Step Children and Biological Children

Chen - posted on 10/11/2016 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have two step children, whom I consider to be my very own and I have one biological son. I love all three, but as we all know, they each have their own personalities...that being said...my husband has pointed out that I treat my biological son differently, in terms of I am more lenient on him, he doesn't get into as much trouble or he gets certain things that my other two do not. Let me point out that they are all 6 years apart. My oldest is 16, middle is 10 and my youngest is 4. I grew up where the youngest always gets the best, is the most spoiled and gets more leniency. Why? "Cause they are still young and you, as the older sister need to teach him, you know better...he doesn't yet..." That was the redirect I grew up with having two siblings younger than I. And we were only one year apart each...I personal believe this to an extent. Where, yes in certain situations, the older brother should teach the younger right from wrong, regardless of age. The older siblings should help the younger sibling grab the cereal from the top shelf cause he's not tall enough. But what happens when the father steps into the picture right smack in the middle of the scene and doesn't have the full story, and goes straight to judgement that I, am showing favoritism. My ten year old, has in the past, said, "well, you don't say that to Matthew!" I haven't even had the chance to respond, and here comes my husband making judgement and brewing a conversation to be had in private with me later. The first time he pulled me aside and "told" me what he "saw", he simply said "if you don't treat these guys the same, they'll notice, and if you can't do that, make sure you aren't around...you absolutely have a right to treat your biological son better, more different...blah blah blah..." as he said those words, I felt as if all the years before my third son was not valid, as if I was simply a glorified babysitter. He of all people, know how much of a mother I've been to those two boys, how much I love them, and how much my heart broke when their mom threatened to limit our time with them. How I've hurt when they hurt. Right then, HE broke my heart. My husband refuses to hear the explanation...regardless of what the situation was. I've always said to them, "you may not have come from my body, but you are mine."

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/11/2016

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While, yes, the elder children, to an extent, should help the youngest, etc, if you are being more lenient on the youngest than you were with the other two at the same age, the you are treating him differently than your step children, and, yes, they will notice, and yes, they could be bothered by it.

The key is treatment of the children AT THE SAME AGES. Of course the now 16 year old should have more privilege (properly earned, that is) than a 10 year old or a 4 year old, and the 10 yo should have more freedom than the 4 year old, and they should all understand that. Granted, you'll still have to explain it a time or two, until they all are adults...

However, if you are allowing behaviour from your 4 year old that you did not allow from the now 16 and 10 year olds, there is a problem.

Your husband should be smart enough, though, to not bring it up in front of the kids.

Dove - posted on 10/11/2016

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I only have biological children, but there are 6 years between my girls and my 'baby' (8 now, so not a baby). Yes, the older ones are expected to help the little one in things he needs that he can not yet do. They absolutely have more responsibilities... The trade off is that they also have more privileges and freedoms. It's not a favoritism issue (though the 8 year old certainly thinks it is), but the natural progression of things as a child gets older.

I don't know what to suggest to help in your situation though.

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Chen - posted on 10/11/2016

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That's exactly it, I did treat the two older ones exactly the same at those perspective ages. I am just frustrated that he sees there is any different treatment. And I truly feel there isn't any and I don't get a chance to explain anything it's like accused trial judge sentencing all at once.

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