Do you like one more than the other?

stepladyDecember 23, 2010

Since browsing this forum and a few others, plus reading "Stepmonster", I have been examining my feelings more. Even though both SD11 and SS7 have some serious issues with manner, respect, and gratefulness, I do find myself "liking" one a lot more than the other. SS7 does treat me a lot better than SD11 and I find myself gravitating towards him a lot more. I just went through my xmas budget and I even showed preferential treatment there and spent double on him than I did her.

What do you do when you like one more than the other?

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Hmmm. I have my bio-DD and my SS, both 8 yrs old.

I think what you're describing is probably not that uncommon from people with more than one bio-child. At any given time and age, children might gravitate more toward the parent than another sibling. I know I've heard some parents say they have more *in common* with a particular child or find one child easier to parent, etc----which can be construed as liking that one more.

It has nothing to do with LOVE, though, and I think it is perfectly natural for this phenomenon to occur; so why not for step-parents?

As long as the parent/SP doesn't SHOW the children this *preference* I think it's okay to feel however you feel internally.

I was JUST talking with a good friend of mine who has four kids and I asked her point blank--do you truly love your children equally? She told me this:

"I'll be honest---there are times I FEEL like I love one child more than another, depending on the mood, what phase that child may be going through; one might NEED me more at a certain phase and I notice my attention/love focusing on him or her. But it all balances out and I LOVE them all equally, but it is sometimes FELT differently in my heart. If that makes sense."

I paraphrased her, obviously, but I thought it was interesting.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 2:06PM
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I understand "wanting" to gravitate more toward the one that treats you nice. That said if your feelings run so deep you actually spent double on Christmas for SS I think your feelings may be obvious to the SD and it is probably contributing to the problem.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 2:16PM
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I understand your feelings, I have SD14 that I dont get along with for many reasons. Then SD13 that is more like me we have alot in common. So i tend to hang out with her or see things that she would like. I do find things for SD14 also its just not as easy for me with her. Then there is SS11, that is just like his dad. He has a wonderful personality, he has me wrapped...

The oldest will make comments that her SD13 or SS11 is my favorite only when she wants something and I wont give in. I treat them equal, spend equal amounts. Its harder to get stuff for SS but the girls I could spend a fortune if not careful.
Now their mom favors SD14, they are just alike, look alike, have alot in common. It is very obvious to everyone. My DH said it has always been a problem. I know she loves them all but just think its the connection thats different. NOt that she actually loves SD14 more.

Your SD may get her feeling hurt and you DH may not be very happy about it. If it were me I would do what I could to make it equal.My husband does not expect me to love his kids but he does expct me to treat them fairly.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 3:53PM
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@lovehadley - I've often wondered whether bio-parents had favorites. What she said makes sense.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 4:05PM
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@eandhl and jess3 - You could be right....and I was buying SS7's gifts, I kind of realized what was going on but I didn't want him to get less because his sister has issues with me and I didn't want to buy her more just to make it equal when I don't feel she deserves more.

I had a very hard time buying gifts for someone who has to be told repeatedly to speak to me.

Not too sure how to balance it out.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 4:10PM
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Younger kids are easier to buy more for... there is so much cute/fun stuff to choose from that they'll like and as kids get older, they may have particular interests and it' gets harder to know what they'll like or think is silly. But, the issue isn't really about the gifts, right? (Gifts are given from the heart & should not be forced.) I decided this year, to buy SD separate gifts than what DH gets her. I bought a few nice things but nothing fancy or off her "list" which consisted of iPod, laptop, PS3, & lots of other expensive, unrealistic items. Then DH went shopping on his own. He spent more $$ than me, but he got her... well, I thought it was boring, lame things like a comforter & backpack. (just plain ones too!) and I pictured SD opening them & then the tears... nothing from her list. I know she will not tell DH anything about the stuff he got her, she cares about his feelings. So, I went & got a few more things & added them to the "from Santa" pile so she won't know they are from me. I don't plan on being around when she opens them. (she comes back on Sunday night) My presence would probably make it less comfortable for her so I'd rather her share the moment with her dad, unless she asks for me.

As for her noticing favoritism & it affecting how she feels about you. That could be happening. But, sometimes there are differences in how stepchildren relate to the stepparent based on gender. Son's usually 'like' and are nicer to a stepmom than a daughter. That could be because two females are 'competing' for dad's attention/affection. A stepmom might be seen as a rival to the daughter but the son may see the qualities in the stepmom, that attracted the dad to her. Likewise, son's may feel more rivalry with a stepdad... it's seen more when they are 'competing' to be man of the house. Daughters may see the qualities in the stepdad that mom finds attractive. There could be many factors in why people like or don't like someone, and in step situations it's more complex because there are the stereotypes, different perceptions, assumptions, etc. It's made worse when kids experience mom & dad splitting to two houses... but when they hate each other, find someone new & want the kids to be as excited as they are, etc. Imagine how a child feels hearing mom say she's found her soulmate in the new BF.... what about my dad? or vice versa.

Oh yeah, I have three kids. I love them all. I'd jump in front of a bus for any of them but they all have different personalities & traits. They all get on my nerves at different times... occasionally all at the same time. I do more for one or another when I feel they need more & trying to be fair or equal doesn't work. I don't consider how many gifts or the price of the gifts when shopping for them. I try to get them what I think they want, need & will appreciate. This year, I bought my middle son many things (he has moved out & is his first apartment, struggling financially), my daughter got less but everything she asked for (she still lives at home), and I have not yet bought my oldest son anything... I may give him cash because he has to fly back to his base & it would be very expensive to ship anything back east. He needs furniture for his new apartment so cash will suffice. I bought his son (DGS) about half of what SD got, mostly because he doesn't really need anything & he's running out of room for toys & clothes. He's 21 mos... he won't really care.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 11:48AM
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