• Announcements

    • LaToyaADMIN

      Tell us about your experience with signing up for Medicare   01/23/18

      We want to know what the process was like for you, any difficulties you experienced, the length of your process, etc. This is strictly research and any information you share with us will not be shared elsewhere. Please email jack@grandparents.com with the subject line: Medicare Process and we'll be in touch with specific questions.
    • LaToyaADMIN

      PLEASE READ: We are moving the community   02/15/18

      Dear Community friends and family,   After great consideration, we are moving the Grandparents.com community to Facebook Groups effective March 15, 2018.   This wasn’t an easy decision, but we want to bring our communities together and believe the best place to do so is through Facebook’s groups feature. We’re so appreciative of you and the diverse conversations and opinions you have provided over the past 9 years. Your stories and amazing advice have helped so many readers, and have reached thousands of GP.com users. We encourage you to retrieve any information you want to retain as the forum will only be accessible by the admin after March 15, 2018. We’ve created a closed Facebook group called Mothers-in-Law Unplugged where we welcome you to continue the conversations around grandparenting, family, and in-law relationships, and any general topics we discuss here. As the group is closed and each user must be approved, your friends and family on Facebook won’t see any of your activity. Request to join the group here: http://bit.ly/milunplugged Thank you to all of our past and current users. You helped build our community, and we look forward to continuing to interact with you in the Facebook groups. If you have any questions about the groups and privacy, let’s chat about here:   Sincerely,   The Grandparents.com Team
RoseRed135

On becoming a step-grandparent

41 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, BabaKnits said:

In my situation I have 2 biological grandchildren, 2 step grandchildren that are my husbands grandchildren, and 3 step grandchildren that are estranged DIL children by 3 previous relationships.  No, I guess I don't treat them all the same.  My DIL (separated, but not divorced from my son) never wanted us to have a relationship with her previous children.  One of these, a SGS was being raised by his father so was even seen less than her other children.  My DS and DIL were together only a few years before they separated and lost all the children due to drugs.   I have adopted her DD ( my GD) and we see the siblings usually only once or twice a year as they too are all being raised in separate households.  I do have a savings account for each child, but I do not put in equal amounts for all of them.

This ^^^ just goes to show, IMO, that it's not always GPs' fault if they don't/can't enjoy equal relationships w/ all their GC and SGC, etc. Sometimes the parents and/or SPs don't allow it or the situation just isn't conducive to it.

For that matter, sometimes, it's the SC/SGC, themselves (doesn't seem to be the case in your circumstances, BK). For example, one of my late DBs was on his second marriage when he passed away. He had DC from his first marriage and she, from hers. They both were very inclusive of each other's children/their respective SC. But after DB died, one of the kids let it be known that though they liked their SP and step-sibs, they didn't feel as if they were "family"/didn't want to be considered "family" by them. So, of course, they distanced themselves a bit from the SGPs, etc., as well.

But back to you, BK - about GD and her sibs - IMO, there's a huge difference b/c you are actually GD's mom/parent now. Of course, your relationship w/ her - and what you do for her - is going to look different from your relationship, etc, w/ your other GC.

Meanwhile, good to see you again! Hope you come in and talk w/ us more often! :) 

Edited by RoseRed135

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am looking for some feedback for a very touchy subject, step-grandparenting. I am remarried, I have 1 child  from my previous marriage and my husband has 4 children from his. We have been together for 14 years and between us we have 8 grandchildren ages 2 years to 14 years old. My grandaughter was an infant when we married and the only one at the time. Over the years 7 more came along.  All treated and loved the same from both of us,  my husband is fantastic with mine and he would say the same. Whenever we are asked we automatically say we have 8 grandkids. Here is the problem; my son is divorced and has two children, 14 and 5. He just recently met someone and they moved in together and have known each a year and a half. She has a 13 year old daughter and an 18 year old son.   It was recently brought to my attention that my son's girlfriend is upset because she thinks that I need to treat her daughter and son the same as all of our other grandkids. When I take my granddaughter I am supposed to take her daughter also. If I buy my grandaughter something I am supposed to buy her something of the same value (these were her exact words). I have taken her daughter  on several occasions, camping for the weekend, over night visits, and bought her gifts for holidays Christmas, etc (although very nice gifts not the same value as my granddaughters).  I am having a problem with this, there are times I want to spend time with just my granddaughter as I have in the past. There are times I didn'tt take her brother (my grandson) so I can spend quality time with each. We also have 6 other grandkids that we have a hard time finding more time to spend with them and try to take turns so they can visit. I also don't like that his girlfriend is demanding that everything has to be exactly the same and has even mentioned it it isn't I can't have my grandkids and my son is going along with it because he said it is causing him a lot of problems and making his life miserable. I've only known these children for a short time and really don't have much of a relationship with them. Her daughter is very quiet and doesn't say much. I've tried to "bring her out of her shell" but like I said is very quiet and doesn't talk much. When I visit most of the time she stays in her room and from what my granddaughter says she spends a lot of time in her room. Her son who is 18 is very nice and is going to college so this is not an issue. Looking for some suggestions to help resolve this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/13/2017 at 9:14 PM, Mame925 said:

