Step Children vs. Biological Children

Jackie - posted on 04/19/2010 ( 56 moms have responded )

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So I believe that some of you are step moms, some of you have children who have step moms (or dads if you have remarried), and some of you have no experience with the situation. So I think it will be very interesting to see what each of the three different groups takes this one. I do think it would be helpful if everyone states which one of the three they are.

Do you think that step children and biological children ever truly receive 100% the same things/treatment from parents (in terms of anything you can think of: gifts, attention, criticism, support...whatever)? Some families blend seamlessly, others have it rough the entire time, do you think this affects any of the above?

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Im a stepmother and i can honestly say i hate my stepdaughters guts. Mind its taken 14 years of hell to get to this point so please dont judge too harshly. She is the typical spoilt daddys girl had everything her own way from the moment her father left her mother because hubby felt guilty. Shes now 25 has two kids of her own and we dont see each other at all. Last time we did she ripped us off a couple of thousand pounds so not really keen to see her again. I think if my hubby and i split up i wouldnt get into another relationship its not fair on the kids or on any future kids i would have because its almost impossible to have a blended normal family with the word step involved. To those who do manage it mind i am full of admiration.

Christina - posted on 10/22/2010

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I am a pro in this area. My parents were divorced when I was a toddler, both remarried. My stepdad adopted me when I was 9yrs old. My stepmom was abusive to my older brother and me. I had a baby as a teenager, and his father and I split while I was pregnant with him. His dad is married now. I got married, then divorced, and now I'm common law married with my boyfriend. I bring four children to the relationship, he brings one. Sooooo, I am a stepmom, deal with my child's stepparent, AND have stepparents! Our five children get equal attention and love from us. I have watched Shawn deal with my four when his son is around, and everything is equal. We see them as OUR children. We love them equally. I personally think if you can not love your stepchild like your own biological children, you should not enter into a relationship where a child is present. That child was there before you, and that child should not suffer at your hands.

Avvy - posted on 11/07/2010

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From what I have witnessed even bio-children don't get 100% of the same things or treatments,as long as each child receives what they NEED then it doesn't really make a difference.

Alesha - posted on 06/28/2011

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I have been a step child and currently have a step child. I do believe that step children and biological children can receive 100% the same things/treatment from parents. Children can be treated equally when there are no outside individuals causing a seperation between the two. It also takes mature parents working together to help the child understand the importance of bonding as a family in all situations. When i was a step child my step father loved me and my siblings unconditionally and we were accepted by "his family." We were made to feel welcome and accepted our step siblings unconditionally. Being a step parent myself i find it difficult to even things out because often times it is other individuals who cause the strain within the relationship of the step parents and biological parents. It's especially bad when people attempt to make the step child superrior to the biological children. Kids are kids and without the misleading actions of the other adults they can be accepted and treated 100% equally. Naturally the bond between the step parent and the children in the home versus the child who does not live in the home appears to be stronger because there is more interaction. Individuals from the outside looking in may think that the children in the home receive more. That does not mean that the step child is being treated any differently. Sadly when it comes to being involved in being a step parent or step child the actions of others can alter the relationship of that immediate circle. My children are step children to my husband and i can say that he loves them uncondotionally. I have a step child (biologically my husbands) and i love her and accept her unconditionally.

Nikkole - posted on 11/16/2010

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I have a stepdad my mom and him has been marreid since i was 3 1/2 but as soon as my younger sisters came along i was treated different by him! I do not get along with him now and i just see him as a guy i know my real dad left when i was 3 my mom and him got divorced he moved to Florida with my step mom and i would hear form him every couple years or so now i dont ever talk to him! But i was lucky to have my grandpa (moms dad) be there for me he is my dad and grandpa and i love him to death but if i had step children i would treat them the same because i know how it feels to be treated different and it hurts!

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Amanda - posted on 11/15/2010

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I am engaged to get married and my children have been calling him daddy about a year after we were together. We've been together now almost 3 yrs. My 2 older children have recenlty begun seeing their bio dad this past month, and he has remarried and is raising her children as well. They tell me that their real dad said they can't call my fiance daddy, and that when they are with him for the weekends they need to call his wife mommy. This just really gets to me becuase my fiance and I don't ever talk bad or disrespectful about him or his wife. My fiance has told my oldest who is almost 7 that he can cal him whatever he wants, and he's wished to call my fiance daddy. I don't think any parent should "tell" their child what to call whomever. Yes it bothers me that he has to call some other woman mom but I don't let him know that. I tell him repeatedly that it's HIS choice to call people what he wants. Soo I think that the attention given could differ family to family but I think it's harder when children are put in the middle, and confused more than they need to be.

