what do you do when your in-laws treat your kids different?

[deleted account] ( 29 moms have responded )

Just curious if others are experiencing this...

My inlaws are "nice" to my 2 little boys when we are around them, which is rare, but after that.....we have had forgotten birthdays (so they claim they forget), no phone calls to my kids and/or they call to speak to their side but not my kids or even me.

I have told my husband that at this point, I dont want to go to his sisters, or moms etc again because obviously it is fake-and just a show-because it seems quite obvious that they have not really accepted me or my 2 kids into their family or circle. he of course says I will make myself look bad but I tell him that they are only 5 and 7 years old, they have gotten their feelings hurt and when their feelings have been hurt-I have been hurt as well. Any advice on what to do??? My husband thinks maybe writing a letter or an email to his 2 sisters and his parents might help.....

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Wanna - posted on 03/13/2013

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Jill,

I can not disagree more. I have dealt with this for years now. From my husband's entire side. They are not fond of me and take it out on my kids which are their biological family because it is the only way they can hurt me. It used to hurt badly but I no longer care. At first I didn't notice it and did not make an issue out of it but as kids get older and got more involved with social media, they see what goes on. They notice when there is a family get together that we were not invited to. The also are old enough to understand when they are asked to (and yes this happened) step out of a family photo.

It is so bad now that we have other relatives asking us about what is happeneing as it is so blatant it can't be ignored, and eventually it comes out to light. It can only be hidden or ignored for so long. Don't forget with all the social media out there, it's will be noticed. That is exactly what has happened with my family. My in laws are all on facebook, they all have pictures of each others kids all over their pages but absolutely NONE of ours. What they don't understand or maybe care is that people are noticing, not just my kids, the entire extended family. You can't be a complete witch and not expect people to see it. I have been asked about it by relatives and I see no need to lie. I tell them the trutch that we are not close, I don't know why, that there seems to be a family clique that we do not fit into. It is as if we don't exsist, they have erased us from the family. We have been married the longest, had the first grandchildren, and are completely ignored. They have begun to call relatives that do interact with us and ask them why they are. How do I know? Because we have been told. I contacted one person to discuss why they are doing this and was promptly shooed off the phone by her as she "did not have time to discuss it" Please not she did not deny it, just not enough time in her life to discuss it, but plenty of time to call other people questoning them.

So how would I handle this? If you see it happening confront it immediatley, don't argue with them even if they deny it (and they will). Once confronted understand that you can't change people, if they suck, they suck period. (can you start to see why they may not like me?) I have moved on. I have less to do with them than they do me, I don't care about them or their kids. That is just the way it is. Do I feel badly, I used to, not anymore. They have made my children feel bad long enough, they have drained any ounce of love I once had for them from me, I feel nothing for them at all, absolutely nothing. A big part of me moving on was that one of my children was just in a near fatal car accident recently, not one of them called, came by, sent a card, nothing, nothing, not even common human decency. That told me that they will never wake up to their actions. I watch then treat strangers better than their own flesh and blood. Now my husband doesn't even want anything to do with them. I am sure I will be blamed. That's fine, whatever. LOL

Ana - posted on 08/01/2012

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Heck no! No e-mail is going to solve any of this.. They don't like you! They don't accept you or your kids!

Don't waste a lot of your time trying to get them to like you, if you ask me...

Some people never change..But

You do not have to send your kids over there because if they are showing a difference in the kids, then they are MORE THAN WELCOME to come see ALL the kids at your house! And that's that! Because they are the kind of people that need to be monitored! So they have proven.

You sound like a great parent..You are responsible for the emotional well being of all the kids, not just the ones that are blood related to you..So with that said, you do what is best for all, not for these 2 or thoes 2!

Melissa - posted on 07/07/2012

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I wouldn't take my kids around them. I have been in a similar situation. I feel if you can't treat them all the same,you won't be around them.

Mary - posted on 01/07/2013

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Having the same problem with my MIL. Your husband needs to step up, it is his family.