Of my 9GK, 4 are bio, 4 are step and one is by attrition of boundaries (he's #1GB's first cousin...they are the same age, both only children and his parents aren't any fun...so we include him in everything).

Two of the step are DsD's children...but since I raised her, it hasn't really occurred to them that "step" is a factor in anything although they live with their MGM (she and DsD bought a home together, totally win-win). The other two step are new DIL's children. She was a young widow, her H died when their DD was 3 months old and DS was barely 3. Their only grandparent passed last month. That makes me their only GP other than a 94yo PGGF in a residential care situation. 

I figure its all about what's in the best interest of the children. My son married this woman and has embraced her children...He now has FIVE kids. So if he has 5 kids, I have 2 new grandkids...so they are included 100%...DD, DSD have embraced them as niece/nephew and they now have 7 cousins, last year they didn't have any cousins. All good.

Welcome @bluevioletpleased you have joined us. You will find support and a variety of opinions! This is something I know something about! This is my previous post....^^^

Please include these new children as much as possible. It will pay-off so wonderfully well in so many ways. Always be fair in dealings with the kids together. Ask this new girl open ended questions to find out what her interests are...Gifts from me are based on interests, not value, but the values usually come out fairly even...I'm crocheting "mermaid" afghans for my 3 girlies....ages 4, 5 & 7...I can't make just one or I'd be facing mutiny. BTW, only one of these little girlies is bio-related to me...

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@blueviolet - Welcome! I'm glad you joined us, too! So sorry you're facing this issue, but think it was wise of you to bring your concerns to us.

I can understand your hesitation to embrace (figuratively speaking) the new GF's (girlfriend's) DC (dear children) as heartily as you do your other GC. As you say, yourself, you haven't known them very long. Also, I'm wondering, do you have any doubts as whether or not DS and GF's relationship is going to last? If so, I can see why you might be holding back/might prefer to focus on your blood GD in this case.

I'm not sure what the issue is w/ buying GF's DD gifts of the same value as those you get for GD. Is it financial? Or b/c you don't feel close to this new girl?

Also, is GD your DS' 5-yr-old or 14-yr-old? If 5, I don't really get GF's comparing (possible) costs at all, unless the difference is extreme (I don't get the impression that it is). But if 14, then I can see where the difference would be obvious and, perhaps, hurtful.

Either way, perhaps take a page from Mame and choose gifts based on interests more than price? If you can't find out new SGD's (step-granddaughter's) interests by talking w/ her, ask GF/her mom for some ideas. If you get her some (affordable) gifts she really wants, GF may stop comparing costs.

But this is getting long, so I'll continue below...

 

Edited by RoseRed135

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... Continuing from above...

I understand your wanting to spend time w/ just GD, but I also get GF's not wanting her DD to feel rejected/left out.

There are times I didn'tt take her brother (my grandson) so I can spend quality time with each.

Is it possible you could schedule some visits w/ just this new SGD (step-granddaughter), so you can get to know her more? That way, you could still have separate "quality time w/ each," including her. Do you think this would satisfy GF? (I realize that you have to juggle time w/ other GC, as well.) Or is she, perhaps, trying to forge more of a bond between he 2 girls (if GD is 14).

When I visit most of the time she stays in her room...

Well, she's 13, a new teenager... not unusual behavior... even if your own teenage GC aren't that way. And it means you get more time w/ GD and GS. Under the circumstances, you may have to be ok w/ that for now. In a year or 2 she may not even agree to go w/ you places, so you may be off the hook in that respect sooner than you think (although, by then, hopefully, it won't seem like a "hook").

