Author Topic: S/O of obvious disparity  (Read 8358 times)

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pearls n purls

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2012, 11:12:26 PM »
This doesn't involve step-kids, but one thing I love about my mom is that she treats her children's spouses as she does her kids.  My DH and I get approximately equal gifts from my parents.  We have a baby that will be here very soon, so my parents gave us some money to be used either for getting food delivered once the baby is here or to use for baby supplies.  Half the cash was in a little box for my DH to open up and half was given to me.  My parents do similar things for my sister and her DH.  I think this helps the in-laws feel loved and part of the family.

I can't imagine being intentionally unfair to minor children.  Even though gifts do not equal love, a child who is not given similar values/amounts of gifts and other children in the family is going to feel less loved and valued.

blarg314

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2012, 11:53:46 PM »
If the children are going to find out, then generally equal.

The one situation where I think things could be more complicated is something like Child A and Child B are step/half siblings, and live in the same household. Child A gets showered with tons of gifts from a parent outside of the household (like the non-custodial parent). Child B gets nothing from their other parent(s). In that case, the custodial parents might choose to balance things somewhat for the same motivations as they would keep things equal, normally.

I can understand why more distant relative (grandparents, aunts and uncles) would feel odd giving expensive gifts to a child they may have had little contact with, like a teenage step-child, however, in the interests of not stressing what is often already a difficult family situation, it's better to scale back the total giving and be fair than have a big disparity.

Other giving, like giving to an education fund, or wills, tend to happen in the background, and can be treated differently, when it comes to extended family, like grandparents.


25wishes

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2012, 09:32:47 AM »
I had a stepmom for a few years. While I do not recall gifts, I clearly remember one holiday when my step-sis got a card from SM, handwritten in, "To my favorite daughter" (there were one boy and one girl on her side, two girls on my dad's side).

re the step-mom who doesn't want to be called Grandma by her step-GKs - I am now a stepmom, no kids of my own, several GKS thru DH. I started out being called by my given name, on a visit last summer to one set of GKs they started calling me Grandma and I was so happy!! If I can get the rest of them to do that it will be wonderful. They are all little, 6 and under, so I am hoping.... :)

norrina

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2012, 10:42:04 AM »
re the step-mom who doesn't want to be called Grandma by her step-GKs - I am now a stepmom, no kids of my own, several GKS thru DH. I started out being called by my given name, on a visit last summer to one set of GKs they started calling me Grandma and I was so happy!! If I can get the rest of them to do that it will be wonderful. They are all little, 6 and under, so I am hoping.... :)

With DFSS being only 11 now, grandchildren are (I hope) a long ways off still, but I too would dearly love them to call me grandma. I won't force the issue of course, though i wouldn't insist my bio grandchildren call me anything in particular either, as I find those things develop organically. (DFSS calls me primarily by my given name, but also Bagel [after he misheard when DF called me babels as a pet name], and several cutesy variations of my given name, and my niece calls my mom, who is all of 5' tall while her other grandmother is closer to 6', "little grandma".)

My grandpa was married three times, his first wife died when I was 3, and he remarried shortly after and I called his second wife Grandma FirstName. That was fine, because she was essentially the only grandma I ever knew. She passed when I was 16 or 17, and he remarried again when I was in college. His third wife wanted me to just call her straight up Grandma. When I resisted, pointing out that I had already had 2 grandmas at this point and was now a grown woman so it was kind of late in the game to having a third, she got very hurt, and grandpa very bent out of shape. I was asked to call her Grandma FirstName as a compromise and in the interest of family harmony, so mostly I just avoided calling her anything. Ultimately grandpa ending up disowning me for divorcing, which I am pretty sure was her doing (grandpa was Catholic, but 2 of his sons had also divorced without repercussion, and he hadn't approved of the marriage in the first place).



auntmeegs

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2012, 11:31:59 AM »
While you can't always control what other members of the extended family are going to do, IMO there should never be any difference on what the children's PARENTS give to the kids.  My brother has a stepson (his wife's child from a previous relationship) and a bio son (he and his wife's child together) and it would never occur to him
in a million years to have a different level of gift-giving for the two children. 

snappylt

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2012, 04:13:52 PM »

[snip] - most of quote deleted here -

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.

