Affection Towards Step-Children

Rachael - posted on 10/14/2009 ( 41 moms have responded )

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I had a talk once with my husband. He said that I don't show enough affection to his daughter...that maybe part of the reason she's got attitude so much is that I don't ever stop to hug her or tell her I love her or make the same kind of comments to her that I do my own daughter. Now, this attitude is not geared towards me; she is the same to my husband, her teacher, her friends, etc. So, I don't think my lack of affection has anything to do with it. However, to keep on subject, I just don't feel comfortable doing those things to her. My own children are just that...my own children. I grew them in my belly, I gave birth to them, I nursed them, I held them for too many sleepless nights, I see my 3 year old turning into a mini-me and am excited about my youngest being the same. I give my babies lots of hugs & kisses...but not my step-daughter. I take 7,000 pictures of my children (who are with me all day long) and none of my step-daughter unless she's in the picture with my kids. I make scrapbooks of my children and not of my step-daughter. I take my 3 year old on auditions and sign her up for pageants and dance classes and other extra-curricular events...but not my step-daughter. I'm not trying to exclude her or anything. She's at school all day long. My step-daughters mom never really did all of these things for or with her so I think my husband feels that she's missing out & I should pick up the slack. I am planning on putting my daughter in Girl Scouts and my husband got upset that his ex wouldn't take his daughter. I guess he just expects that I will do all the "normal" mom stuff for all of our kids and I feel that, as a divorced parent, YOU should pick up the slack when your ex falls short, not expect another person to do it for you. Am I being too harsh? I just can't seem to force myself to be more affectionate; I don't feel the desire to make sure I hug her before she goes to bed at night or give her a kiss when I drop her off at school. My husband does these things to my daughter sometimes...but it's just not me. Does anyone else feel this way?

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Adrienne - posted on 01/06/2010

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Oh my goodness. I cannot believe what I am reading. You are definatly playing favorites & down the road it will be very hard for you, your stepdaughter and may possibly ruin your marraige at some point. I have 2 step children & 2 biological children. My husband & I treat them all as if they were our own. Yes, there is a difference in emotions towards your step & your biological but remember she didn't ask for the divorce. She is only a child. No matter what or where the love comes from a child needs to feel loved & cared for. YES it is your responsibility as a mother in the household to be equal & do for the stepchildren as you would your own. Why wouldn't you? Again it is not the childs fault for the divorce. Why should she have to pay for it? At the time of marraige you didn't just marry your husband but you also married your stepdaughter too. It is a combined package. Just imagine if one day you get a divorce & a new mom becomes a part of your bilogical childrens life. How would you want them to be treated? Would you want them to be treated the way that you are treating your stepdaughter? In the long run it will create emotional issues with her all because of you & how you treated her. I really don't feel sorry for you but I do have sympathy for her & your husband. My heart breaks for her. Remember what goes around comes around unfortunatly so I would really think deeply on your actions to save your relationship & to give your stepdaughter a better life. Sorry that I am being very blunt but you asked & I replied.

Kristalee - posted on 11/16/2009

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I just wanted to commend you for putting yourself out there and ask for advice and support. I would also like to remind everyone else that this is supposed to be a positive place for support from others who may be in similar situations. I understand what you are feeling and pray that you would find the daily strength and support and courage it takes to be a stepmom, especially in a difficult environment.
The only thing that I can think of to share that may help in your situation is that in my experience, my relationship with my husband is the most important variable. His support both in front of the kids and behind closed doors is the single most important factor in my successes as a stepmom day to day. Oh, and the best advice I've ever gotten (after multiple therapists and a degree of my own in psychology) is to stay "emotionally regulated" and that our job is to "teach and provide".
Give yourself a pat on the back. The fact that you made yourself so vulnerable and asked for help is a strong indication that you are a GREAT mom and stepmom.
God bless!

Cidalia - posted on 01/08/2010

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In response to Kimberly Paradis' reply: I'm sorry to hear about all these issues you are having with your SD, but from reading your post it seems the problem doesn't stem from the fact that she's a step child but from the lack of discipline "Her father does not believe in disapline and will not allow anyone including me to disapline or correct her in any way" and her contact with an unstable bio mom... basically because hubby and you were not on the same page with regard to discipline and she basically didn't get any, she has turned into the selfish spoiled brat you see before you. The result would be the same with a bio child. I'm sorry that your husband didn't realize the damage he was inflicting on his daughter and on your marriage. This is not your fault. I would have told him long ago, we're either in this together, or you're on your own.

