Author Topic: S/O of obvious disparity  (Read 8114 times)

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Leather Lady

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2012, 10:23:57 PM »
When we married, he had kids with his ex, and I had kids with my late husband. "My kids" are "ours" and he shares parenting with his ex over his kids. DH wants everything even, but it's not fair. If  mine and his kids get the same from us, then his kids go to their mom's and get more gifts. My kids don't have another parent to spend money on them. When they were little, it wasn't much of an issue, but now it leaves my kids wondering why the other kids get so much more than they do. I would love to strike the whole gift thing from the holiday.
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gramma dishes

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2012, 10:31:26 PM »
...  My kids don't have another parent to spend money on them. When they were little, it wasn't much of an issue, but now it leaves my kids wondering why the other kids get so much more than they do. I would love to strike the whole gift thing from the holiday.

But don't your kids still have the original Dad's family?  His parents, siblings, your parents, other people who love your kids?

Slartibartfast

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2012, 10:31:30 PM »
We've dealt with this, too.  FIL sees no issue with giving one kid more than another, because he loves one more than another, and what's the problem when it's true?  He favored DH over SIL1 and SIL2 (who were preteens when he married MIL, so they're technically his stepdaughters and DH's half-sisters) to the point where things are still a bit strained between DH and his sisters, this many years later.  He liked Niece better than Nephew (both SIL1's kids), but that changed when Niece had a son in her teens, without the guy still being in the picture . . . her son is a year younger than Babybartfast, but FIL is pretty blatant about how much more he likes Babybartfast than Niece'sSon.  The first Christmas, MIL smuggled most of FIL's presents to our house so it wasn't quite so obvious at the big family get-together that Niece'sSon had one small present from FIL and Babybartfast had two dozen big ones.  She bought several things for Niece'sSon to even things out, but even so it was awkward.  She also put her foot down and demanded that FIL redirect some of the many toys he bought for DH and give them to Nephew (who is also not a favored relative in FIL's eyes).

Now we just make sure we're not opening presents with them in the room.  I ended up hosting Christmas this year specifically so MIL wasn't obligated to invite SIL1 & clan over to her house - since she wasn't hosting, it wasn't her call.  We didn't get presents for SIL1's family and as far as I know, they didn't get any for us.  We did get SIL1 a birthday present (her birthday is the 26th), but we sent that home with MIL to get passed on to SIL1 next time she sees her.

As for FIL . . . it's looking like he's going to like Babybartfast better than Bittybartfast, and that's getting nipped in the bud right now.  I don't care how he feels, but he darn well isn't going to show one whit of preferential treatment between our girls or he's not going to get to see either of them.  MIL feels the same way, so as of yet (Bittybartfast is just 6 months old) my suspicions are just suspicions because he's not been given the opportunity to treat them differently.

weeblewobble

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2012, 10:47:29 PM »
My brother and sister and I used to joke about how my husband is my mom's favorite because of his annual Christmas haul.  Mom tends to go a little overboard on him for his birthday and Christmas for several reasons: 1) They are pretty close for a SIL/MIL and she really loves him as a son/the person who makes her daughter extremely happy. 2) She wants to make sure that he doesn't feel he's being treated differently from her "real" kids. and 3) She's trying to make up for what she sees as a lack of gifting on his parents' part.

Years later, Sis married someone who is less close to mom and far more difficult to shop for.   Since the resources are spread around a little thinner, so it's natural there are fewer presents for each of us.  But mom is very careful to make sure that everybody is treated equally, both in number of presents and the overall quality of the items.

"Why use gifts to hurt someone's feelings?" She says.

JenJay

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2012, 10:58:11 PM »
I would never allow anyone to snub my child to their face and I would not let my spouse slide on it, at all, even if the kids didn't open their gifts together. I'd probably have to return the item DH bought me and use the credit to buy my son an iPod.  :-\

Hugs, Rain. I know your son doesn't realize what happened, but his Momma does.

kudeebee

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #35 on: December 29, 2012, 11:08:52 PM »
Sounds like dh was perhaps making it up to his dd for the gifts that your ds gets from his father since dd won't get any from her mom as the mom is deceased.  Not saying that this is right, but that could be his reasoning.

snowdragon

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #36 on: December 29, 2012, 11:56:10 PM »
And then there is the end of the spectrum:

  My brother has a step son  and a son. When they were growing up, we saw the stepson ONLY when gifts were involved - and often not even then. If we saw him in public he did not acknowledge us, even as young kid ( 5 -12) would.not.say.hello.  When the child and his mother first joined our family we tried treating both boys equally, and the Stepson was nasty to my brother's bio-son, rude to us, disrespectful of house rules and told anyone who tried to enforce them "You're not my relatives, I don't have to listen to you!", not only never uttered a thank you, but  threw gifts out in front of us, demanded  replacements - typical angry kid stuff. And we tried to deal with it for the first year or so, but eventually it became clear that this kid wanted nothing from us but expensive presents and money. 
  We grew to resent him coming over and treating us like vending machines. After a couple of years  we informed my brother and SIL that we would not waste money on gifts for this boy any longer, since he did not consider us either part of his family or even worthy of basic respect and after the first time we followed through with it,  his mother made arrangements for him to be with his dad for gift giving occasions. I think SIL resented this ( even tho her family never gifted my brother's son)  - but really we have to gift  a kid who treated us like dirt for years - just because his mom married my brother? We need to treat someone who treated us with disdain just like we treat my other nephew, because his mother married my brother? Really? I don't think so - we would not have tolerated that sort of behavior from bionephew, so why would we tolerate it from someone who we only saw when he expected a gift?