Sabrina - posted on 11/09/2010

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I was a step child to my "evil " step mother who had three sons of her own and she made my life and my sister's life a living hell for ten years . Ten years I'll never get back , she gave my father an altemadum " either I ( his biological daughter) was to leave or she left him . I was only 9 yrs. old. My sister was younger and didn't have a relationship with our (biological ) mother so she got to stay and i got shipped off to my grandparents accross the street . i could watch them every night from my grandparents livingroom window sitting down having supper as a family. My father and her got together when I was 6 1/2 yrs. And if anyone is wondering why I lived with my dad and not my mom and why my sister did not have a relationship with my mother its because my mother was extremely mentally ill. My sister even called ou stepmother "mom" I never did because I knew my real mom, I still think she resented me for (even as a child) for not wanting her to become my new mom. Everything about those family dynamics where flawed. Her sons could do no wrong and my father was not allowed to disipline them . Because she (stepmother) was head of the house hold and the homemaker of the house she was allow to disipline my sister and i . She would single me out and punish me in humiliating and cruel ways most times in public and never in front of our father. It was different with my sister because she was so young that she was easily influenced to like and even learned to love her. And that went for many years I knew it wasn't right and I also knew she was not a good person I tried to talk to my father about it , he never listened and she always made sure she got the upper hand by indicating to my father that I just didn't want a stepmom, and I was making stuff up for attention, wich was totally false. that destroyed the relationship my father and I could have had, not to mention my sisters and I relationship wich was never formed until adulthood. Mystep mom is not all to blame in all this my father was a spineless doormatt and he'll be the first one to admit it.The sadest part of it was that my sister had grown to love our stepmom and when my father and our step mom broke up she discontinued all contact with her and told my sister that she wasn't her daugther and she didn't owe her nothing. And now i have a son and he has a step dad and a real dad and his step dad has been involved since my son was 6 months old and in my sons eyes he has 2 dads and no one has a problem with that and he is loved where ever he goes and that's the way things should be. I am a strong beliver in what goes around comes around and from what I hear my ex-stepmom has cancer and her own sons barely have anything to do with her. I still talk to my old step brothers and they are the only one who have apologised for their mother's lude behavior.

Cheyenne - posted on 11/06/2010

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i was just talking about this to my sister in law. they have 2 girls and her husband got a vasectomy. they wanted to have another child and were talking about adoption but the husband didnt want to beacuse he said that if there were a fire or an emergency , he would be afraid that he would go for his 2 girls first and leave the adopted child behind. he didnt want to go through that so they decided to not have anymore kids. i think to some degree that could be true with some parents with both adopted and biological kids.

Brie - posted on 10/21/2010

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ok so my situation is interesting in both areas... my parents are divorced and my moms boyfriend does more for me and my brothers than he does his own kids partly because he never really knew his daughter or son (that is a long story)... my dad cheated on my mom with her best friend, they were best friends for 25 years and my parents were married for 23 years.. they got married four years after my parents got divorced and personally i hate the bitch and hope she burns in hell... (aside from helping tear up my family there are several more things she has done) she hasn't done anything for me or my brothers.
on the other hand i have a step son. my husband was married before and together they have a little boy who will be 8 years old in a couple days the last time that my husband saw him he was going on 3... she took off with him and we are currently trying to get visitation... my husband and i have been together almost 3 years and been married almost 1 year and we have a 1 year old son... needless to say i have never met my step son but i care for him deeply and know i will grow to love him... my husband and i have had this conversation, believe it or not, and he understands my POV... while i will treat the boys equally and love them both our son will always be mine whereas, god forbid, something happens between us his son won't be mine anymore.. so i know deep down inside i will love the child that came from me more but not too much more and if it came down to something life threatening or of grave importance i will always put MY son first... while other mothers may say different if it came down to it I am pretty sure they would do the same!!!

Barb - posted on 09/25/2010

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I have it from 3 sides. I never had a step father but i did have a stepmother from hell who is now rotting in her grave. She could not have children because something was wrong with her uterus i guess. But she told me it was my fault because my father was so disappointed i was a girl he had a vasectomy. Don't think that doesn't have an effect on an 8 year old's psyche. She was a school teacher and had a degree in child psychology. She would use my full biological brother and i against each other and it took 20 years before we started talking to each other again.

My son's father and i divorced when my son was 2. I met a man who is now my husband when my son was 3. My son's father met a woman and married her when my son was 4 i believe.



My husband has 2 children by his first wife. They were 13 and 15 when i met them and let me tell you.. they were a force to be reckoned with. The first question; "so, are you going to be our next EX stepmommy?" with a nice little eyebrow arch thrown in.



I told them i wasn't going to be their stepmom, I would always tell them the truth and give them the best guidance i could if they wanted it. I was always the lawyer with my stepkids and my husband. Trying to calm him down and reason with him and get them out of trouble, mitigate their consequences i guess. lol.



My husband told my son the same thing. He would never try to take his father's place but feels more like a life coach and a mentor to him to help him become a healthy, successful adult.



Because of the abuse from my stepmom, i had a really hard time letting my son and my husband develop a relationship and had a hard time leaving them alone. I trusted this man with my life and my son's life but I just had this issue i had a hard time getting over.



My son's father's wife had two more children with my son's father. Those children are treated much differently than my son.

My son has consequences, her's don't.

My son has chores, her's don't.

But my ex and i have a rule, i don't parent at his house, and he doesn't parent at mine.

The only interference i have done is to let my son's father and his wife know they were creating resentment within our son by treating him differently and that may be something they want to watch for.



I'm lucky in that when the ex and i divorced we decided that just because we weren't good spouses didn't mean we were bad parents and have always tried to make the best decisions for jr.



There have been times when i've told my son he MUST respect his stepmothers wishes at her house, that is her home, it's her rules just like this is our home and we have our rules. He also must talk to her respectfully, i would not stand for him to be disrespectful to her, for his own sake if for nothing else.



My Husband's parents are divorced and remarried. My husband's father remarried a woman who has two grown sons. My FIL does everything for his wife's boys and only calls us when he needs something fixed. Holidays are completely bias; Example, Christmas one year, we got luggage, her kids got luggage and a cruise.