Bobbye - posted on 02/20/2014

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I married the man of my dreams and had always wanted daughters....we'll I got them. I have 3 boys and four step daughters. I did not try to step into the roll of mother but yet caretaker ( their dad traveled a lot) and friend. I wanted to be someone they could confide in. I did all the prom shopping. All the dr appts nail app teaching them to drive and everything else a mom would do. 3 of them didn't have a mother in their life. I rocked the to sleep when they were sick or calmed then down when the had panic attacks. I have many health issues and still did as much as possible. We have been married going on 14 years and I think nothing would please them more than for us to get a divorce.....then they would get everything. I've earned every penny coming to me god willing my husband isn't taken from me. He retires nest year. Their dad had made a promise to them he would not marry until they were out of school. We got married with his youngest in Jr High and the rest in high school. They would not even attend the wedding. Now they are all grown up and have children of their own and stupid me thought that things might change and have a little understanding. I do thing for them and my grandkids all of the time..yes they are my grandchildren and I love them all just the same as mine. Just as I love those girls and would do anything for them. They act nice to me when we are around people or they need something from me...otherwise I am just the lady their dad married and have to deal with. I made the mistake of tagging one of them in my bio granddaughters photo on fb ( thinking this is their Dad's grandchild as well.) Stupid me....i am now banned from her page and can't see the pics of her two kids , one of whom is a big big grandma's boy. We love being together. Any jab they can get in. 3 have gotten married and not one of them have a pic with me in it hanging on the walls. They snuck off and did pics with just their Dad. I have gently brought this up to them but nothing has changed. If she had a problem with being tagged in a simple photo of a baby on fb...here is a grown up idea....call me and ask me not to anymore. That I will respect...just another one of their games and I am tired. I shouldn't have to put up with it when I have never said a harsh word to them but yet get treated with no respect. I adore my husband but am at my wits end. I am done going to family stuff at her house because I will not be made to feel uncomfortable or like I don't belong. Two of my boys got in trouble with the law when they were younger and that's the excuse for everything. The things she said in the post on fb were downright cruel and mean with what she said about my grandchildren and their parents. Some she hasn't even met. Who is she to think she is better? I also told my husband since it's her house and her rules then this was my house and my rules and she will not step foot in my house again. Does anyone agree or disagree?

Cyndi - posted on 01/07/2014

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For those stepmoms who have a wonderful relationship with their stepchild(ren) please remember all children are different. A lot of stepmoms do and do and do but aren't appreciated or accepted by the stepchild. A lot of kids would love to have their bio parents together and regardless of when the stepmom comes into the picture or how much she does, the child will reject her because accepting her means accepting mommy and daddy won't be together. If a child is acting out towards others it seems society loves to blame the "evil stepmother" but the bioparents have all the responsibility to ensure their child is well behaved and respectful. There is so much pressure on stepmoms, it's ridiculous. A little but of gratitude for the things done instead of being treated like you aren't good enough would go a long way. If you are struggling as a stepmom know you are an extra person in their life and any love or anything you do for them is extra and should be appreciated. You will never be the equivalent of the bioparent. Not to the child, not to society... so even when others put pressure on you don't put pressure on yourself. It'll only make it worse. If I had to guess you were probably treated better before marrying. The dumbest thing people say is "well, you knew what you were getting into." That's crap. Thats like saying you know the future. Its insensitive and stupid. You know who all will make up your new family but you can't possibly know how every detail will go. So, for those of you who have good relationships with your stepchild, be thankful and stop judging. Life has a way of teaching lessons to those who judge, trust me, you don't want that lesson.

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Hayley - posted on 04/15/2014

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I honestly think it depends on the age of the child however weird that sounds I have 3 step kids ages 4(almost 5boy) 9(almost 10girl) and 16(almost 17boy) and I have my own daughter who is almost 2 I show tons of affection toward my daughter and toward my youngest step son and with my step daughter I show her moderate affection we will hug or goof off she will sit on my lap or cuddle with me but I don't kiss her like my younger kids, my oldest step son I don't show any "affection" to because that would just not be right. my husband also show tons of affection to my daughter even though she isn't his but would he be doing it as a teenager other than maybe giving he a hug no. I also take pictures of all of them by themselves besides my oldest step son because hes a teenager haha. but if you are a step parent you are still exactly that a parent your step kids still need some kind of affection and love so they know you care.