Me - posted on 11/16/2012

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I had something happen to my son from my fiance's family. I have 3 kids and my fiance has 2. Last year we didnt get the chance to spend christmas with his family because of work and things but one Saturday right afterwards he took his 2 and my youngest son over to visit his parents. While visiting they gave his 2 kids $10 each as a Christmas present and didn't even acknowledge that my son was there. It really hurt his feelings especially when his kids started teasing my son. Now we have been together over 4 years and his parents have always been nice and good to my kids and we have had no problem. But it really irritated me and I did get mad because I see us all as a family not his and mine. My whole family buys for his children for Christmas the same as they do mine. I do understand that his parents are on a fixed income and cannot afford alot. Much of my family is on a fixed income too. But each child got at least a dollar something it is not the amount it is the thought that counts. I have always been raised to believe if you don't have enough for everyone then no one should get. I do understand that is their grandkids if they didn't have anything for my son then I believe they should have gave the gift to my fiance and told him to give them to his children later when my son wasn't around and alot of feelings would have been spared. I do not like to see my children hurt and I will stand up for them when they can't. So now we have a understanding if that comes up agan my fiance has agreed with me that his parents will be told that we have 5 kids not 2 that my children are a part of his family too.

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Hannah - posted on 06/06/2013

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My disabled son gets ignored by in-laws but other son gets all the attention- spoken to in- laws but always reverts back- the other day my husband was telling them that he rode his bike properly for the first time- a huge thing for my son and mil just turned to other son and said ' did you ride your bike '

[deleted account]

I am in the same boat. My inlaws treat my 2 kids completely differently. FThey come over to pick up their bio grandson and take him to McDonalds and won't take my bio children along. In fact at times they take their other grandchild along as well and yet my 2 kids need to "stay home". They refuse to take all 3 of OUR children. They have OPENLY made it very clear that my children are NOT their grandkids. It hurts me to no end. This is behaviour that a 5 year old would be condemned for! Imagine, to be grown adults and have no relevance for other children is crude and disgusting. I know that I cannot force them to accept my children as their own grandchildren, however somewhere in this, there needs to be a line of respect. All this to say that my husband has finally decided to end this and has told them "it's all of us or none of us".

They are going to have to choose. I'm not looking forward to their choice.

Alisha - posted on 11/12/2012

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I have a 10 now @ the time he was 5 and were we live is with my ex in-laws and i have three children and the 10 year old is not my ex husbands and my ex husbands sister's basically told my son that they dont like him and there not going to treat him the same so they don't respect me or him and everything he dose or says is an issue but let my youngest two say or do something and its ok . So i isolate him so that he dose not get hurt by them .they even go to the point were they would by something give it to the kids that r related to them and not give my son any im felling like im failing at protecting him its even got to the point were if my oldest gos to another of his relative s house and its time to come home he crys and then i cry he asks me every day when can we move but i just dont have it right now. What can i do and iv tryed everything for them to like us but nothing s worked what dob i do ..... please help

Vivian - posted on 07/30/2012

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1st pray about it becuz u dnt wnt to come r feel like ur cumin between him n his mom sis r diff. but u should tlk to her 1on 1women to women speak ur mind of coarse respectfully let her know how it makes ur children feel let her no that ur there mom there voice u hve to speak 4 them if u dnt who else will n let her know with all do respect how u feel make sure u say with al do respect so she wont feel disrespected n tell her i have 13 children tht i had ive been married 4 eight yrs now i had 9 before we said i do only 1 was his i had tht problem2 but until my husband stood up 4 us after the 1 on1 wit his mom n let her know tht he do love hr but if she cnt respect n except me n all our children we dnt use the words step n our home he tells the wrld tht they r all his tht we tht ment him to cnt come around but she did it took bout 2 months but we all great now wen she excepted us everybody el;se fell right in God bless hope the 1 on1 works r he will have to stand up 4 his famil;y

Patricia - posted on 07/10/2012

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my inlaws and sister and brother inlaw ae horrible they are not nice to the kids or to me my kids are scare of them i don't blame them they are always doing something to wreck our lives trying to get custody when they don't even want to see them she has told people that she hates her grankids from her son tony walks past me in the street and threatens to call docs and thgs like that rings the school and department of education on me alot but they are wise to that now i get dotors certificates she does not see them spend time with them used to say mean horrible things to hurt the kids dad her son and would smile when she seen the hurt look on his face we do not have any thing to do with them any more

Jill - posted on 07/10/2012

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My inlaws don't send birthday cards/gifts or call, and these are their biological grandchildren. They are perfectly fine and nice in person, so I don't consider it to be an issue. Since I don't make it an issue, neither do my kids.

If your kids are keeping score and feeling hurt, it is because you've taught them to do so. These are not even their grandparents, so I think you're going to have to get over it. Unemotionally explain to your kids that they have their own grandparents, and their step-siblings have their own grandparents.