The final straw was at a Christmas, my stepdaughter was bringing her boyfriend to meet her grandfather for the first time. Everyone else got presents and all they gave to her was fudge. I was enraged!!! You don't treat my stepdaughter like that!! I gave them our $25 gift card to Damon's and we left saying we will never be back. And we haven't.



My stepkids mom was a brilliant nurse who became addicted to drugs. The kids came and lived with us at age 20 and 18. Neither had a GED or a drivers license. I got them enrolled in the GED classes right away and of course we took care of the drivers license problem. We had family dinners and they loved their little brother, and honestly probably gave him more attention than i did or he really wanted. I was so proud and happy to set the kids up in their own place. The kids found some trouble, went through some rough patches but came out of it alright and now the girl is in a great relationship with a man we just adore and has her own house and business and is doing great.



The boy had a good job, was living with a girl and had given us our first grandchild. I was the first one called to be told i was a grandma.. that is such a precious moment.



This past July he was murdered in a home invasion robbery. Our granddaughter was in the house but was mercifully not hurt even though there were 7 bullet holes in the wall. One just a few inches from her bedroom door. Bob fought for his life and hers and gave up his own. There isn't a day that goes by i don't grieve for him. He was a special kind of person.



When we went into the funeral home to make the arrangements, the kids mom introduced me to the funeral manager as "His other mom" What an honor! I don't know if i could do that with my son's stepmom.



Were they raised differently? yes. Do i love them differently, i don't think so. I would give my life to have Bob back just as i would for my son and just as i would for my stepdaughter.

Sheryl - posted on 09/25/2010

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I have one biological brother, one step brother, and two step sisters. We were always treated the same and I love them all the same.

Francine - posted on 09/23/2010

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Well, You could say I was a step child. He treated us like we really weren't his problem. As for me I have been mother to many as far as a loving mother figure in there life. A lot of children want me to adopt them! Anyhow, I do have step children. The love, respect, actions from my children from my husband was slightly different, he knows it, everyone knows it. But He has not just known it rather he finally acknowledge it and after we all were together this past summer, he realized the difference it was. I feel it's the relationship his children got with me that he sees it equal. It's my first time being a real certified step-mom. I will do just as much as I would do for my children, for my step children. I do not separate them from us, I say our children. Before we use to say His kids, my kids, my kids, your kids. But it's coming along to be our family, our kids, our responsibilities together we hurt, love, cry, and plan our lives around our children and what we can do best for them all. I would not deny them, or treat them any less or more than my own children. Same me, same love, relationship and parenting they will get from me. And as for my children. We'll they don't have the same fortune with there father and girlfriend. It is open to them but not really, the only way he shows any real love and happiness is when she ain't around. It is sad, but my daughter understands completely the reason why! Other than that, The children (step siblings) get along just fine in my marriage and with my ex. So you could say I am mother of 5 including my God Daughter that's 6. It is rough when we sacrifice a lot emotionally and financially to keeping our children (husbands) a part of our lives, they live on another island and visitations isn't as easy as going downtown or anything. We take full financial and effort in making sure they have their dad in their lives still. It does make me for the first time ask out for some help for my home to make it through the month and help with our children with us. I use to fully be the only effort for my children to see their dad, but lately my ex's girlfriend and I have been seeing eye to eye like respectable adults, Finally! and so they meet me half way : )



I hope no matter the situation, the children are healthy and loved. I feel that it's not us that matter as much as their happiness. That is why I had children and that is why I choose to be a parent. And if it means letting my biological children go to the past, my ex for the weekend. Then so be it. I did trust the man enough before to sleep with him and have children, I don't feel It's my place to hold a grudge and keep his kids away from him because he was a cheater. It's not me that is going to spend time with him, it's his children that he holds just as dear to his heart as I hold them dear to my heart.

Alison - posted on 09/23/2010

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I have no "step" members in my immediate family. My husband has a step-mother (who was the "wicked" step-mom when he was growing up).



I think each family is different. I have seen step-moms act horribly towards their step-children and I have seen step-moms who absolutely treat their step children as their own, to the point that they see no need to have other children. I do get the impression that families rarely blends seamlessly, it is often a bumpy road - and sometimes the bumps come from stone throwers outside of the family.



There are probably fewer outstanding step-parents than there are negligent bio parents, but they are definitely out there.

Jackie - posted on 09/23/2010

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I have heard the same from alot of people as well Kati...and I can understand the general nature to not listen, but at the same time, I dont' accept that as an excuse. When I was brought up, I was brought up that you respect ALL adults in your life, not just your parents. And it didn't matter if you liked it either. So it's really not an excuse to not listen.

Alot of ppl also don't understand that most fathers get stuck in the downward spiral of not wanting to rock the boat, or wanting to be the "nice guy" since they don't see the kid often. Trust me, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE it if my husband would lay down the law. But I can't make my husband tell him to get his head off the table, feet off the couch, use his silverware etc, without me speaking up and saying it first. So in essence, it's still coming from me. If I say it I'm a bitch, if I don't say it I'm annoyed and it shows...it's a lose lose situation - enter the frustration and separation of families that occurs.

Rosie - posted on 09/23/2010

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i think jackie because it's not your job to discipline that child. it is his dads. now if your husband doesn't, well then have a talk with your husband about the expectations because things aren't going to work if it isn't figured out.
sure your ss should show you some respect, i don't deny that, but everywhere i go, everything i hear is that if you came into that childs life later than like age 2, disiplining that child yourself isn't going to work.