Cyndi - posted on 02/13/2014

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Wow Ashley, your post seemed so full of misdirected judgement and anger. I am sure its horrible to feel like you daughter is stuck with an evil step mother but don't assume my situation (or anybody else's) is the same. All kids are different. Bottom line. I worked in third world countries as a volunteer with nonprofits. Being a giving and accepting person is in my nature. I have bought her clothes after her mother sent her to our house in clothes too small and she tears them. She acts out because she wants her mom and dad together. I'm involved, giving and try to the point of being at my wits end. This isn't about "knowing he had a kid" since I didnt have an issue with him having a child. We talked to her before getting married but things change (as they always do) after getting married. Obviously I'm an adult, not sure what your point is with your over the top obvious comments are for. Taking out your anger on a stepmom you don't even know isnt right. You have no clue what I've done for her mother, the child and her father my husband. If you did you'd probable terribly embarrassed for your comments. I'm not at fault for my stepdaughter's issues. She had them long before I can into the picture. I thought all the activities, decorating her room, buying her clothes that fit, fixing her hair, cooking for her, baking with her, time at the park, ... the list goes on, would make a difference. The more I did the worse she got as far as having a spoiled rotten attitude. I'm not the reason she has to go back and forth between homes or at fault for her bad behavior that's been going on for most of her life. It's the responsibility of the parents to teach their child to be respectful and well behaved. I hope that if my little girl ever has a stepmother its somebody like me who is willing give and try as much as I have. I may have chosen to marry her father but that doesnt mean automatically as a stepmother I am not worthy of respect, love and appreciation or even the right to have my feelings hurt. It so pathetic how s tepmoms are treated and judged. If a child has issues and a stepmother it must be the stepmothers fault - that's ridiculous. You have no right to judge me.

Ashley - posted on 02/01/2014

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Maybe I am biased because my own daughter has a "step-mother" that could easily out-evil the worst fairy tale witch, but I do think it's unreasonable to make no effort to create a relationship with your step child. I'm not saying that you are not entitled to your feelings, you are, but that fact remains that YOU are the adult in this situation, YOU chose to marry her father, & you might hate to hear it but it IS TRUE that you knew he had a child before you married him. The last commenter said something about "not knowing it would be this bad", well that's a total bs excuse. If you didn't know it would be so bad then you obviously married your husband too soon. No one says that loving your step kid(s) will be easy, & you will never love them in the same way as you love your own, but you need to make an effort to include her or you are going to make her bad behavior worse (& while you are not the sole cause of her behavior, you are a contributor rather than empathetic to the chaos in her life that is making her act out). Kids who act out are looking for attention, love, & understanding & you shutting her out probably hurts her more than you realize. Forget being her step mother for a minute and just be a decent human being and show some empathy for a little girl who has no stability or support network in her life. You might act like an a-hole too if you were in her shoes. She doesn't feel as if you care for her (& she's right), so why should she give two craps about how she makes you feel? Just because she's a kid she should respect you when you have none for her? It seems to me like the GROWN UP should be the one setting the example, just sayin...

Desiree - posted on 01/07/2014

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I completely agree with you Cyndi!!!! Being a step mother is not easy and being told "you knew what you were getting into" really bothers me. Yes I knew he had kids. No, I did not know things would end up as bad as they are.

My husband never tells me anything about not being affectionate with the kids but he will tell them to come give me a hug and kiss before they leave and it's forced on both my part and theirs. Neither one of us (meaning myself or the kids) wants that kind of relationship. I just do not have a bond with my step sons like I do with my own children. That will never change, no matter how much time goes by.

I am not an "evil stepmother", I just didn't fall into the role of step parenting as easily as some others do. There is no wrong or right way to step parent. Some have amazing bonds with their step children and some never will. That's just life. Why would you want to force yourself and be fake about something you just don't feel.

Jessica - posted on 03/23/2013

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I understand how you feel. Everyone tells you to fake it for the kids, but you have to protect and worry about your own sanity. I can't fake it, I will protect, but I do not feel comfortable being affectionate with my 12 year old step son. I can't relate to him about anything. I have tried, but he has no sense of self respect with cleaning himself, he is lazy, and I don't enjoy his company. I don't find it my resonsibily to show his affection and someone shouldn't force you to do that, that is why they have their bio parents! We ar a compliment to the family. It's not your responsibility. You can be kind and fun, but you don't have to be mom!

Cidalia - posted on 01/08/2010

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I can understand that it's harder to feel the same about a step child as for a bio child, but she's just a child. If you have to go through the motions at first, go through the motions. Put an effort. See this child through different eyes... as though she were yours and you wanted to protect her from hurt. You can't expect to magically feel more for her if you keep a distance. I can't entirely relate, I'm afraid, because I have a natural tendency to feel protective towards children in general. I understand what you're saying about having your hubby take up the slack as her other bio parent, but I think what he's getting at is that she needs some motherly affection... he can't be more than a father figure for her. She needs a special female touch. You may not intentionally be going out of your way to exclude her, but you're not going out of your way to include her either. Try to imagine yourself in her shoes... when you feel empathy for someone, it's a lot easier to love them.