Wow.

rain

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2012, 10:51:37 AM »
OP here - sigh - I try  to make the presents equal (ok, sometimes I agonize over it).

DH ruined it for me... but doesn't know that he upset me

I'm the gift buyer, stocking stuffer (including my own stocking), etc.  DH will get one gift for each of the kids (his DD & my DS)

This year DH got me something I didn't expect as a "stocking stuffer" - 'bout $150 value, he got DSD a new Ipod for her stocking, and for DS's stocking  :( >:( an $5-$8 dice game - which DH picked up for me as it made the kids stockings equal (DS was at his dad's & wasn't with us when the rest of us got our stockings)

 :(  Now, I want nothing to do with the gift he'd gotten me because it hurts that I try to treat the kids equally, and he sees nothing wrong with doing what he did. 

 :-[  I don't know if I'm odd or not, but I tend to have feelings/emotions/memories attached to things - I went from happy/excited to hurt ....
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Winterlight

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2012, 12:05:34 PM »
Ouch. I see the problem.

Can you reverse things and ask him how it would be if your son got the Ipod and his daughter got the cheap gift?
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Roe

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2012, 12:38:38 PM »
*hugs* to you Rain. That really stinks. Big time.  Not sure what advice to give you but I can't understand why your DH doesn't see the issue.  It says quite a bit about him and how he sees your son and that's really unfortunate. 

Has this ever happened before? 

problemattic

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2012, 01:06:16 PM »
This sort of thing created a rift in my family that has yet to heal. 

DH and I married when my DD from a previous marriage was just over two years old.  DH considered her "his" from day one, and treated her as such, even after we had a child together.  DH's dad never accepted my DD, and always gifted her differently...meaning far less...than his other grandchildren.  When she became old enough to realize this, DH talked with his dad and let him know this was unacceptable.  His dad ignored him, and DH cut off contact with his dad.  Period.  I thought the reaction was too harsh at first, but DH said, "What kind of person would knowingly hurt a child's feelings over and over again?"  He had a point.   

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there's my mom.  My brother and I, both in our 40's, get a kick out of her complete panic when she realizes she's spent more on gifts for one of us than on gifts for the other.  Now, there are grandchildren in the mix, and she feels she must spend precisely the same amount on each of them, too!  We all tell her it's not necessary to be THAT fair, but she persists.  She doesn't want anyone to feel they are less favored!   ;D

There is a happy medium somewhere in there, and honestly, I think a lot of people who gift step-kids differently aren't deliberately being mean-spririted.  I used to be bad about buying more for my neice than my nephew.  I didn't mean to do it...she was just easier to buy for.  When someone brought it to my attention, I corrected that behavior...and I explained to Nephew why I'd bought more for his sis in the past.  He's a smart cookie.  He said, "Yeah, she likes EVERYTHING!" 

I wouldn't stop trying to get hubby to understand your viewpoint on this, OP.  You're justified in feeling hurt.  You obviously try hard to do the right thing, and it's reasonable that you expect he do the same.  I hope you're able to resolve this quickly, and have a Happy New Year with your blended family!

AnnaJ

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2012, 01:22:10 PM »
Could this be an attempt to "even out" gifts?  Do your SD's mother and your son's father gift the kids equally? 

I am wondering if you husband is trying to make up for a disparity between the kids - if your ex gives larger or more expensive presents to your (mutual) son than your SD's mother gives to their (mutual) daughter, I can sort of see your husband thinking he needs to even it up for his daughter. 

miranova

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2012, 02:05:38 PM »
OP here - sigh - I try  to make the presents equal (ok, sometimes I agonize over it).