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I understand how you can feel very frustrated when you SS goes against all your rules. I met my step-sons when they were 3 and 5 so the evolution here is a bit different. teenagers are brats (I was one anyway) and step-parents often get the load of frustration and attitude dumped on them... I was awful to my step-father not because he was mean or anything but because I was VERY ANGRY at everything and everyone and I dumped it all on him. one of my dad's ex girlfriend was also in for the ride but she deserved it as she was a raging B*&^% and didn't care about my sister and I. She was also very controlling of my father and that made me so furious.



I am not insinuating that you are that way. I am just letting you know that I have been on both sides and can understand a bit WHY your SS is horrible to you. He may be angry about some things that have nothing to do with you. If there is a lack of structure at his mother's, it might be part of his frustration... Children need some stability and he might be lacking that... It doesn't excuse his behavior in the least but trying to understand might help you cope and help him see that you are not a tyrant but rather someone who cares about her family and it's happiness.

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I agree Jackie, on the fact that the rules are the same for everybody in our house. What their mother sets as rules is often different than our rules and it's fine. We explained to the children that they have to respect mommy's authority and they have to respect us as well. A lot of things are similar from one house to the other and others are miles apart... they know why the rules are the way they are in our house and they have consequences for not following them. My son and his brothers are 8 years apart so it is a bit different as far as consequences go(age appropriate) but the rules remain the same for all.

Jackie - posted on 09/23/2010

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And I know most of my posts on this topic get attacked, but I'd have to write a novel to make it sound less forceful, b/c bottom line is that it is my house, and I am raising my child in that house, there's NO reason, regardless of circumstance, why she should be told no, or stop as she sits there watching him get away with it.

So it's fine to sit there and say "none of that matters, accept them as your own as part of the package"...but constantly having someone go against every parenting philosophy you have will NOT make you warm and fuzzy towards them.

And just FYI I'm not referring to a toddler who truly is still learning, my step son was 9 when I met him, and 14 now, which is more than old enough to only need to be told something very basic 1 or 2 times before I'm going to expect it to be followed.

Jackie - posted on 09/23/2010

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I agree, being a parent on any level is rewarding. I know in my situation and likely in many others (esp. those where the feelings aren't equal) though, you can't compare the two b/c I can't have the same feelings towards a child who gets away with countless things that my daughter will NEVER be allowed to do, that is held to MUCH lower standards than my daughter will be....sorry but there IS a difference.

If you can't treat your step child exactly as you would treat your bio child, and have the exact same expectations...there's going to be differences.

I don't see why this is such a surprise to some people I guess. And I don't buy into the fact that "well they should be given more freedom b/c they have two different places they live". NO, they shouldn't. If his mother wants to let him be lazy and have no manners fine, but there's no reason why just because she does that, that our house should have to run that way, or that I should have ot tell me daughter "it's ok for him but not for you". I don't believe in double standards, our house our rules. If my daughter didn't live up to them I'd be hard on her...so why wouldn't I be hard on a step child. I won't walk on egg shells just b/c it might hurt someones feelings. It just doesn't make any sense to me.

[deleted account]

As a step-child, i never felt as if I was nearly as important to them as their own kids. On the other hand, my step-sons are like my own. It is different in the sense that I wasn't there the whole time they were growing up. I have an idea of their toddler years only through pictures and stories from their father. i got into a relationship with a man who had a past, an ex-wife and 2 kids. I accepted all this as a package deal. I think it should be as such for everyone BUT I know that some people THINK they can do it but in the end it just doesn't work. Some feel different about the step-children than about their own and it always shows on some level.

It's hard to be a parent, it's harder to be a step-parent but it is very rewarding.

Amanda - posted on 09/21/2010

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I had two step dads and a bio dad.. My mom met stepdad #1 when i was 3, and he raised me like his own i called him dad and he provided for me and gave me all of the things i could ever hope for from a father.. looking back now there were some small things that i can notice that were different with my little sister but i think that is because she was his only bio child, Thank God i had him because my dad was in & out of my life due to addiction. Anyway, when i was 12 he committed suicide and 4 months later my father committed suicide and 2 months after that my mother married stepdad #2.. And i find him absolutely repulsive. He treated me like i was poison to the family, and never took into consideration the fact that at 12 i had BOTh of the men i considered my dad kill themselves. He was hateful to me, and my little sister.. in fact i feel my brother got lucky because he graduated a year after they were married. He always treated his children like they were saints and could do no wrong. He and mother are finally divorced and i can honestly tell you i will NEVER contact the man again.

Being a stepparent is probably the hardest thing somebody can ever do, unfortunately not everybody is up for the challenge.

Isobel - posted on 09/21/2010

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being annoyed and having difficulty is one thing...hating their guts is entirely another...if ANY relationship you have causes you to HATE a child...you need to leave.

Jackie - posted on 09/21/2010

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I certainly won't attach that...I know VERY MUCH how you feel. I also was thrown into it by choice, but that doens't make it easier or more enjoyable. I know what you mean about pick up days etc. I def. share your frustrations.