Heather - posted on 12/10/2009

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I can understand what you feel about your step-daughter. Sometimes it is difficult for me to express emotions and contain my irritability with my step-son. We have had a lot of problems my step-son over the past year serious problems. And here lately he likes to balance his mother against us or not listen to me. I know he he is a teenager and I expected some resilence.. He lives with us full-time and i have two sons that live with us full-time. Up until this year I have treated him as an equal and always mad ehim feel like a member of our family. But I can understand the complicated emotions that you might feel with your step-daughter

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If my hubby said those things to me, I'd be completely heartbroken. To me, this is my son. He made the decision to commit his life to me, and with that comes a dashing child. However, we made decision together when it came to him.

If my husband wanted to make a family with me, that meant all of me. My son is half me. And he agreed whole heartedly. He wouldn't segregate himself in any part. Given together that we have custody, every decision I make regarding my son also affects him. He gets an equal say in things. He disciplines. He loves. I'm in university, on law track, and he fully engages in every parenting aspect. Taking him to the park, bathing, reading and kissing him good night.

There is a unique relationship with my son and my DH. My son always refers to him as "My Eric" ... He knows that Eric is not his daddy, but that he is a parent. And my hubby takes this with pride.

I also have a memory that makes me proud to have such a strong and loving step-parent. I had an exam, and Eric was watching him. I ended early so I went downtown to catch the tail end of a festival. I saw Eric with my son on his shoulders meandering around booths, talking with other people and the look of joy between the two of them. Knowing how hard he tries to make sure that Atticus feels loved,accepted and safe in his home fills me with an incredible sense of amazement.

It has nothing to do with the ex. His daughter is flesh of him. She's a blessing and should be loved as a person, and because she's his daughter. And you should want that because you love your husband. Affection should be given to every child and young woman to increase her self-esteem. Especially by someone married to her father.

Tara - posted on 12/05/2009

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i am a bio mom and a step mom...kids are 5, 9,10,11,19 year old twins,20 and 22.....so i have sooooo much experience in small children.. teens and adults,, going through it all, and we are ALL a loving family...my hubby and i are a TEAM....think of your bio children... think of someone taking pics of thier siblings all the time and not THEM...or hugging the siblings goodnight all the time and not THEM...wouldent your heart break for YOUR kids if they were treated like this? i sometimes have forced my self to smile and hold my arms out for my step kids... when it was way more natural with my own....i did the SAME for the step kids... kids who are treated lesser than...will get treated lesser than by thier siblings....and have a low self esteem....i am a counsellor and it really breaks my heart to imagine ONE time that little girl watching the other kids getting hugged goodnight and not her..she NEEDS this..from what you wrote, you are who she can only get it from...she needs compliments and love...and one on one time..with alll the kids and full time jobs we planned one on one time with each child, in turns...that makes the child feel very equal...dont " feel bad", its all about learning...and changing negetive patterns...

Christy - posted on 12/04/2009

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Also, if you want your children and the step child to respect you, your gonna hafta teach them what is acceptable and what is not.

Christy - posted on 12/04/2009

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I biologically have 2 children of my own, my daughter is 5, my son is 3 and my step son is 7. I could love a children off the street just as my own. I believe that when you make the commitment to be with someone who already has children, you are committing to those children as well. Kids get vibes just as we do. They notice everything. I treat my stepson no different than my own, I kiss all 3 of them goodnight, I do for all of them the same, Kids need affection, even when they act like they don't. Kids need to feel loved. You are setting an example for your children, and that is how you have to look at things with every decision you make and every thing you do. When my spouse is running late in the mornings, and has to take his son 45 minutes away to school, I pick up the slack and get his son dressed for him, its called family. Its called team work. He would and does the same for me. If you are treating your children differently, they will also treat the step child differently, and that is not fair. That child cannot help it that her parents didn't work out and should not be punished for that. Children need lots of love to grow into healthy adults. The love that you could provide to your step daughter will be appreciated when she grows up. She looks to you, even if you dont realize it. She is a child and children will have attitudes, she may have this attitude because of emotional problems, or because of other issues she is going through. It is tuff for children to adapt to new people, it takes lots of time and love. I have helped my step son with homework, i have kept him many times while his dad is at work, I have bonded with him, it isn't always easy, children get mad, say things they shouldn't, act in ways that makes you angry, but they are children, in training to be whatever they are going to be, ignoring or singling this little girl out is only going to teach her to do the same. Kids need to feel accepted, just as we do. You have to remember that you are the adult, leading these children, teaching them. You are a huge influence to them. It might be a good idea to sit down with your husband and talk with him again, discuss things, or your distance towards his daughter may become a distance between you and your husband.

