family and difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jena, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi everyone,

    I hope everyone had a great holiday. Mine was a mixed one, I have to be honest. xmas eve was great with-my family, xmas day with boyfriend's family not so great. I have very mixed feelings about how they handled things with-my kids and I needed some thoughts.

    So, some brief background so this isn't so long. We've spent a few holidays with them, all last years holidays for the most part, so in general I am no stranger to these ppl.

    They also know of difficult child's diagnosis and issues. So, here goes........we go there, first of all boyfriend's littlest one throws up in truck on way out. She was sick all day, that was fun by the way. Felt bad for her.

    It was time to open gifts, there are alot of kids, his sister's 3 kids, his 3 and my 2. They do ea. kid at a time, i'm taking picture's of all of them, etc. Now, these ppl have serious money. They give ridiculous gifts. Coach bags, money, just like I can't even tell you. Me, I get the standard sweater on sale from them, ok tha'Tourette's Syndrome fine. They hand boyfriend a gift certfiicate to a restaraunt WE go to for HIM. Weird I thought. Than they hand my two kids a box, inside the box are a pair of slippers. Now granted they were basic slippers, tie dye colors. I'm not about the "money" I'm really not.

    Yet difficult child sat there watching his kids open huge doll houses, gifts that were coach bags, skate boards, huge huge gifts. difficult child sat there opened her slippers and gave me a look and that was it for her for the day.

    My thought, all they had to do was put some thought into it, get the kid a barbie for ten dollars. She would of been thrilled. Yet they used no thought or care at all. She felt so slighted and hurt and miserable the rest of the day. I had no idea how to handle this. I said listen baby remember we are always grateful for what we get, remember that. She said but the kids got toys and barbies and skateboards and coach bags and they gave me slippers. easy child handled it well, she didnt' really care. Santa treated her well at dad's and our house so she was all good.

    So, rest of day was spent with difficult child miserable to the point I felt so bad she got hurt due to their carelessness. Am I wrong here? I said to boyfriend why would they do something like that?? Last year they gave my kids nothing by the way. I said to boyfriend they'd better get my kids something or i'll buy something and bring it for them to hand her. I'm not going to have her upset on xmas day.

    So, needless to say i'm disgusted with them. Their carelessness. It just seems like their indirectly trying to make a point by handling things this way.

    any thoughts?? am I being overdramatic here?? i don't think so. difficult child was sad at bed and went on about it for half hr last night.
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    You're not a wife. They're not grandkids. They probably don't approve of the relationship, at least not the live-in factor. Does that excuse their callousness? Not really but it is what it is.

    I'm sorry your daughter was hurt but at almost 10, she is old enough to understand that life isn't always fair, especially not when people have favorites. I sincerely doubt your daughter would have been happy with just a $10 Barbie when the other kids were getting tons of gifts. This is especially true if she's noticing labels.

    Regardless of how they feel about you or the live-in situations, kids are being hurt. I would either do one of two things -- either come later with my kids after gifts have been opened or flat out demand that my kids get the same number of gifts as his kids (not the same value, just the same amount). Bringing gifts for yours to open is a nice idea but they're still going to feel slighted.

    I did have a friend who was in a very similar situation. They both had two kids that were very close in age. They got the message across quite well to his parents. His daughter opened a gift, her daughter opened a gift meant for his daughter. Ditto for the two boys. And every kid got to keep what was opened by them. The grandparents were rather chagrinned to see their wonderful gifts going to kids they really had no attachment to but they then did understand that this was family and all kids were to be treated equally. by the way -- it was the husband's idea to do this, not the wife's.

    I wish you luck. Blended families are truly hard for some people to cope with.
  3. artana

    artana New Member

    I am sooo sorry. This does sound completely needlessly thoughtless. I would be just as upset as you. My question is what does boyfriend think? I'm asking because it makes all the difference in the world if he understands what is going on and is willing to talk to his family about it.
    Just tell your difficult child what a great girl she was for acting so well. She was upset and hurt, but it sounds like she handled it like a pro. That is a huge thing. Maybe do something special with her this weekend?
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was thinking what Meow said. You aren't married so they don't feel your kids are equal to theirs and they probably don't approve of a live-in relationship. Maybe they expect the two of you to break up one day and not investing in your kids. You can't change that. This is what I'd do if this happened to me. I am way beyond dealing with **** anymore ;) If people don't act right, I take care of it my own way--in the way I feel is best for me and especially my kids, even my grown kids ;)

    I'd send boyfriend to see his family and stay home with kids. They aren't your in-laws yet and they aren't acting like it. They are hurting you kids, whatever their reasons are. I wouldn't even take my kids to biological relatives if they did that. Does your boyfriend have a problem with that? He's the only one who can talk to his parents, and hopefully he has the spine to do it. He's an adult and should lay down the law.

    This could be a snapshot into your future, if the two of you plan on staying together, so I'd pay close attention to it. Decide what you can handle and what you can't. I think the slippers were a deliberate gift that said, "You two aren't important to us. You're not our family. But you're here so we gave you a package, but that's IT."
  5. I'm sorry that they were like that. They might have felt that they were not "obligated" to get anything since they were their grandkids, but in my opinion, they should have been more considerate and been more thoughtful in the gift, like you said spend $10 on a barbie instead of $5 on slippers for a little kid.