Beck - posted on 09/18/2010

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It is really a case of situation and age. I have only met my step son when he was six and he still has a great relationship with his mother. We have 50/50 custody. He has never looked at me as his mother and in that I can't see myself as his mother either. He is now ten and I have 2 daughters 2 and 1 who I deffinately treat differently as they need something completely different from me than he does. I have had a really hard trek into becoming a step parent and got thrown into it by my own choice my marrying my husband obviously but it was never easy. I am going to honest and please don't attack as this isn't what it is about, but sometimes I find myself annoyed when we need to pick him up after him not being around for a week as so much revolves around him when he is here as his father only sees him half as much as he would if he was here full time. So the girls and I can get pushed to the back as its the boys as one and us girls alot of the time.

Needless to say it really is by situation really

Sarah - posted on 09/02/2010

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So I have a stepmother, a step-father and an ex-step-father. Step-mother is awful, terrible, evil, the list goes on. She was the only mother figure in my life from age 4 to 15 and she hates me and my brother. More so me b/c my brother is ten years older than me, so he movced out immediately after he graduated, I was much younger and stuck with her. She has 5 kids, the youngest is a year older than me and we were always in a competition, but the eck was always stacked against me. It was truly impossible to live there, so at 15 I moved in with my bio mom even though we were estranged.
Then I got step-dad #1 whom my mother picked over me. Moved out and go my own place at 17. She divorced and remarried in 2007, I was 25 then so it really has no bearing. I do like my step-dad a lot, but he's more of a friend than anything.
I was almost a step-mother when I was younger and after that experience I swore I would never date anyone with kids ever again. I know that sounds harsh, but no way! And if I divorced tomorrow, I wouldn't hold it against anyone for not wanting to date me b/c i have a kid!

Sherri - posted on 09/02/2010

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I have a step father and two step sisters. I also have a natural brother. We are all treated exactly the same. My dad tells everyone he has 3 daughters and a son. I am called daughter #1 when I call as I am the oldest of the four of us. My sister who technically was the oldest before my parents married is called daughter #2. We call my step dad, dad. I call my sisters, my sisters I never use the Step word for my dad or sisters. My children call them Auntie and vise versa for me. My dad is Papa. Most people in my life don't even know that he technically is my step dad and they are my step sisters. We don't ever talk that way, we feel it puts up walls that just don't need to be there.

Ashley - posted on 09/02/2010

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Well my mom came home with my step monster when i was 7 i hated him for many reasons and still do i also have bad feelings for my mother because of allowing him into my life and not getting ride of him my bio father was absent most my life and not worth the effort but now i find my self with a step daughter and a step father for my son it is still new but i love that little girl to pieces. Maybe it helps both children are very close in age i do find it easer to discipline my son but harder to discipline her as i no my son loves me and knows the when i give him time outs that dosent change but with her i always feel i might be making her hate me when i have to give her a time out lol im sure as things go on all stop fearing this i hope any way i just want her to never feel as i did she is just as loved as my son and that will never change and i will do everything i can to make sure she knows it. As for my son and new step daddy( of topic does anyone else hate the word step is there a solution to never have to use that word again) There building a relation ship and it not coming as easy as me and my new daughter and that scares the hell out of me to be honest but i see it slowly getting better all i can do is hope that it becomes something they will both cherish forever like some of your posts you give me hope it is ossible to have a happy mixed family thank you.

Corena - posted on 07/08/2010

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I have 2 stepchildren. I have raised them since they were 1 1/2 and 2 1/2. They are now 15 and 16. I gave birth to a son last year after trying for 11 years.
Do I love them the same? No. To say that it is the same would be dishonest.
Do I love my biological son more? No. It is just different. There is a differrent bond because he was inside me. The "amount" of love is not really different though. They are ALL my kids. The baby gets more attention because he needs more attention right now, he's a baby. I don't believe I treat them differently based on their genetics and I have discussed it with the older ones often. They were worried that having a baby would make me feel differently about them. They are not worried anymore. I was honest with them that my love for him would be different than my love for them, but not any more than my love for the two of them individually is different based on who they are. I, and they, do believe that they truly receive 100% the same treatment as the baby. Allowing for the huge age difference of course. ;)

Amber - posted on 07/05/2010

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My parents are divorced and a few of my friends have divorced parents. In each of our cases...our step dads are great, and our step moms are not. I think that women tend to be more protective of their own "family unit" and have a deeper bond with the children that they physically carry in them. (Maybe not all, but that's what I've personally experienced.)

Our step dads have all been welcoming and thought of us as one of the family. It doesn't seem as if they have that barrier.



I do have an interesting take on it though. Because my step dad calls me his daughter and my brother is introduced as my mom's son....so even with in one family I think that feelings are different sometimes. He loves all the grandkids the same though. Even my brother's step daughter....so, it's kind of weird. lol

Ashley - posted on 07/02/2010

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I think that step kids should definately be treated like biological kids..when you marry someone and they have kid(s) with someone else you are taking the responsibilty as well to treat as your own kid(s). That is just my opinion and I do not think they should be treated differently.

Krystal - posted on 04/22/2010

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hi i have a step father, hes married to my mum, has been for 6 years, i love him more like a real dad than a step father. he has treated me like his own daughter (he has a son who is a few years older than me, im 19) and we get on great, my stepbrother is so awsome and we get along great we call each other bro and sis and our parents are mum and dad to each of us (i also have a brother and 2 sisters) my step dad has 4 step children. i really wish he was my real dad (i hate my bio father). we have all been treated the same and he is the best step dad ever, i even call him my dad (i hardly ever say step dad now). my son and any other children me and my partner have will know my step dad as grandad. and my 2 sisters children call him grandad to. he took us all on and im so thankfull because he has made my life so much better. :)

Brittanie - posted on 04/21/2010

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I am a stepmother. I feel as though I love and provide for my stepdaughter just as well as my three sons. As for attention - when she is with us she is treated the exact same as her brothers other than her infant brother who of course requires a ton of attention. All of the kids are treated equally though and thought of equally. Even when I go out shopping I am always looking for things for her as well as the boys. I have been with her Dad from the time she was three and we have a great relationship.