Katherine - posted on 11/23/2009

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this is what i think.... i think that you should try to have a relationship with your step daughter...i have a step daughter that is 14 years old her father and i have been together for almost four years its tough at times because im not her mother but when you accept the father you accept the WHOLE package try to do things with her if your doing it for your daughters it wont be that much harder to do it for her...maybe if you show her affection she will show you and others affection...me and my husband have two little ones of our own and i try to do the things that i would do for my little girls for her...and if her mother doesnt do the things you do for your children all the more reason you should try to involve her in your world show her that she is loved and that just because you didnt carry her in your tummy for nine months and was up with her all those sleepless night that you still have the capacity to love her as if she were your own .....my husband has a son also and when ANYONE asks me how many children i have i ALWAYS tell them i have four because i love them just as much MAYBE more than there own mother...try not to think of it as you pickin up the slack try to think of it as you being there for this little girl and loving and nurturing her so that one day she can grow up and become a loving mother and friend...

i hope this helps
best wishes always -katherine-

Jenneth - posted on 11/07/2009

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and once again i understand that but do you understand children cant pick or choose thier parents. so they are just out there waiting with thier little arms out for someone to show love or affection how are they going to know about it unless someone shows it to them first

Dawn - posted on 11/07/2009

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I understand how you feel. I had 2 children of my own and my husband had 3 daughters when we married. We now have 1 together. It was and still is very hard for me to treat them like my own children. When we first married (their mother left them when they were little and were raised by their dad) my step-daughters caused a lot of misery for me. They called me names, wouldn't listen to me, stole from my kids, one left the house at 14 to live with her boyfriend, and the list goes on & on. It was very hard to treat them or love them like my own children. I still have problems with this. I feel the same as you...I carried my children and raised them from birth. Have they been disrespectful at times? yes but nothing to the degree of my step-daughters. My children never disrespected their step-father either. I think because they had their dad in their lives they knew he was more like a friend to them. My husband would continuously tell the girls that I was there new mother but I wasn't. I didn't start developing a real relationship with them until they got out of their teen years and 2 of them have become parents now. It's a hard situation to be in. Step-parenting is I believe harder then parenting your own children. It's hard to love kids/people in general when they are disrespectful to you. Maybe you could just try to be more of a friend to her and if all goes well you'll start to develop affection for her. I do agree that they are kids and it's not their fault how their life has turned out. Especially when it's their mom who left, isn't involved, and they never had all the things a real mother does for their children. I do know my step-daughters were extremely jealous of my 2 kids when we married because they had a mom & dad. It still comes up in conversations and we've been married 12 years. They feel like they were cheated in life. But life is what you make of it. Good luck with everything!

Wendy - posted on 11/05/2009

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Are you for real???? How would you feel if your husband treated your kids differently?? I don't care if you carried her or not - you married him she is one of your children now - it's a package deal you get one you get the other. I have two step children and one of my own. I would walk through fire for ANY of them. Now that being said - I have a different realationship with each of them - only because they all have different personalities. We make a point to not do more for one than they other when it comes to gifts. But they all know that they come first, before us but not before eachother. They each get a hug and a kiss before bed or before they walk out the door everyday. The big problem you are going to run into is that your kids are going to see the difference and are going to point it out to your step-daughter. Then how is she going to feel? It sounds like there are going to be some hard roads ahead for you and your husband if things don't change. People come and go in our lives but our children are forever. If your husband has to choose at some point he's most likely going to choose his child (if he's a man worth his salt he will choose his child everytime). You don't want that - it may benifit you to spend some one on one time with your step-daughter and start to build a relationship with her - you may find more love and room in you hearrt.

Amber - posted on 11/01/2009

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i love the fake it til u make it!!!!! and my step-children do really well w/ the hi-fives. sk's have touchy feely issues too!

the hi-fives also work great w/ my pre-teens that are getting too big for public displays of affection.lol

Christi - posted on 10/19/2009

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Just a suggestion: instead of trying to force emotions that don't come naturally, really work to nurture the relationship btw your kids and your SD. The closer they become as sisters the more you may value the role of your SD in the family. I love watching all our children together. The gentleness and fun my older boys (stepsons) show the little ones warms my heart. Anytime you see someone truly loving and enjoying your children, your feelings towards that person will increase. Not a sermon, just a thought...

Kimberly - posted on 10/19/2009

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I seem to be at the other end of the spectrum than you in choice on rearing anothers child. but I have the same issue of the parent not taking up slack where their ex lacked and the man's verbal attempt at guilt of supposed lack of affection or attention on his child.



