as my siblings, only clarifying the true relationship when really necessary. However, as to our downs - my step-mom was jealous of my relationship to my father and didn't like it when he spent so much time with me when I came home to visit. I never complained, but my dad did finally figure it out on his own. I just wish we could have talked about it before he passed away. Now it's just a moot question.

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#9 of 56 Old 11-30-2007, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you for the replies!

I would love to here more

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#10 of 56 Old 12-05-2007, 02:06 PM
 
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I never had a "stepfamily" issues, but I did have issues with the people that my parents married. So, I wish that my PARENTS would've picked sane people to marry. It's not okay to marry a man who traps you in a basesment, leaves your kids to starve, does crack and tries to kill you and said children. Literally. That doesn't make a bad stepparent, it makes a bad person. Marry good people, parents.

Body, I've been more than patient. Please make a baby. Please?
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#11 of 56 Old 12-05-2007, 04:02 PM
 
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I'm subbing . . . I also appreciate the replys.
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#12 of 56 Old 12-05-2007, 04:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by harleyhalfmoon View Post
My Stepfather treated his son like "his" and me and my two other siblings as "Anne's (my Mom's) kids". And it especially showed at Christmas and on birthdays when it looked likt the livingroom had thrown up with gifts for my youngest brother, and the rest of us had to sift underneath for our smaller, more generic gifts. We just wanted to be treated equal and treated like we were as important as his "real" son.
I agree. My sdad wasn't too bad about this. But his family was awful about it. Made sure that I was an outcast, as well as my brother who was his but out of wedlock.

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#13 of 56 Old 12-05-2007, 04:08 PM
 
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I wish my stepfather (and everyone else) would have never said the words...he treats her like his own. I also wish they hadn't changed my last name (not adopted, they just gave me stepfather's last name after they married) and I wish stepfather didn't encourage me to sue my bio father for all the unpaid child support.

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#14 of 56 Old 12-05-2007, 04:36 PM
 
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I've had a really bad experience, my dad cheated on my mom with his wife (NOT my stepmother) and she's been in our lives since I was 11 and my sister was 7. It's been really hard, but I try not to let that cloud the fact that many of my friends have had the opposite experience, including my DH who has a wonderful stepmom.

I'd say realize that in many situations, the kids are JUST beginning to deal with their parents divorce and do NOT need to immediately be introduced to the new person in their parent's life. That's not to say the parent can't spend time with them- but it feels like a slap in the face when the first time you see your father's new condo is the first time you meet your soon-to-be stepmother.

Include the kids in the wedding to the extent THEY are comfortable with. Personally, I know my sister and I had ZERO desire to attend or participate in the nuptuals, but it would have been nice to tell us they were getting married, instead of my Dad coming back from a trip to the Caribbean announcing that he eloped. Not good.

Don't make every single holiday about the step-parent's family. We NEVER go with our Dad to see his side of the family on holidays now. Every holiday is taken up with her side. So we choose to go elsewhere, and that's sad, because then we don't see our Dad much over the holidays.

Let the kids have time with just their parent, sometimes. And don't manipulate phone calls, either (ie, sitting in the room commenting in the background as if you're part of the conversation). If I leave a message for my father, let HIM return it.

Money. This has been the single most divisive issue. The parent(s) should be allowed to decide, within reason, where, when, and what to spend on their children. Within reason means not going into debt beyond your means, not having to take on extra jobs, and not spoiling the heck out of the kid. It means that if a parent has the money, and wants to buy their child a car, pay for college, help them out with bills, or WHATEVER- that' s their right as a parent. The spouse can certainly have input, but not control. This is different in each family because of finances but in my situation, where there is more than enough money to go around, my stepmother wants it all for herself. Not exaggerating!

Overall, if you don't like someone's kids, or at least, aren't able to be nice to them and not interfere with their relationship with their parent, you don't belong in that family in the first place! Being a great step-parent isn't always possible, but as the saying goes, if you can't be helpful, at least don't be harmful, and that's what I wish my stepmother could have understood.

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#15 of 56 Old 12-05-2007, 04:57 PM
 
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My step dad was really good to me. He didn't have biological children and he sees me as a daughter (even though he and my mom are no longer married).