Lyndsay - posted on 04/21/2010

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Okay, well, I'm going to speak as a stepchild. I have a completely different experience with my stepmom and my stepdad, so my guess is that every kid and every family is different.

My mom and dad divorced when I was 5 and when I was 7 he married my mom's former best friend. She had a daughter of her own, who was MY best friend since our moms were friends. In that way, it was great for me because every little girl wants to turn her best friend into her sister. Anyway, my two other sisters and I would only go over to their house on the weekends and one night a week for dinner. My stepmom criticized us for everything, while she let her own daughter get away with murder. There was always an excuse for her ("Oh thats her ADHD..."), so everything ended up being our fault.

My mom got a new boyfriend around the same time, who she didn't marry until 10 years later but I've always considered my stepdad. He was way younger than her (only 22) and took on three girls, I was 7 and my twin sisters were 5. He was a lot of fun and since he didn't have any children of his own there were no issues in that way. My brother was born when I was 10, which is my stepdad's biological son, but by that time we were all a little older so the segregation wasn't such an issue.

That being said... both my stepdad and my stepmom were huge influences on me, probably moreso than my own parents. My parents were both a little flaky and most things I've learned I learned from the step parents.

Ramona - posted on 04/21/2010

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I totally agree. I'm a stepmom to a 9 month old and a 10 year old, and i've definitely connected better with the 9 mo old!

Ramona - posted on 04/21/2010

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I am a step mom and mom to be....and if how I feel about my child NOW is any indication.....I will definitely favor my child because that's just natural. Does that mean my child will be able to walk all over the other children? No....Both children have a mother who love them and would do anything for them. I am a full time student and will be a full time mom. I see his other kids every other weekend. I honestly don't have the financial or time resources to give as much to my step children as to my own. That's just me being honest, however harsh that may sound! I do try to be a part of their lives when I can, but no, i'm not super involved.

Jackie - posted on 04/21/2010

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I'm in your boat...we do not have the happy blended family. My husbands son is almost 14, he was 9 when I met him. While he doesn't mouth of....he is a total wimp, mommy coddles so he can't stand on his own two feet for anything, has very few manners, and no structure to speak of at her house...so thinks our house is like prison. And sorry to say, but if my child turned out like that I would snap...but that said, my child wouldn't make it to 14 like that b/c they would have been corrected constantly long before then....so we DO NOT see eye to eye, b/c if it were up to me the kid would be constantly reprimanded for one thing or another. So yes...very rough road, has caused lots of tension, and def. not easy to work with.

But I do also feel that even with a good relationship my daughter would still come first no matter what. The decision might be a little tougher, but I can't imagine not choosing her in the end.

Cynthia - posted on 04/21/2010

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I have an 8 month old baby girl and my boyfriend has an almost 8 year old daughter that he has custody of... and I agree Jackie, split-second decision, it'd be my bio daughter no doubt. I also agree with you Jackie that it's a huge difference depending on the age. My situation hasn't gone the smoothest and we are still trying to figure everything out (3 years later!)... When she came to live with us she was 4 1/2 and a mouthy lil shit, and still has lots of attitude, which isn't the easiest to work with.

Jackie - posted on 04/21/2010

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April, I think you just reworded the point I was trying to make very well...I mean I was wondering about the day to day stuff too....which I think it's great that so many of you have had successful situations. I know mine certainly hasn't gone that way.

But I think those split second decisions are really the true answer. Many of you might not like this, but I can say in a heartbeat without even questioning myself....that the choice would be my biological daughter if it was an A or B situation...no doubt.

Also, just a general comment on some other posts, I do think it makes a HUGE difference if we're talking about stepping in as a step parent to a baby, or even a toddler whose still learning the ropes, vs. having the child be an adolescent.

April - posted on 04/21/2010

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i think that sometimes there are subliminal things that can occur even when we don't intend to favor one child over the other. we don't truely know this sublimination until we're put into a very specific situation. suppose the family is in an accident and both children need a new kidney. by a twist of fate, you're a match for both. So who gets the kidney? The child you gave birth to or your stepchild? Also, in situations where you're forced to make split-second decisions..what would be your impulse? Would it be to your biological child?

Brittany - posted on 04/21/2010

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well i have step parents...and i am a step mom myself! my parents divorced before i was a year old (they were only 17 when i was born) and both remarried by the time i was 3. my step dad has never treated me any differently than my brother and sister (my mom and step dads together). my step mom on the other hand is the total opposite! she has always been jealous of me and my mom (i guess because we had my dad first, something i will never understand!!!) and she has never been nice to me. my dad and step mom have had 2 boys and a girl since they got together and they are definitely favored over me (only by my step mom, not my dad).
when i met my husband, he had a 2 week old son (him and the mom had split up before they knew she was pregnant). i stepped right in and helped take care of him when he came to see my husband as i had been around babies my whole life and my poor hubby had no idea what to do!!! when my step son was 6 months old his biological mother totally walked out of his life for a reason i dont think any of us will ever know.

we are goin this week to speak with a lawyer to start the process of me adopting my beautiful baby boy! : ) he has only known me as a mommy for as long as he remembers, and we just want to make it "official". me and my husband also have a beautiful son together (our boys are 15 months apart) and our boys get treated the exact same. my family has taken in my step son like he is ours! : )

Suzette - posted on 04/20/2010

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My Mom wasn't able to have any other children after my brother due to female problems, so my Dad (step dad) and her weren't able to have kids of their own. But, while they were dating it wasn't like they forgot about us either. Each weekend there was a "family" date night and there was a "single" date night. He never left us out of anything. (Which I think is awesome of a guy who doesn't have kids to do... you definitely don't see that happening much these days, that's for sure.)