I have raised my step daughter since she was a 16 months old her mother abandoned her and my partner shortly after the child turned 1. I reared her as if I gave birth to her, spent thousands of dollars and rearranged my entire life to help care for her. It has been almost 6 yrs now I have not in anyway treated her differently than my own 3 daughters.

she has horrible attitude and disrespect towards me and everyone in the families including her dad but in school or to friends parents she is a saint . they believe everything she says and can't believe she is a tryant at home. She is now on a kick of how hard her life is and how she is treated so mean. I have already had to deal with the school counsler , her teacher and the concerned looks of a friends' parent based on what this child is telling them and gaining sympathy for.



the child is spoiled, selfish, disrespectful , hateful and ungrateful. Her father does not believe in disapline and will not allow anyone including me to disapline or correct her in any way. He also promotes contact with her biological mother even though the lawyers, social services and courts made it clear the child should never have any contact at all with her mom at all due to mental illness factors and unsafety of physical care. the more the child speaks with her mom the more behavior issues I have with her. and I unfortunately have seen her mothers mental illness symptoms/charastics in her.



a year ago after i put my foot down about her sleeping in our room or our bed she stood over me in middle of night glaring at me in silence..I woke up to her almost nose to nose with me in a dead ' i hate you glare' ....she acts out in anger whenever I set rules or make daddy stop allowing ridiculous demands.....

it is a constant daily struggle she has to look 'hot' aka sexy and she wants a baby. if she is like this at 6 we will be lucky if she is not slashing tires or pregnant by 13 .

I feel I will be lucky if I literally survive this relationship. I really dread what is coming next.



at age 3 ; play group and observation was suggested to him for a base line on any underlying condition she have inherited from the mother yet he refuses to think anything other than a normal child antics. after 6yrs of rearing the child basically alone while he works and plays on computer I am still NOT looked at or thought of as her mom by anyone including her. And she is becoming more of a concern to me in her behavior based on her emoptions.



I will never date another man with a kid from previous marriage again. I heard horror stories of ex trouble and bratty kids but I never imagined the extreme BS I have been through with both the Psycho Ex and the child.

The dad is hard worker, easy to get along with ..he just completely lacking in any real parenting skills and totally blind to his kid.



why do I stay? I ask myself this daily... 6 yrs. a man that is nothing like my ex husband in any way A BIG PLUS!! Well like I said I reared the child as my own..I love them both. however they are both making it easier to leave every day...by pushing me further away. my children are grown and never lived with us and for all his good traits he has a major fault with me and that is he does not think of my children as his family nor does he go out of the way to treat them so.



do not let the man guilt you into rearing his kid ALONE.. BUT put yourself into the childs shoes and what you feel she deserves to have and get out of life . it is not up to you to fill either parents showes or make up for their mistakes.....



however : yes i do think that since you made the choice to be a step parent that you should be a parent also to that child and make it a family : it can't be yours, his and then the 2 of you..it will never work. make him pay for her stuff and make him attend her recitals or whatever also share the burdon of running his daughter wear she needs to be....I have found the hard way that if the man has to pay and actually contribute effort participation he no longer cares if the kid does a damn thing. LOL

if you are in this relationship for the long haul and have the kid full time or even half time then you should form a bond with her. maybe not mother daughter but at least trusted friend and she should feel like part of the family not an after thought or a burdon.



also your children will pick up how you feel and think and treat this step child and they too will act the same towards her.



you are very lucky if he excepted and pays for you childrens stuff. the least you can do is be open to his daughter. it is a give and take in a realtionship when one comes with kids it is a package deal..all or nothing.

Courtney Faith - posted on 10/18/2009

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I feel that this is beyond harsh. My husband treats both of my children like they are his own. He doesn't care that he is Filipino and I'm white and people constantly wonder whose children they are if he takes them out alone. Then again I made it clear to him that we were a package deal. If he wants me then he takes me and his kids. It appears that your husband accepted your daughter and helps pay for her extracurricular activities. I understand if his little girl is not accepting of your affection and love but it appears you just don't do any of those things. If her own mother according to your account doesn't spend time with her then find it in your heart to do so. She deserves to feel loved in both homes. Maybe if you give it a shot you will find yourself loving one more child. Just a thought.

Kimberly - posted on 10/18/2009

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When my husband and I were married....he had two children and so did I. We are a very "blended" family if you will.....not to mention the fact that he is black, I am white, my children are bi-racial and his children are black. In the sight of the public I'm sure that they don't often know what to think of us. His children have a great mother, but I am a great mother too. I can't imagine not loving his children like they are my own. THEY ARE mine, they are his...we are a team. ALL 6 of us. We are fortunate that our children fell into line with one another like they'd know each other all of their lives. If there is love in your home then it should be spread evenly. Everyone should get those hugs, kisses, tickles, pictures, etc. They are children...that is all. They want and DESERVE to be loved. Realize that her own mother is insufficient....that is why her father married YOU. You have the love to give and to raise her properly to eventually be a good mother, wife and person. But you should....must treat her equally. She's a sister, and a daughter. You need to give all your love to his child and him give all his love to your children. You would be surprised what a simple kiss goodnight does for the heart of a child. And remember...."steps" are used to travel between the floors of your home. Be blessed!

