Author Topic: S/O of obvious disparity  (Read 8642 times)

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rain

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S/O of obvious disparity
« on: December 27, 2012, 07:30:25 PM »
For those of you who have stepparents &/or sibs.... or even if you don't


Is it normal for stepparents to try to have equal gifts between kids, or is it the norm for the bio-parent to spend a lot more on the bio-child?

Regardless of which way it was in your home, what do you think is the better way (esp. when everyone lives in the same home)?
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Sharnita

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2012, 07:33:15 PM »
I would think equal gifts - especially if everyone is in the same house.

blue2000

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2012, 07:48:01 PM »
Equal gifts for any children who are opening them together. Equal gifts from any parent/step in the house. There is favouritism and awkwardness sometimes with parents and stepparents/stepchildren, but it shouldn't show up on Christmas morning.

If the child is getting extra from Grandma or something - they can open them later at her house, or at a different time. Emphasize the fact that this isn't the parents' doing, to save on hurt feelings.
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catrunning

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2012, 08:11:29 PM »
When my husband's parents were alive, they gave one of my husband's brother's children considerably more in the way of gifts than they gave either my stepkids or any of their other cousins.   Their reason was that these particular children's parents were usually unemployed (of their own doing - both of them tended to steal from whoever was foolish enough to hire them), and the grandparents wanted to "make up" for the gifts their own parents wouldn't or couldn't buy them.     

When my stepkids were little, they certainly didn't understand - how could they?   And my inlaws didn't understand why we didn't want my stepkids to have to witness this every year.     And I'm talking about a huge discrepency.    My stepkids and all their other cousins would get a pair of mittens and a $5 bill (same present every year to every kid), and those cousins would get expensive electronics, bikes and the like.    It would be one thing if those presents were given to their cousins at a different time - none of us adults would have cared, we were able to spoil our own kids at Christmas -  but no....it had to happen right in front of everyone.

We just stopped visiting them when presents were opened.    We would either go a day or so before Chirstmas or around New Years.    When the kids got older, they had more insight into the situation, but by then we had established our own traditions.

Interesting side note - the only grandkids who did not attend either of their grandparents' funerals were those particular cousins who got the expensive gifts every year.   

WillyNilly

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2012, 08:32:34 PM »
I think within one household all kids are equal, in my family we don't really recognise "step", or Lhalf" they're just kids or siblings or parents. So I pretty much fall on the side that giftin should be equal. (I also pretty much think gifts should be from both parents, not one, so there's really no opportunity for one parent to gift more to one kid at all.)

MOM21SON

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2012, 09:07:41 PM »
My father treats all of the kids and grandkids the same.

My stepmother favors her kids and grandkids and barely acknowledges my dads "side"

They have been married for 30 years.  we were all kids in the same house for a few years.

jedikaiti

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2012, 09:09:00 PM »
He's still married to her why? I think that would be a deal breaker for me!
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norrina

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2012, 09:09:56 PM »
DF has an 11 y.o. son who has informed us he does not want a half-sibling because he wouldn't get as many presents for Christmas due to us having to spend money on the sibling too. DFSS is a really great kid, but methinks he could benefit from having a younger sibling and learning the fine art if sharing graciously. That being said, if a baby does join the family at some point, I absolutely will not favor my bio child over DFSS, at Christmas or any other time. In fact, DFSS would probably continue to have more spent on him for a good while simply because gifts for infants/toddlers tend to be lss expensive than gifts for teens.

My parents have one bio grandchild, and I don't know what they gave my niece for Christmas because DF and I did Christmas with his family this year, but my parents sent DFSS a very nice present for Christmas. They live over 1000 miles away, so they only finally met DFSS a couple months ago. While they were here DF and I decided to go ahead and choose the kitten we had agreed that DFSS could adopt, and mom and dad asked to be permitted to pay the adoption fee. Essentially, my mom bought her new grandson's love with a kitten.  ;)

I don't think my parents make any sort of concerted effort to treat DFSS and my niece equally, nor do I intend to drive myself crazy making sure that anything I ever get for DFSS and any future bio kids comes out perfectly even. I love DFSS as my own, and my parents know this, and have welcomed him into the family as their grandson. I don't foresee there being any need to make sure everything is equal, because I don't foresee anyone in my immediate family making a distinction between bio and step. In an ideal world, this would be the way it is in any blended family, but I do think that in the less-ideal situations where there is a distinction, Christmas is definitely the time and place to set that aside and make sure all the children are treated equally.