...and from what my granddaughter says she spends a lot of time in her room

So...  she's not spending a lot of time bonding w/ GD or the new family unit. And probably, as such, frustrating GF - and perhaps DS, too. I don't envy them this problem (I'm sure you don't either). It might be why they want you to include SGD on outings, etc. I'm sorry this is falling on you and that GF seems to be so demanding - Ugh! I imagine that she feels she's fighting for her DD, though, and her new family unit. Does that thought shed any different light on the picture?

ETA: Blue, how did you develop relationships w/ DH's kids/your SC, years ago? Can you develop relationships w/ DS' SC in similar ways?

Edited by RoseRed135

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My "grandson by attrition" is #1 GB's first cousin. They are just weeks apart in age, making them 3 years older than the next group down the age line. This gives them time together as well as giving the cousin an opportunity to participate in large, fun family gatherings that are not peppered with absurdly loud shouting in Chinese (we've got some culture differences). He gets similar gifts (the first year we included him I let my sister know he was coming..."ok, I need to go buy another set of PJs, what size does he wear?"...she gave all the kids PJs...). He's always pleasant, polite, cooperative, has a good time, the other kids like him and we like him. He calls me "Auntie", which is the Chinese norm...and I always spend a few minutes with just him to sort of check in about school, sports, etc. He and my sister get along great. She includes him in her "summer camp" most years. The first year he went he wasn't sure about the pool as he didn't swim well...BIL took him out alone in the pool to talk about safety and show him the basics...he's now fearless in the water, smart as well. 

Look for signs about what this girl might like. Simple, good quality jewelry might be a nice place to start. Does she have pierced ears? Or maybe a bracelet...

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a guiding idea might be, "How would I want my grandchild treated in this situation?" Would you want your gc to be left out, and having to witness the interaction btwn the other child(ren) and grandparents? It would hurt.

Treating a child well is never a wrong idea. I would do a *lot* to avoid causing a child hurt, and in this case, it actually wouldn't take much, just to be treated equally.

What benefit is it, to *anyone* to leave the stepchildren as second rate? Does it make anyone feel good, or better about the situation?

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it's reasonable for anyone to think you would feel the same about your DS's girlfriend's DD as you do about your GD. However I agree that it's both wise and kind to treat this child much the same as you do your own GC. They are forming a new family and it's in your GD's best interest to form a good relationship with her new step sibling. I would try to get to know this girl and give gifts accordingly and yes to keep them in the same range cost wise since DS's girlfriend has made it an issue. I don't think GF is helping her DD by insisting on identical treatment instead of pointing out to her DD that you do often take them both to the same things and that you do give her gifts, but GF isn't here asking for advise. Are the GF's parents involved grandparents too? I wonder if she feels her DD is left out if she doesn't get attention from her side. Maybe with time and patience on your part, this new GD will open up more as she gets to know you and feels more secure. It's got to be hard to be dragged around into your parent's relationships and be expected to be an easy, happy sort of person all the time, especially at 13!

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, missmm said:

I don't think it's reasonable for anyone to think you would feel the same about your DS's girlfriend's DD as you do about your GD. However I agree that it's both wise and kind to treat this child much the same as you do your own GC. They are forming a new family and it's in your GD's best interest to form a good relationship with her new step sibling. I would try to get to know this girl and give gifts accordingly and yes to keep them in the same range cost wise since DS's girlfriend has made it an issue. I don't think GF is helping her DD by insisting on identical treatment instead of pointing out to her DD that you do often take them both to the same things and that you do give her gifts, but GF isn't here asking for advise. Are the GF's parents involved grandparents too? I wonder if she feels her DD is left out if she doesn't get attention from her side. Maybe with time and patience on your part, this new GD will open up more as she gets to know you and feels more secure. It's got to be hard to be dragged around into your parent's relationships and be expected to be an easy, happy sort of person all the time, especially at 13!

To the bolded: exactly. This kid is had her world upended, she's going through puberty, and hasn't gotten a vote in any of it.

Kindness, being treated as the other kids in the home, being accepted and not left out...these things are crucial for her right now. Little things, like a lesser gift, might not be a big deal to an adult (although, from what I've seen and heard, favouritism still hurts, no matter how old you are) but are huge for a kid.

Many blended families take the stance of, "Do for all, or do for none." b/c it's not healthy for either the favoured child, or the unfavoured one, and can have serious negative impact on the relationships btwn the kids, btwn the parents, the entire family.