Chaya - posted on 07/10/2012

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Whether the children or bio or step shouldn't be the issue. Children should be treated with respect no matter what. I have had foster children that my dad's wife treated like her own grandchildren, but she treated all children like that, she treated me like garbage, or worse, but children are wonderful. I had to keep my children, foster, nieces,or otherwise away from her because they saw how she treated me.

Nat - posted on 07/05/2012

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It's one thing when your family do things that hurt you but it is another thing altogether when they hurt your kids. I feel for you your family does not sound supportive or loving at all, and your right you dont have to allow them to do it any more. I have a step mother and although her family were always nice to me, I always knew from a very young age that I wasn't accepted as a family member. Now that I have kids I painfully see my kids thrown into a similar situation. My inlaws have always ignored my kids and my husbands brothers have never been uncles to them in any real sense. This has recently gotten worse and they basically have no contact at all with my kids anymore. On my side of the family my mum & dad have always shown their love but the others with the exception of attenting their birthdays haven't actively been involved in their lives. They have never watched them play any sports despite the fact that they all know both my kids have always been very passionate about their sports , attended special assemblies where they have won awards, taken them on any outings, to the movies or even shopping or any of the things that the percieved loving families do. There is a huge age gap through my dads second marriage so I had my kids much earlier than 2 of my siblings. Before they had kids although it hurt having this gaping hole in my kids lives I made excuses to myself for them. Until your a parent yourself you never understand the importance of these things etc etc.. But guess what, since they all now have children nothing has changed despite the fact that they show interest in each others kids. This is very hurtful for me and my kids and until recently I was involved with theirs kids as much as possible. Luckily one of my dearest friends & her husband have always played Aunt and Uncle to them, and watched nearly all of their sports, attended special school assemblies, taken them shopping and done many loving things throughout their lives. It saddens me that it has hurt my kids that with the exception of my mum & dad, my own family have never been interested in doing any of these things with my kids but I will be forever thankful that my darling friends have. Why don't you choose other loving and supportive people in your kids life who are happy to get involved with your kids and their lives as I have done. They still get the love and attention from somewhere and I think if the thing that should come naturally doesn't your kids are probably better off without their involvement.

Sharlene - posted on 12/08/2011

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My kids are aswsome towards my parent step grand parents and my parents ,

[deleted account]

My SKIDS are older, so I don't expect my parents to do anything special for them. (besides they have bad attitudes every time they go there) I won't subject my folks to that, and I won't tolerate that from them. So I just don't visit my parents w/ my SKIDS.

Ashley - posted on 11/20/2011

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kids need to be treated the same bottum line is if my inlaws treat my kids diffrnt they dont see them, im not letting my children be hurt for adult satisfaction.

MamaTo3 - posted on 11/20/2011

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My DH and I have seen obvious favortism with his mom towards my SD over my two sons. But in our case all three kids are my DH's children, so they are all MIL's biological grandkids. We just deal with it by not really going around much. MIL has always gone through BM instead of my DH to get SD when she wants, so that's fine for them. Never once has she specifically asked us to see the boys that we've told her no, but we just kind of keep to ourselves. My DH isn't close to his mom so it's not like we'd be comfortable going over to just hang out so she can see the kids, and we've never even been invited to do so anyway. But on a couple occasions I HAVE offered to bring the boys over to see her on her day off and she told me "I'm working." Ha. So I don't even try anymore, if she wanted to see them she'd ask. Her partner always says they'd love to babysit "anytime" but when we actually need it they're usually not available. MIL lives within a mile from us and sees our kids maybe four or five times a year, and not because we keep them away from her. For us, there are also other uncomfortable factors besides just the favortism that keep us at a distance, but to me the favortism is quite enough. My kids don't need to grow up thinking they're not as important or special as their sister in grandma's eyes, and they sure don't need to be USED to get to their sister (ex: MIL volunteered to babysit once without us even asking, we try to take her up on it, she emphasizes that she'll take *all three* kids, we say we don't have SD that day so it'd just be the boys... and suddenly she's too busy to babysit!!!) And this is heresay, but we've been told by someone in the family that MIL openly admited to favoring SD, because she doesn't want her "left out" of the family just because her mom is no longer with my husband. That's nice to not want her left out, but she's NOT left out and MIL overcompensates anyway. MIL gets her for family functions as well as playdates with my niece, so she's definitely included. She sees my MIL and niece much more than my boys do, and of course she sees us every week. She's not left out. If anything, she's much more connected to and included in the family than our other two kids, and MIL doesn't seem too worried about THEM being left out. Regardless, I feel like there's no good excuse for open favortism anyway. Not only does it give the kids a very hurtful perspective of the grandparent, but over time it creates resentment between siblings or cousins. I know because I've seen it in my own family growing up, and it's just not fair to the kids. It's hurtful and childish.