 
 

AnnaJ

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2012, 01:08:25 AM »
Thanks for the details, OP.  Does your husband think that there is a disparity between what your son and your step-daughter receive in total gifts (meaning, from everyone)?  Most parents shoot for something close to equality in gifts, but if he thinks that your son is getting more than he may just be evening the scales in his own mind - not saying he's right, but that may be his belief.

I am curious that you have twice commented about the value of the gift your husband gave to you - do you think that it's wrong for him to give you a more expensive gift than to your son or SD?

ClaireC79

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2012, 04:39:32 AM »
Sounds like you are both trying to be equal - just using different scales.

One is looking at gifts from you (you being the couple), one is looking at total gifts received

rain

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2012, 11:28:04 AM »
I haven't discussed it with DH.  There's past history

In the past he & DSD's maternal grandparents have given her everything she wants (IMHO to make up for the fact her DM passed).  I will admit DH & I had a few arguments as her cousins couldn't get anything with her wanting (& getting) the $$$ version of what they got. 

 :-[  I didn't even "win" the argument after DSD complained that it wasn't fair cousins got to go on a family trip with their mom & dad and she didn't get to go - low & behold DH had a talk with is brother & SIL & DSD got to horn in on their family trip.  After DH set it up I found out about it ... when I said it wasn't right, DSD repeated that it wasn't fair that they got a trip & she didn't.  I told both of them that if it was true, that trips had to be fair, that DSD couldn't go on anymore trips until cousins had "caught up" to all the trips she's taken ...Disney Cruise, two trips to Europe, etc...

What finally put a stop to it - nephew got a hand-me- down leather jacket from an uncle on his mom's side (cousin's uncle is NOT DSD's uncle) and DSD wanted (& talked about) getting one like it but better... and DH basically told her she'd get it.  I later told him I felt bad for his niece & nephew as DSD always get  "better" than what they had ... and that nephew couldn't even get a hand-me-down leather jacket without DSD one-upping him. (DH denied it, until I went thru a long list of gifts where she'd wanted & got the more/most expensive version of what they got.)

DH (and her maternal grandparents) finally stopped giving gifts that "one-upped" DSD's cousins gifts.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 11:35:19 AM by rain »
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rain

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2012, 11:43:16 AM »
oops - someone said I'd commented on how much DH spent on my stocking gift & how much he spent on DSD's stocking gift )approximately the same)...

I don't know if DSD feels insecure, if DH feels guilt about remarrying/survivors guilt, he sometimes trys to treat us as if we're equals (not an adult vs/child)


editied due to TMI
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 12:49:37 PM by rain »
"oh we thank thee lord for the things we need, like the wind and the rain and the apple seed"

Roe

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2012, 01:19:01 PM »
oops - someone said I'd commented on how much DH spent on my stocking gift & how much he spent on DSD's stocking gift )approximately the same)...

I don't know if DSD feels insecure, if DH feels guilt about remarrying/survivors guilt, he sometimes trys to treat us as if we're equals (not an adult vs/child)


editied due to TMI

Yikes!  That's a HUGE red flag for me.  And unfortunately beyond the scope of any advice we can offer.  I can only suggest you speak to a counselor 'cause it sounds like more is going on than just a stocking issue.  Good luck Rain!!!  Many hugs to you and esp your son, who seems to be caught in the middle of a battle. 

miranova

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2012, 02:03:04 PM »
I can't tell you how many adults I know who are to this day very resentful because of unequal gift giving by one of their parents, who gave more gifts to the children of the 2nd marriage.  They were the "forgotten" children of the first marriage and hurt about it to this day.  I don't want my children or stepchildren ever feeling that way.  I will always spend the same amount on my stepchildren as I do on my children, regardless of whether their mother showers them with gifts a day later.  It's not about total gifts, it's about telling them "you are loved and accepted in this home, just as much as my biological children are".

JenJay

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #43 on: December 30, 2012, 02:12:00 PM »
I'm terribly sorry that this child's mother has passed on. It is horrible and unfair, but my goodness, does her Dad plan to give her everything she wants, forever, to compensate for it? Ultimately that's just setting her up to be very unhappy for the rest of her life. Eventually, unless she ends up with limitless disposable income, she's going to encounter something she wants but can't afford.

Does the one-upping apply to your son as well? If he comes over with a new gadget or item does your DH go out and buy her a better one?  :(

blarg314

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Re: S/O of obvious disparity
« Reply #44 on: December 30, 2012, 09:35:01 PM »

Given the background you've posted in followups, I'd say this problem is way deeper than a disparity in Christmas gifts. Those poor kids. DSD's step-siblings and cousins are growing up knowing they can't get any sort of treat or special thing (even a vacation with their parents or a second hand jacket!) without DSD pouting and automatically being given better. 

And honestly, poor DSD. She's fully absorbed the message that goes with her father's spoiling - she deserves and should always get better than everyone else. That is likely to damage the relationship between her and her cousins and step sibling on a long term basis.  Plus, people with attitudes like that litter the worst stories on this board. People tend not to like entitled demanding selfish people very much, or want to spend time with them (or hire them, for that matter).  And spoiled children tend not to deal well with real life, when Daddy can't buy them better or browbeat people into giving stuff to them.