We went through my MIL drawing lines in our family. In fact, the last time was when she referred to me as a mother of 4 children in a Mother's Day card. She only counted the children born to my marriage with Wolf. Diva, our eldest dd, hasn't talked to her since. She had enough. Not even after the adoption was final, and Diva is now legally her Dad's daughter, will she to talk to MIL again. "If I wasn't good enough to be Dad's daughter before, a piece of paper isn't going to change that." is her stance. And she was only 4 when Wolf and I married.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My mom drew lines between her bio GK....the boys were favored, the girls knew it...they also had a nice relationship with their grandma, but it wasn't what it should have been. Sadly, she ignored the step GK...made infinitely ridiculous by the fact she was slighted stepchild...you'd think she would have had some empathy....but not a shred.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had to  really think about  my answer to this. The situations are all so different. 

I'd have to say that my relationship to my step grandkids is closer than than my relationships with my bio grandkids. 

My husbands children live on the same continent as we do.  I can see my beautiful 'step' grandkids (usually) once per year.

My bio grandkids live 10,000 miles away and where when I was working,  I once saw them every three years or so, now that I am retired and on a pension I can't be sure I will  ever see them again. 

I write to all of them equally.  I send each of them a hand made birthday card and little gift for back to school, and the cost is more based on age than on relationship. (The teenagers get slightly more expensive gifts because they have slightly more expensive "needs".  :p)

I am not as generous with the "ring-ins", mostly because their parents have not encouraged as close a relationship between us.  They get birthday cards and letters like clockwork, but not back to school gifts usually.  Then again, I doubt that it matters to them - we don't have family reunions and I can't imagine my cards and letters being a subject of conversation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, GrandmaMisti said:

I had to  really think about  my answer to this. The situations are all so different. 

I'd have to say that my relationship to my step grandkids is closer than than my relationships with my bio grandkids. 

My husbands children live on the same continent as we do.  I can see my beautiful 'step' grandkids (usually) once per year.

My bio grandkids live 10,000 miles away and where when I was working,  I once saw them every three years or so, now that I am retired and on a pension I can't be sure I will  ever see them again. 

I write to all of them equally.  I send each of them a hand made birthday card and little gift for back to school, and the cost is more based on age than on relationship. (The teenagers get slightly more expensive gifts because they have slightly more expensive "needs".  :p)

I am not as generous with the "ring-ins", mostly because their parents have not encouraged as close a relationship between us.  They get birthday cards and letters like clockwork, but not back to school gifts usually.  Then again, I doubt that it matters to them - we don't have family reunions and I can't imagine my cards and letters being a subject of conversation.

Interesing! Sorry you don't get to see your bio GC anymore, but glad you see your steps! Scimce it's hard for you to travel to see them, is it possible for you to invite them here somehow? Would they come?

Regardless., we generally ask members not to post in threads that are more than 6 months old, unless they're the OP (original poster) or it's a "stickypost"/ thread pinned (thumb tack icon) to the front of the forum. But while this threas was begun this past August, the last reply before yours was in October, And I think we should have a thread for SPs available... well, for as long as we're on this site, that is. So I'm going to go ahead and pin it.

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

Regardless., we generally ask members not to post in threads that are more than 6 months old, unless they're the OP (original poster) or it's a "stickypost"/ thread pinned (thumb tack icon) to the front of the forum. But while this threas was begun this past August, the last reply before yours was in October, And I think we should have a thread for SPs available... well, for as long as we're on this site, that is. So I'm going to go ahead and pin it.

 

Oops.  I did know that...but this came up in my unread content list, so I didn't notice ow old it was.  My apologies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

Interesting! Sorry you don't get to see your bio GC anymore, but glad you see your steps! Scince it's hard for you to travel to see them, is it possible for you to invite them here somehow? Would they come?

If any of us could afford it, they would.  Sadly, SKR80,000 per ticket to fly from Sweden to Australia is also out of their reach financially.  Especially when you start adding children.

It's sad.   But that's life,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, GrandmaMisti said:

Oops.  I did know that...but this came up in my unread content list, so I didn't notice ow old it was.  My apologies.

No worries. I pinned it now, as I said. IMO, we really should have a thread for new SGPs, too,

Regardless, we only have a few more weeks here, as I'm sure you've seen since this community is moving to FB. If you haven't seen the Announcement, here it is:

http://community.grandparents.com/index.php?/announcement/10-please-read-we-are-moving-the-community/

If you have any questions about this, please ask them in the following thread:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, GrandmaMisti said:

If any of us could afford it, they would.  Sadly, SKR80,000 per ticket to fly from Sweden to Australia is also out of their reach financially.  Especially when you start adding children.

It's sad.   But that's life,

Sigh...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now