Of course, I count my blessings on getting lucky enough to have a Dad like that. I also know my mom was extremely careful about who she dated because she didn't want us to feel abandoned by her. I think a lot of things depend on the parent and what they'll allow, at least in certain cases. (Not all.)



I don't think it's right that my case with my Dad, as a step parent, is an exception and not the rule.

[deleted account]

I think it really depends on the parents (and sometimes the kid). While I don't have step children I come from a huge blended family. All of my dads 9 brothers and sisters have been married, had kids, divorced, remarried other people (who have kids) and had more kids together. One has adopted kids and bio kids and one is a foster care family (also with bio kids). I can't say that they feel the same about their step or non-bio kids but if they do they do a pretty good job of going out of their way to fake it! I never once seen any of my cousins treated differently. I didn't even know that one of my cousins was actually adopted until a few years ago. lol And I'm actually closer to some of my "step" cousins then my blood cousins. I think they should be treated equally but I see how it can be hard especially at first because it takes time to bond with a child. If they are treated differently I could see how it would create tension and resentment. Maybe its easy in my family cause we have so many kids to begin with lol You don't have time for the "favorite" crap when you have more than 4 or 5.

Jenny - posted on 04/20/2010

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That is my experience Gillian. My dad died when I was 6 and my mom met a man when I was 16. I met him for half an hour before she moved him into our apartment. I moved out on my own about a month later. She was so absorbed in her new relationship she didn't care what was going on with me or my 10 year old brother. She even let me sign all my legal rights over to my cousin so I could be self sufficient.

Stephany - posted on 04/20/2010

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My parents divorced when I was 6 or 7 (I was the oldest of 4 girls). My mom chose to not date until me and my sisters were much older (she had been sexually assaulted by one of her mom's boyfriends after her parents divorced). I felt bad for her. I knew she was lonely and that raising 4 kids on her own was more than difficult. I wish she had remarried because I truly wanted her to be happy and I wanted her to have companionship. I'm grateful that she protected us, and she never once told us the reason why she wasn't dating (until I was older, at least), but I wish she had thought of herself, too. My dad is a complete flake who drifts in and out of our lives. He called to wish me a happy 21st birthday 4 years in a row. It would have been nice to have a father figure around.
I've seen the bad side of things, too, though. Minna, my best friend, who posted above is right- her stepdad was a real jackass. He definitely treated her differently than he treated his biological daughters. What a shame, too, because she's a great girl :) I've seen it several times with other people, too. I guess it just takes a special person to step in as a step parent and fully accept their new role. Those of you with positive experiences should count your blessings.

Carolee - posted on 04/20/2010

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My husband is a step-father to my son (who is now 2 1/2 years old). My son is half Mexican, and his bio father doesn't want ANYTHING to do with him or me... not more than one phone call a year, anyways. Jason, my husband, knew that I had a 1 year-old when we met, and accepted him right away. He told me to bring him on a lot of our dates, even. They've always enjoyed playing with each other, and Jason and I can't go into a store without me reigning HIM in because he wants Corbin to have everything HE didn't have as a child.



He's also constantly worried that he's not a good enough father and husband, too... it's kinda cute. Corbin knows him as Daddy, and sometimes calles him Jason, which Jason says he doesn't mind if ALL of our kids call him by his real name. They just need to know that they need to call me Mommy (that's his point of view).



Jason's family has accepted us with open arms. They fell in love with Corbin the moment they laid eyes on him, and you can't get Corbin and my father-in-law away from each other when we visit them! There's never been ANY mention of the racial difference with Corbin. He's just got a summer tan all year round.



On the other hand, my dad did remarry when I was a teenager. Now (10 years later) they have a son (who is 2 years younger than my son). Since my dad's wife got pregnant, they haven't been the same towards me... but they still talk to and see my sister. My dad has actually told Jason and I that Caleb (my baby brother) and Corbin won't be allowed to play together because of how I choose to raise my son (I let him watch movies and tv)... both my dad and his wife are pastors.



So, I guess I've seen both the good and the bad of step-parenting.

Amanda - posted on 04/20/2010

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oh yeah i forgot... my brother is technically my half brother... he just started talking to his biological dad again... I always forget we have different fathers lol

Lady - posted on 04/20/2010

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I'm sure a lot of people are going to dissagree with me on this point and I even know what I'm about to say is not the always the case but in my experience and looking at the lives of many friends, other family members and just people I know of this IS the case.
Not only does the step dad not feel the same way about the children because they are not their own they also resent the time the mother spends with the children because it's a new relationship and they want the mother to themselves and as a result the bio mum then doesn't treat the children the same because she is interested in her new relationship too. Like I said I'm sure there are lots of cases where this isn't true but I have to say in my personal experience I have yet to see one where this hasn't been the exact thing that has happened. It's one of the many reasons I will NEVER get divorced because I never want my children to have to live with a parent to whom they are not THE most important thing in their lives.