My step mom is totally inappropriate. She constantly compares her kids with my sister and I. She horns in where she's not welcome and likes to play the mother role when it makes her look good. She lives in a fantasy world where she forgets that we have a wonderful mother who raised us. She also tends to forget that we're my dad's kids and that he was our parent before she knew us.

fwiw, Stepdad came into my life when I was ten and step mom when I was nineteen.
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#16 of 56 Old 12-05-2007, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't thank enough to everyone who replied. Please keep them coming.




.

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#17 of 56 Old 12-05-2007, 05:44 PM
 
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my mom married my stepdad when i was 17. from the start he treated me like his own (he didn't have his own child until a year later) -- both in that he loved me but also he had expectations of me. he took an active interest in what i was doing and what i thought. he always respected my relationship with my dad and never said anything negative about him.

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#18 of 56 Old 12-05-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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I love that my step mother always asked first if we were comfortable with stuff. I love that she always honoured our family traditions and planned to include them, even when she thought that they were silly. I love that she knows she will never replace my mother and doesn't try. I love that she still finds ways to be incredibly involved in my life. I loved that she would sometimes be on my side against my father. (I got my ears pierced for the second time at 14 because of her.)

I didn't like that she used to fight quite a bit with my father when we were younger. I didn't like that instead of working out new family rules, we were expected to live up to both parents very different expectations.

However, I love that we are truely a family, and I love that she calls my son her Grandson, and I love that we have always been treated fairly, to the point where it's almost ridiculous. (Financially and time wise)

I'm now crying, and think I'm going to include a letter of thanks with her Christmas gift.

I'd also like to add that my situation is a bit different. My mother died when I was 11, my Dad met my SM when I was 12 and we all (Me, my sister, my dad, our dog, my Step mom, my step sister, her daughter) moved in together when I was 17.

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#19 of 56 Old 12-05-2007, 06:25 PM
 
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My step father always treated us like his own children. He has two of his own who are 5-7 years older than me. But we were all one big family. Not necessarily happy, but I think that had more to do with the dynamic created between my sister, my mother and I.



Although we never called my step dad "Dad," we desperately wanted to, but it just always felt awkward. My Dad was pretty much absent from the time I was little although he didn't move out of state until I was 13. I feel more like my step dad's daughter than his though. He was there for all of the really bad stuff and the really good stuff.


When referring to my parents, I am always talking about him and my mother. He calls our children his grandchildren even though they are not his biologically. Our children call him "Grandpa" and see him more than their biological grandparents.

I'm sure there were bad things that I could talk about, but mostly they would be just like complaining about a bio-parent, not a step parent.

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#20 of 56 Old 12-07-2007, 02:07 AM
 
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I wish that my stepmom realized that my dad had 2 children with his first wife (my mom) and that we weren't going to just disappear. I really think my stepmom thought we were almost grown and wouldn't be part of the family anymore. She wanted to have her own life with my dad without us in it. I know that sounds crazy but it was ok for her to be close to her dad, but she didn't want us to be close to our dad. She really wanted us to just go away. She should have never married someone that had children.
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#21 of 56 Old 12-07-2007, 02:13 AM
 
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I wish my stepdad had stood up to my mother on my behalf. I never felt more betrayed than when he changed his stance based on some overexaggeration my mother threw him. It kept me from being able to trust him.

He treated me like his biological child, for the most part, I think. I never noticed a difference anyway.

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#22 of 56 Old 12-07-2007, 02:14 AM
 
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I wish that my stepmom realized that my dad had 2 children with his first wife (my mom) and that we weren't going to just disappear. I really think my stepmom thought we were almost grown and wouldn't be part of the family anymore. She wanted to have her own life with my dad without us in it. I know that sounds crazy but it was ok for her to be close to her dad, but she didn't want us to be close to our dad. She really wanted us to just go away. She should have never married someone that had children.
are you my long lost sister? :


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#23 of 56 Old 12-07-2007, 02:48 AM
 
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step parents shouldn't tease kids unless they are sure the kids enjoy teasing. i am 32 and only now really over my step-mothers "teasing" about my little boobies compared to her d cups
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#24 of 56 Old 12-07-2007, 04:18 AM
 
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not exactly answering in your words, but...