I also agree with what WillyNilly says about the gifts being from both parents. The first couple years DF and I were dating, he gave DFSS presents and I gave DFSS presents. Once we started living together though, DFSS' presents were from "Dad and Norrina". He only got one present from us this year, but it was a bigger/nicer present than either of us would have given him alone.



mmswm

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2012, 09:45:24 PM »
We had a little bit of this sort of issue this year.  I wound up moving back to my parents' in mid-December.  Life has been quite rough for me for the last few years, and my mother knew I would not have the money for my kids to have a huge Christmas.  I still have very young siblings, so my mother and her church group pulled out all the stops to make sure my kids' Christmas matched my little brother and sister's Christmas.  Somewhere in all the conversations back and forth, my mother failed to understand that some friends of mine had "adopted" my kids this year.  On Christmas Eve, two HUGE boxes arrived. The majority of what was in those boxes were for my youngest.  The other two got gift cards for the value of what was spent on the little one.  When we put everything out, the pile for my youngest was easily three times the size of the piles for all the rest of the kids. There was no way to do things separately, so we pulled my little brother and sister aside and explained that sometimes life just isn't fair.  Besides, if any kid deserved a spectacular Christmas this year, it was William.  That poor boy went through so much with multiple, major surgical procedures, spending most of the last year in and out of hospitals and rehab.  It was nice to see him so incredibly excited.  After we explained all that, they were totally cool with the gift disparity.

ETA: This posted before I was done...

Under normal circumstances, we would have made sure the gifts were reasonably equal, but this year was an exception.
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gramma dishes

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2012, 10:02:36 PM »
...    we pulled my little brother and sister aside and explained that sometimes life just isn't fair.  Besides, if any kid deserved a spectacular Christmas this year, it was William.  That poor boy went through so much with multiple, major surgical procedures, spending most of the last year in and out of hospitals and rehab.  It was nice to see him so incredibly excited.  After we explained all that, they were totally cool with the gift disparity.



Kids are usually great that way, aren't they?  I love kids.  They're so much better than lots of adults in their ability to empathize and they're wonderfully able to adjust their definition of the word "fair" as necessary.   :)

MOM21SON

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2012, 10:25:09 PM »
He's still married to her why? I think that would be a deal breaker for me!

If you are referring to me, that is the million dollar question.  I don't have a answer and after years of putting up with it and trying to fight it, I am tired.  My son is not allowed to call her Grandma, because she is "Not really his Grandma."  When she seees him she never hugs him or smiles, just shows him pics of HER wonderful grandkids.

gramma dishes

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2012, 10:28:27 PM »
...    My son is not allowed to call her Grandma, because she is "Not really his Grandma."  When she seees him she never hugs him or smiles, just shows him pics of HER wonderful grandkids.

I'd never allow her to even lay eyes upon him again.  No child deserves to be treated like that.  And you, as his mother, should not be expected to tolerate having your son treated that way. 

Sorry.  That's disgusting!

MOM21SON

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2012, 10:34:16 PM »
...    My son is not allowed to call her Grandma, because she is "Not really his Grandma."  When she seees him she never hugs him or smiles, just shows him pics of HER wonderful grandkids.

I'd never allow her to even lay eyes upon him again.  No child deserves to be treated like that.  And you, as his mother, should not be expected to tolerate having your son treated that way. 

Sorry.  That's disgusting!

Yes it is.  And the last time we saw her was I think 4 or 5 years ago and on the plane home he told me he never wanted to see her again and we haven't!  Its all good.

 

gramma dishes

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2012, 10:42:14 PM »
...    My son is not allowed to call her Grandma, because she is "Not really his Grandma."  When she seees him she never hugs him or smiles, just shows him pics of HER wonderful grandkids.

I'd never allow her to even lay eyes upon him again.  No child deserves to be treated like that.  And you, as his mother, should not be expected to tolerate having your son treated that way. 

Sorry.  That's disgusting!

Yes it is.  And the last time we saw her was I think 4 or 5 years ago and on the plane home he told me he never wanted to see her again and we haven't!  Its all good.

 ;)  You really are a great Mom.  You do know that.  Right?

MOM21SON

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2012, 10:49:49 PM »
...    My son is not allowed to call her Grandma, because she is "Not really his Grandma."  When she seees him she never hugs him or smiles, just shows him pics of HER wonderful grandkids.

I'd never allow her to even lay eyes upon him again.  No child deserves to be treated like that.  And you, as his mother, should not be expected to tolerate having your son treated that way. 

Sorry.  That's disgusting!

Yes it is.  And the last time we saw her was I think 4 or 5 years ago and on the plane home he told me he never wanted to see her again and we haven't!  Its all good.

 ;)  You really are a great Mom.  You do know that.  Right?

Thanks.  I appreciate your kind words.  It makes me sad that others have to deal with this.  OP, Rain, sorry to semi hijack.