Minna - posted on 04/20/2010

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My mom met my step-dad when I was 4, before my sisters were born. I remember that I chose to call him dad, and I wanted him to be my dad, because I didn't have one. He fathered two other children by my mom, my two darling little sisters, who I love endlessly and wouldn't in a million years refer to as "half-sisters." That is about all I have to thank him for. I was certainly treated differently than they were by him and his family. I was only "his" when it was convenient for him.

I am very happy for everyone that has had good experiences with step-parents, but I am not one of these. My mom was great, and did her best to make up for his distance and cruelty, but I never really coped with not being loved and accepted the way I felt I should. Eh, what can I say, the guy is a jerk.

[deleted account]

I will have a stepmum when my dad remarrys but I'm nearly 20 so I don't live with them lol. I think it all depends on the people involved. Some children will be given the same treatment as biological children and some won't but I feel there's a huge difference between treating children the same and thinking in your head that they are in a way "worth" the same as your biological children.

I know this is kinda going off topic but it's a bit like adoption. My husband and I feel that we could never adopt because we would know in our head that they are not our "real" children and we would be likely to treat them differently plus we'd like 2 of our own and that's enough for us! I think people who do adopt are amazing people as are people who take-on their stepchildren but obviously it's not for everyone.

[deleted account]

Well, my situation is a little different. My dad remarried 4 months after I got married, so I never lived in a stepfamily. I am extremely slighted by my dad and stepmom though. My stepmom's kids always come first. It made sense when one of them was a teenager (14-17) and living there, but.... my one stepsister has been living w/ them since she got pregnant at 18 (my niece is 5 now). My dad, stepmom, and stepsister (somewhat) have been raising my niece together... yet almost never watch my kids (before or after my ex left). I've been a single mom for 2 years now and they had my girls for 3 (?) weekends in the first year and my dad watched all 3 kids ONCE.



We never see them unless I make all the efforts (and we live 15 minutes away from each other), but my stepsis is getting married in October and my dad REALLY doesn't think she should take her daughter w/ her, but leave her w/ them instead.....



Yeah, I'm a tad bitter.

[deleted account]

I am a stepmom to my beautiful 7 year-old daughter. She lives with us 90% of the time (REALLY long story...) and I can truthfully say I do not treat her differently from my biological children (with my hubby). I think of her as one of my own and she calls me "Mom" through her own choice (and it was a decision she made when she was 6). I love her just as much as my biological children.



My favorite saying as a stepmom is "You didn't come to me through my tummy (like bio kids), you came to me through my heart"

[deleted account]

I've never been/ never had a stepchild.

My brother-in-law married a girl that had a three year old. That little girl is as much a part of our family as the biological nieces and nephews/grandkids. She's one of us. =)

Rosie - posted on 04/19/2010

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i have a step dad and he is by far the best!! i never felt like i was less important to him than my brother ,his biological child. i was treated fairly, i was made to feel important, and i know that man loves me just as much as he loves my brother. even his family treats me great! i actually prefer his mother to my biological grandma. not that theres anything wrong with my bio grandma, i just relate more to my dads mom. so yes, it is 100% possible. does it happen often, sadly no. my son is treated differently by my husbands family. not too horribly different, but i still see it. it's there. my husband was also treated differently by his stepdads family as well. his sister, their blood relative, would get wonderful toys for christmas, chad would get a tire pump. definitely some difference there.

Amanda - posted on 04/19/2010

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I had a stepdad, my real dad died when I was younger and my mom remarried when I was six. I think my stepdad definately cared for us as much as possible, but because he wasn't there when we were younger, and he was also 7 years younger than my mom, so not all that much older than us, he didn't know quite how to be around us. He provided for my mom and my brother and I just as well as my husband provides for myself and our son, so I don't think theres any difference there. My stepdad does now have a new girlfriend(him and my mom split up when I was about 14 or 15, but he's still my stepdad to me lol) and two kids with her, and I definately think that he relates to them better, but I don't think that it's because he "loves them more" I like to think that helping raise my brother and I helped him out a little bit, and it is(i would imagine) different when you're in the picture at 6 and 9 years of age, and when it's a newborn. By 6 and 9 we were already set in our ways and he had to figure out a way to reach us without stepping on anyones toes, and not letting us DARE think he was trying to take anyone's place. I think stepparents have it rough in that aspect. I don't know how he handled getting a father's day card from me saying happy fathers day, you're the number 2 best dad ever(i honestly loved him at that point, i just felt if i said number one i was taking something away from my biological father and i didnt feel right about it)... or the famous "you aren't my dad/mom" the second you try to reprimand them or just talk to them about certain things... its a lot to handle i would think



I still keep in touch with my stepdad, he's actually in the area for work right now and we went out to lunch on Sunday, it was really good to see him again. I also of course still keep in touch with my mom, and she's my best friend lol...



I think it depends family to family how everyone gets along and how the parents treat their kids in all ways. Some are adopted and SO loved its ridiculous, lol.. some live with their real parents and everyone fights... And some are like my family, step parents, passed away parents, and a bio one, and you go through everyday life and we had our ups and downs between each other, but if push comes to shove... I will do anything in my power to help my mom, stepdad, or brother (dad's already passed on, so i think hes good)

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