Audrea - posted on 11/17/2011

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I have the same issue with almost all of my inlaws. I had a son before I met my BF. He was 4 months old when we got together (been together 5 years). My BF is the only father my son has ever known. We also have a daughter together. His whole family treats my daughter like a princess but totally ignores my son. It drives me crazy and I have said something to all of them. A few of them are doing better but I've told them all, "If you can't treat my 2 kids the same, then you don't need to know either of them" My BFs aunt hasn't seen my kids for going on 2 years because she refuses to accept my son. It's her loss. I am now expecting baby #3 and don't expect anyone to be there for me.
I don't believe this is fair but I have to 'protect' my son from feeling left out. Both of my kids are my life and I would give the world to them if I could.

Jessica - posted on 06/24/2009

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i disagree with some of this yes he should tell his family but he should be sticking up for his family as well and that dos not mean his sister and parents but his children

Jessica - posted on 06/24/2009

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i havnt experenced this from my inlaws horray for good inlaws (my fiance is not my oldest sons biological father but he has been his father since Ty was 9 months old and Ty is 4 now) but i have experenced it from my own uncles and aunts, (im basically the lost cause of that family because i live the farest away and my own past) mostly from my aunt shelly I didnt handle it well ( the c word and calling Shelly husband a spineless sack of s#$% which is my actual uncle and i havnt spoken to that side of the family since Oct now i dont suggest doing what i did. i think your husband is right maybe not an email but a phone call its more personal. let them know that both your children are old enough to notice these things and that if you have done any harm to the inlaws it should not be held against your and husbands children ( might work best if you say your husbands name first) or maybe about a month before such ocasation give them a call and mention what your plans are for the big days that gives them fair notice and then its on them to follow through.it also help if your husband mentions it to them as well then they cant point fingers at you and say your causing trouble.

If these things dont work then i agree with you and if they cant treat your children the way family should be treated the inlaws should not have the privilage of getting to know your children when your children will only fell like the black sheep

Di - posted on 06/21/2009

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I think it has to come from him and not you. I think it would be a mistake to go in there and demand because then they do feel forced. Wouldn't it mean more if it wasn't forced? If he decides to do that, then let it be his choice not you demanding it either and if he doesn't then allow him to make that choice and please don't see it as a non-supportive thing. It will make him feel like he has to choose between his family and you. That is the quickest way to cause trouble in your marriage. It is hard for him, because he probably feels that you are right, but doesn't want to cause trouble in his family and he doesn't know how to express it to you. He would be hurting that you are hurting. My understanding of people is that if you 'make' them do anything it only causes resentment. Maybe a better way is to go to the parents and say to them, do you mind if we buy a present on your behalf for the kids birthdays and explain that the kids feel left out etc. It solves it for the time being without forcing the issue with your husband. Its a gentle way to show the parents that there is a problem without being aggressive. But you have to be prepared for it to come to nothing. My sil's husband had two kids prior to their marriage who are now adults. They have nothing to do with the stepmothers family and the stepfamily doesn't acknowledge the relationships. I choose to acknowledge them as niece and nephew but as I have never met the girl in 6 years, I haven't got a relationship with her. When I introduce him to people its as a nephew, but the rest of the family don't. So maybe they never will accept your kids as part of the family and I know that is sad for you and it hurts you, but thats how life is sometimes. Its not a personal thing, its their values. It wouldn't matter who you are. Maybe step back and look at how they are towards you at family get togethers. Do they talk to you and the kids, do they treat you just like the other members? If the answer is yes, then its not a personality thing. But if the answer is no, then it is and that is a total different issue. Hope I have helped, I know its hard when you are in that situation. I am the second wife in a conservative catholic family so my inlaws aren't that very friendly towards me either. But they aren't nasty, just dealing with their own demons and I try not to take that personally, for my husband's sake. Good luck.

[deleted account]

I just talked to a friend of min last night who is in the same situation but all of the inlaws treat the kids the same...and she said she thinks my husband should say (as part of his speech) that if they arent going to send presents for all 4 of the boys, dont send anything at all because it is showing favortism. I dont know how well I think that will go over though. Does that sound harsh?? I know what my husband is going to say too....that he doesnt want to say that AND that his family will of course feel like he is "forcing" something on them. Again, I truly feel that if he said something or I did, if you dont make it about him and I or even me getting bothered by it but about the kids and tell them that they DO notice the difference and they have gotten their feelings hurt, that they will understand. And if they dont or they refuse to...then it shows that they are really just jerks. Any thoughts anyone?