DH ruined it for me... but doesn't know that he upset me

I'm the gift buyer, stocking stuffer (including my own stocking), etc.  DH will get one gift for each of the kids (his DD & my DS)

This year DH got me something I didn't expect as a "stocking stuffer" - 'bout $150 value, he got DSD a new Ipod for her stocking, and for DS's stocking  :( >:( an $5-$8 dice game - which DH picked up for me as it made the kids stockings equal (DS was at his dad's & wasn't with us when the rest of us got our stockings)

 :(  Now, I want nothing to do with the gift he'd gotten me because it hurts that I try to treat the kids equally, and he sees nothing wrong with doing what he did. 

 :-[  I don't know if I'm odd or not, but I tend to have feelings/emotions/memories attached to things - I went from happy/excited to hurt ....

I have a blended family and this would simply NEVER happen in my home.  Ever.  We treat all of the children equally.  We spent a bit less on the two youngest simply because the things they wanted were cheaper, but they have no way of knowing that.  There was no obvious disparity and neither of us would ever allow that.  All of the children who live in this home get the same treatment. 

We can't control what their other parents do in the other houses, but we can and DO control what happens here. 

I think your husband was really wrong to do what he did.  He may not have realized it but this would be a hill to die on for me and we'd be having words.

Shoo

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2012, 02:11:22 PM »
OP here - sigh - I try  to make the presents equal (ok, sometimes I agonize over it).

DH ruined it for me... but doesn't know that he upset me

I'm the gift buyer, stocking stuffer (including my own stocking), etc.  DH will get one gift for each of the kids (his DD & my DS)

This year DH got me something I didn't expect as a "stocking stuffer" - 'bout $150 value, he got DSD a new Ipod for her stocking, and for DS's stocking  :( >:( an $5-$8 dice game - which DH picked up for me as it made the kids stockings equal (DS was at his dad's & wasn't with us when the rest of us got our stockings)

 :(  Now, I want nothing to do with the gift he'd gotten me because it hurts that I try to treat the kids equally, and he sees nothing wrong with doing what he did. 

 :-[  I don't know if I'm odd or not, but I tend to have feelings/emotions/memories attached to things - I went from happy/excited to hurt ....

Does your son's father give him gifts?

miranova

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2012, 02:43:12 PM »
OP here - sigh - I try  to make the presents equal (ok, sometimes I agonize over it).

DH ruined it for me... but doesn't know that he upset me

I'm the gift buyer, stocking stuffer (including my own stocking), etc.  DH will get one gift for each of the kids (his DD & my DS)

This year DH got me something I didn't expect as a "stocking stuffer" - 'bout $150 value, he got DSD a new Ipod for her stocking, and for DS's stocking  :( >:( an $5-$8 dice game - which DH picked up for me as it made the kids stockings equal (DS was at his dad's & wasn't with us when the rest of us got our stockings)

 :(  Now, I want nothing to do with the gift he'd gotten me because it hurts that I try to treat the kids equally, and he sees nothing wrong with doing what he did. 

 :-[  I don't know if I'm odd or not, but I tend to have feelings/emotions/memories attached to things - I went from happy/excited to hurt ....

Does your son's father give him gifts?

I don't see why that matters as that would be done away from the other child.  Children in the same home should not have to watch unequal treatment right before their eyes.  My children and my stepchildren know that they receive gifts in the other houses and that these gifts are probably not going to be equal.  But in our home, they are all treated the same.

rain

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2012, 03:04:48 PM »
DSD & I both know what I got as a stocking present from DH, what she got from DH, & what DS got from DH.... and that there're not equal ... not even in the realm.  DS doesn't know what I got, or what DSD got.

DH is a widdower, his 1st wife passed at a young age.

-DSD's Maternal Grandparents - we don't get along - long story*, but they do give gifts to DS (not the same value as their only grandchild, and not expected by me)

-my DS is the youngest grandchild by several years on all sides of the family, and MIL doesn't gift the kids equally, bio-grandchildren- esp boys (and the mothers of bio-grandchildren) get the better ($$$) stuff -

- ex gives gifts to DS, and my ex-ILs treat all their grandkids equally (well - I don't know if they include step-granddaughter, in the past I made sure she wasn't left out/got nothing for X-mas); my ex ILs do not give gifts to DSD (not expected)

My DM gifts the kids equally



*if you really, really want the back story pm me
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