[deleted account]

I'm in a blended family relationship. We each brought two kids to the family and we are now having one of our own. My kids are full time with us and his come at least 3 days a week. I have felt, at times, he could be nicer to my daughter, equal to his, but realized that he absolutely is and I was sensitive (hormones?)

For me, I feel like I need to build my own relationships with his girls (6 & 8 y/o) and not make it about doing more for them, or their relationship with their mom. I recognize that there should be boundaries for me as their dad's girlfriend, especially with the new baby coming. They have all kinds of questions about being pregnant, how I got pregnant and the delivery. I do not want to rob their mother of those "first" time discussions so I keep it light and we mostly talk about baby names and them picking what they get to do for the baby.

I think the more you incorporate his daughter into your daily routines the better. Make her a scrapbook page, take pictures of just her. You're not doing this for him, do it for yourself and your relationship with her.

Elisabeth - posted on 10/18/2009

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I think feeling differently towards skids is totally natural. She is not your kid. And, she have two parents already. You can not replace her mother *even if you wanted to.* Your responsibility to your husband's daughter is to make sure she feels welcome in your home and to help facilitate her relationship with her father. Fake it till you make it? Kids are like mini hound-dogs when it comes to sniffing out emotions. If you don't *love* your stepdaughter, it's ok! As long as you are treating her with respect and kindness, you have done your job.

Alexandra - posted on 10/16/2009

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I have two step kids, and have been a step mom for 4 and a half years and my first baby is only 4 months, so more experience as a step aprent than a biological parent at this point......fake it till you make it. Do the best that you can within your boundaries (figure out what you're ok with and not ok with) but as you become comfortable push those boundaries again. My SK's mom is not all that wonderful of a mom either, which made it more important to me that they remember an adult doing something with them that they enjoy. As long as they know that you are there and care for them, hugs aren't necessary. It's ok to tell them that people show caring in all sorts of ways, some people hug, some people tell stories, some people cook for those they love....there are all different forms of caring. And yes, you did marry your husband and kids come with it but by no means do you need to feel guilty for not doing things you aren't comfortable with. Remember that YOUR relationship with their dad comes FIRST before anything

Melissa - posted on 10/16/2009

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I think you may be being a little harsh. Here's my thought...when you met your husband, he was a package deal...him AND the daughter...you "married" them both. Granted, your SD DOES have a real mother who SHOULD be doing all of these "mom n daughter" things with her. She's apparently not and I feel sorry for your SD for that. However, as a step-mom, you have to get to a point where you accept and love your step-children as your own. If your SD sees you paying more attention to your own kids than you are to her, do you think she will feel resentment towards you? I agree with you in that your SD attitude isn't the direct result of you. However, perhaps she does feel excluded by you as her step-mother. I think when you have step-children involved favoritism is hard not to do. I have two SD myself and find it really difficult not to favor my kids over them. However, you are a family and need to think of yourself as such. Your SD needs to give you the same kindness, respect, and attitude that you give her. I guess it might work both ways. Just my two cents.....



BTW I read your second post and just wanted to let you know that I do understand the whole "can't force love" thing. I also totally agree that I don't get excited to see my SD after they have been with their mom either. But I also would do anything for them and when they hurt, I hurt, when they are sad, Im sad...same as with my daughter. I would just try as a step mother to have one-on-one time with your SD. Perhaps that would help you two bond?

Elmary - posted on 10/16/2009

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I dont agree at all with Jenneth. Actually nothing she says. I dont believe for one second that Racheal is saying that she doesn't love her but there are all sorts of love. Nothing can compare to a love for a child especially one that you have carried for 9+ months and gave birth to.

Miranda - posted on 10/16/2009

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Just reread what I wrote. It comes off as a little judgemental. That was not my intention at all. I really do understand the feelings and emotions you are having. I just think that children are priceless and I think that all of the things and relationships in their lives determine how they turn out as adults. I think it is very important how this situation is handled. I wish you nothing but the best! And nothing but the best for all your children, biological and step.

Miranda - posted on 10/16/2009

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I have a stepson and can totally understand where your coming from. At the same time, my first two children are not my husbands. So he to has step children. Step kids do things that get on your nerves like your own kids could never do to get on your nerves. I know! I feel really sad for your stepdaughter as I do my children some times.



What I wish my husband and in-laws would do is act like it. I know that hubby and in-laws will never have that bond that 'real' families have with my two oldest, however, I don't think it is asking a whole lot to pretend that they do.



I have a niece who biologically is not my brothers daughter. At first it was really hard. 14 years later, I see no difference in my feelings for her than I do my nephews. I have been there for all the birthdays and special moments, bought for her just as I did my other nieces and nephews, no more no less. It can and will become love. Maybe not the same love that you have for your children, but that's okay.



I don't know if any of this made this, different thoughts keep popping into my head. Start slow, do little at a time. I mean, really, how hard is it to give a child a hug? It may be uncomfortable for you but maybe it will do a world of good for this precious child. And to me, that is what matters.