Tracy - posted on 06/20/2009

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I have the same problem . I have three children by someone else and my better half 's parents or should I say his mother treats them like someone is making her speak or interact with them.I don't want to say something but I feel like I am going to have too.

Becki - posted on 06/15/2009

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if i in anyway felt my stepkids feeling were hurt by this i would immediatly speak to my father and change the situation. we never discussed it, things just went the way they did and we left it at that. i think you should talk to your in laws. they very well may not realise what they are doing and more so how it effects your boys' feelings. i know i am going to have a talk with my stepkids and see how they feel about it. best of luck corrie!

[deleted account]

Well I will respond to a few people....firstly, the 2 boys who get ignored or not recognized are mine and then my 2 stepsons are my husbands of course, and he has full custody. So we are a family of 6...not just part time here and there with any set of kids. I know it takes time for "the family" to accept the other new set of children but I do find it rude to not acknowledge b-days and holidays etc. They tend to use the excuse that "my kids should be seeing their father on occasions so that is why they dont invite them etc". They do feel (I think) that my kids have my mother as a grandma but unfortunately my mom is still young and only wants to be a grandma when it is convenient for her. 2 days max is about all of the patience she has...and now that we are in California and ALL of our family is still in Florida....getting b-day cards and talking to all of the kids on the phone would be nice-for them and for us. Because this is the only way we are all going to continue getting to know one another.

For Becki-I dont think its wrong what you guys are doing as long as that is the agreement. I grew up with a step dad and step brothers and sisters and my mom and step dad just kinda decided that she would handle our side of the family and he would handle his side.......so its not unheard of. We unfortunately have not come to any type of agreement or understanding becuz my husband says that he thinks that is wrong and we are one family blah blah blah.......so I need to keep trying. Arrgggg!

Becki - posted on 06/14/2009

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IF these are just your children and not yours and hubbys, then i see this differently. I have two step children (ages 13 & 16), i do not feel it is my fathers repsonsibilty to be a grandfather to them. they have their own grandparents just as my kids do. now my father is always very nice to them and treats them with respect, as they do to him. but he does not buy them gifts for x-mas or thier b-days. are we wrong? i guess that question is better directed towards my step children. but i would like to hear what others think?

Missi - posted on 06/14/2009

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my mother had issues accepting my stepson but only because she was worried about losing him if it didnt work out between me and his father! if its been a long time then they need to either deal with it or you just have to not care! it will be thier loss! they wont be close to your children and theyll miss out on the children!! im sure your kids have enough people that love them anyway!!

Di - posted on 06/13/2009

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Sorry Corrie, just trying to get my facts right here. The children are yours or both yours and your husbands? If they are both of yours then shame on the grandparents and aunties, but if they are just yours, then you need to give the others time. My parents don't acknowledge my sd's as they do my sons. They talk to them as they do anyone if on a rare occasion they are visiting when the girls are. I do not get upset and neither does my husband because they already have two grandparents that do their grandparenty role.



Your husband made the decision to marry you. None of them had any choice. It takes a long time for family ties to be forged. Many times I have felt like walking away from my inlaws because of the way they treat me or our sons, and the boys are blood to them. But I keep trying for my kids sake. Eventually you will break down the barriers but it takes perseverence. Just hang in there and keep trying. Stop expecting anything, then when they start to do more, respond positively. But if you expect nothing and thats what they do then you wont be disappointed and you wont end up resentful. BTW my mil makes a great show of giving cards out with a dollar for every year that the person has been born in it, so if you are 30 you get $30 etc. But she has never wished me a happy birthday even, but I know for a fact she sends my husbands ex wife a birthday card (don't know if she gets the money). lol You can become really bitter if you let it get to you. Just give it time is probably the only thing you can do. Good luck.

Sara - posted on 06/11/2009

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How long have you and your husband been together? That may (or may not) have something to do with it. At some point I would sit down with all three of them (mom and sisters) and gently tell them how you and your kids feel, and that feelings have been hurt. It may simply be that they don't realize that they're doing it, or it may go deeper than that. I hope, for you and your kids's sakes that it is just miscommunication. Good luck sweetie

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