I had really good step-parents, because they realized that my parents' #1 priorities were their kids. They were mature enough not to see us as competition. My mom on the other hand was a terrible SM to my SS

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#25 of 56 Old 12-07-2007, 05:26 AM
 
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i wish my step mother had backed off and let me spend time with my dad ,

I wish she hadn't tried to berate me for being similar to my mother and tried to "correct" all of my personality even down to my speech patterns because she didn't like it.

I wish she hadn't been so sickeningly sweet in front of other people , so it hadn't taken years for people to realise that when out of earshot she was saying pretty mean stuff on a regular basis,

I wish she hadn't made me feel like an intruder,

I wish she hadn't made me feel like my dad would always choose her ans my step sisters over me no matter what ( i wish that hadn't been the reality ... cheers dad)
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#26 of 56 Old 12-07-2007, 12:45 PM
 
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Bri276 - I can't figure out how to quote part of your original post but I must be your long lost sister. I could have almost written your post especially about the phone calls and money. After 20 years she has gotten a little better and realized we are not going away, Although I know she still wishes we would. I hope yours is getting better too.

I am going to add - I wish my stopmom wouldn't have taken the phone off the hook when she knew I would be calling my dad back. I also wish she hadn't of said in the background "how long do we have to listen to this" when I would call my dad for comfort after my mom died.
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#27 of 56 Old 12-07-2007, 08:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
Please tell me, what do you wish your stepparent knew when you were growing up?

Serious and sweet comments are equally welcome.

Thanks,

-stepmom in training

That trying to making me someone I wasn't was never going to work.
I wished he'd just accepted me for who I was instead of trying to form me into a prim, proper, quiet, small, unnoticeable person, which never worked.

ETA:
This had nothing to do with him being my step dad.
This is just who he is.
He thinks girls should be quiet, polite, and nice.
It's how he was raised.

He was my dad, not my step dad. That's what my brother and I called him, even after he and my mother had another daughter.
He married my mom when my brother was 7 and I was 3.

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#28 of 56 Old 12-07-2007, 08:58 PM
 
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That no matter how terribly I acted towards him it was just because I felt being nice/acknowledging his kindness and sincerity to me would have been a betrayal to my dad.

Fast forward to now, my SD is my dad. He came into my life when I was 13-14 and he's treated me as a daughter ever since. I genuinely love him.
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#29 of 56 Old 12-07-2007, 10:04 PM
 
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Wow! I am so sorry that so many of you had bad stepparent experiences!

I have two wonderful stepparents.

I view my stepdad as another parent. I take his views into consideration when I make major life decisions. I love him very much. I have his last name. He used to scold me for having a messy room in high school. We used to shop for my mom's Christmas presents together. He will walk me down the first half of the aisle when I marry in Sept.

It took me longer to warm up to my stepmom. I think that I was more difficult for her to establish a relationship with because I was very angry at my dad for cheating on my mom when I was younger. I also look and sound quite a bit like my mom. That must have been hard.

But now, as an adult, I am closer with her. She is a great person. She makes my dad happy. My dad told me that she gets quite a bit of the credit for the relationship that my dad and I have today. She told him to just keep trying, and eventually we would work out our problems. She also did a lot for my brother (he lived with them) when he was growing up. She went wedding dress shopping with me last week.

I am really lucky. I can't really say specifics as to why both of my stepparents are good ones, but they are.

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#30 of 56 Old 12-09-2007, 05:53 PM
 
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That no matter how terribly I acted towards him it was just because I felt being nice/acknowledging his kindness and sincerity to me would have been a betrayal to my dad.

Fast forward to now, my SD is my dad. He came into my life when I was 13-14 and he's treated me as a daughter ever since. I genuinely love him.
This is probably what I would want my S-dad to know most. (and I've told him that a few times over the years)
It's also what I wanted DP to know most when we got together and DS1 treated him like an intruder.

When you respond in anger to a child who's acting out in anger, it just makes everything worse.
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