You have the opportunity to help shape this childs future. I guess it's up to you what you'll do with it.

Shannon - posted on 10/15/2009

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I don't know if this will help, but because I have been there with 3 step daughters, I understand how this can happen. We had a motto in our house after my son was born, and it went like this: "It's not more or less, it is just different". I on the other hand wanted to love them like my own, but their mother was constantly reminding me and them that I was just a step parent, and I was to just take care of them, and provided for their needs and that was that. Maybe you can create some kind of a hand bump, hi five, or something that is just between the two of you, that would make her feel special, but would not make you feel uncomfortable. Maybe after doing this for awhile the other feelings will follow. I hope this is helpful...

Jenneth - posted on 10/15/2009

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no i dont i love them all even when they r not with me.she is lacking as far as a mother is concerned b-cause nobody cares enuff to give her that hug or that kiss goodnight. how would you feel just by chance if you were not there and no on e did those things for your daughter the extra special mommy things that you do which are great you could be the difference between her becoming a killer stalker or something like that. you didnot start the cycle but when you said i do to your husband it was i do to him and his child.you should have your husbands back you dont have to hug her and kiss her all the time but show some type of affection toward her that shows you care. you are right when you say you didnt start her being like that but she clearly is screaming for attention from anybody or somebody

Rachael - posted on 10/15/2009

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I am starting to feel bad. I don't exclude her by any means...I am way more the parent that tries to plan fun things for the kids, takes them to get ice cream after school, figures out craft projects that they can work on together, etc. She'd be the 1st to tell you that I am way more "child" driven than my husband or her mom (they always think of things that would be fun for adults that kids can come along to do...I focus on fun for the kids because watching them have a good time makes me happy). I care about her well being and safety whole heartedly. And I try to be a friend to her also. I just don't look at her and think the same rthings I do about my own kids. I have a friend who just had her first baby last year and, soon after, got into an argument with her husband about how she only ever takes pictures of their baby and not his son...and calls him to tell him cute things the baby did and never anything about his son. She felt like she was a bad person and I told her that 1) it was her first child of her own and EVERY new mom takes 7,000 pictures of their first and 2) as long as she was being fair and kind to both kids that she should not feel guilty if she didn't love her stepson the way she did her own baby. Having a parent child relationship is like no other; no matter what they do or say, as a mother, you will always love them with all your heart. However, I know you can't force love and, like I said, I care about her and wouldn't let anything happen to her...I just can't see myself getting anxious to see her after she's been with her mom for a weekend. I have never been a "cuddler"...I like my space...but with my own kids it's different; I like to hold them and have them sit on my lap and give them lots of hugs and kisses. Heck, I kiss them more often than I do my husband! LOL! When I think of my ex's girlfriend, I hope that she's kind to my daughter but I would prefer she be more like an aunt than a mom; I don't want to imagine her laying in her bed with her at night and reading her stories or doing other "mommy" things with her (my SD's mom made the same requests when I first entered their lives). I dunno...I am totally rambling...but, bottom line, I love my husband and I would never wish his daughter weren't with us; I just don't feel the love or affection for her that I do my own children. I wonder if it's different for stepdads??

Domonique - posted on 10/15/2009

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I don't have stepchildren but my brother has a stepdaughter who is seven and a biological daughter who is 1 yr and 3 months. So I have heard about the frustration of the relationship. But the bottom line is that these are CHILDREN. I have a 3yr old son and twin girls and I can't bear the thought of any of them, although blood related to FEEL unloved. You can't force a natural affection for your husbands child but you love your husband and his child is a part of him. You married him and all that comes with him. The fact that you realize you don't do any of those things with her is like you are not doing things like that on purpose. I'm not saying that you have to go out of your way or pretend she is YOUR child but try to do a little more than just live with her, she didn't ask to not be with both of her biological parents. Adults control childrens lives and can manipulate their emotions, you are the other adult in her life...just try your best.

Pam - posted on 10/15/2009

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I think the one thing you definitley do not want to do is to make your step daughter feel left out of anything that you would do with your own children. She may just need that "special" attention from you that she is not getting from her biological mother. She may actually want that from you!!! Show compassion and understanding for her feelings knowing what she is going thru with the blended family. Just remember it is also very hard on children when their own parents go on with another relationship.

Elmary - posted on 10/14/2009

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It may just take a while to feel more affection to her. I know that it comes so easy to our own but when it comes to others its a little delayed and not the same. I completely think that this is natural. I have helped raise me husbands son since 14 months of age and now he is 9 years but it still doesn't come so natural to give him hugs and kisses. Partly because he is also not a affectionate kid. I see my self in your shoes and its nice to here that others feel the same.

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