    I remember when my daughter was little, probably about 4, we always celebrated the holiday's with my husbands family. She has a cousin that is 3 years older than she is. One year, my sister-in-law (aunt to both girls) lavished gifts on my niece and my daughter got a couple of outfits. The cousin was opening gifts and opening gifts. I remember my daughter just looked and looked and then looked at me. You could tell she couldn't understand why her cousin got so many presents and she got a few items. That same Christmas, she overheard her aunt (the same one) and her daughter discuss taking the cousin to the movies, my daughter spoke up and said "what about me" they ended up inviting her too, but I am sure they wouldn't have. This was family too!!
  6. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi guys and thank you, at least I know that my feelings were dead on. boyfriend doesn't see that they did it on purpose. Yet I told him I will not place my kids in that situation again. We will have to see how the year progresses with your family to gauge what i will do next year.

    It was careless on their part and thoughtless. The coach thing was me stating that. It was just totally obvious that they slighted my kids and meant to.

    I told him if we're going to make it we cannot let our families rock us, what they did was wrong hands down, yet boyfriend made sure he busted his butt to give me and my kids and his a great xmas. that doesn't take away from what he did.

    I do not like them, what they did was wrong. I would never ever hurt a kid like that intentionally,ever. It was like a oh your here let's just give you something to open thing. totally wrong. ugh.
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Two Brooms did that to wee difficult child the first year we were in the family, but wee difficult child was too little to care. The second year, when he was big enough to care, I came armed with a trunk-load of gifts and dove under the tree as soon as we got there (not discreetly, either), counted packages, and went to the trunk (not disreetly) and made things equal.
    It hasn't happened since.
    Recently, I have also threatened to not go. I don't feel a part of the family, and if I don't feel like it, I won't go. husband knows I'm not blowing smoke about it. I think he could stick up for us more, but he does plant occassional bugs about things they need to do. He has a lot more to plant.
    Seriously, tho, you may be glimpsing into your future. Use the crystal ball wisely.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Jen, to me their actions were cruel. They may not approve of the relationship. They may not see your daughter's as grandchildren. But it is NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER right to so obviously slight a child. Esp at a major holiday.

    I am pretty sure that these people (excluding SO and his kids) are not worth your time. In the future, any birthday, holiday, etc.... that comes up do this: You celebrate with SO and the kids like a normalish family. Then he can go to his parents' home with just his kids. You and your daus can stay home and make a Christmas Memory. Write a story together, play games, play with your toys, do makeovers, watch movies, YOUR kind of stuff.

    But I would not darken their doorstep again for a LOOOOONG time.

    I am so sorry for the girls. We KNOW who is on the permanent, no removal Naughty List. And they have problem been there since they were infants.

    Gentle hugs,

    Last edited: Dec 26, 2008
  9. lizzie09

    lizzie09 lizzie

    Oh Jennifer I can understand your is awful and def not about the money...let me think a bit and I might come back with sonething more intelligent in a while....aghhhh some people DONT THINK or dont CARE!
    Poor little kid must have felt so out of things with no toy. Hugs.
  10. Jena

    Jena New Member

    thanks for all the respones, i appreciate it, I do. I was really upset by what they did, and I know I won't place the kids in that situation again ever. Yet it's odd to me also, we have gone through even easter with his family last year and they made sure to have bags for each kids with all their names on each bag. Just very odd their sudden behavior.

    I don't think it matters either whether we are married or not. It doesn't matter to my family, it shouldnt' matter. Kids are kids plain and simple. Totally disappointed in them, thank good ness no holidays are anytime soon.
  11. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Total rudeness -I would be soooooo mad. O.K., you don't want to get my kids gifts, then wait until they are not there to open gifts. What is wrong with these people?

    boyfriend needs to tell his parents that their behavior was uncalled for. These two kids are new to his life and are to be treated with the same love and respect as his other kids. If boyfriend does the confrontation to his parents, they may listen. He needs to let them know that they hurt one of his girls. She may not be his biodaughter but she comes with you so that makes her his girl on some level. There was no need for that. They could have arranged a day without difficult child and easy child to open gifts.
  12. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello All--

    New here...but I felt that I had to respond to this issue.

    My family and I actually stopped going to certain relative's houses for Christmas after the kids were slighted one too many times. Enough was enough!!

    We decided that if they wanted to see us for the holiday--they would have to come to OUR house. That way, if they only brought a small was very much appreciated and not compared to the cousins' very pricey presents.

    This arrangement has worked out very well and has avoided a lot of hurt feelings all the way around.

  13. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi andy

    well, boyfriend is very non confrontational, so that will not happen i am pretty much sure of it. what will happen though, and I am ok with is the next time there is a gift giving holiday of sorts this will be mentioned and if they are not willing to do the same with my kids as his than i just will not go and odds are he wouldn't either.

    at one point i got very upset and text him adn told him so. he said do you want to leave?? i said that would be ridiculous to cause a scene and make this even bigger, he said no we'd all go.

    it is what it is at this point. i'm upset yet i can't beat him up over it, he didn't do it. they did. ya know...?
  14. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    It sounds like they really don't see you or the kids as family.
    I've been dating my boyfriend for over 3 years. He is Jewish so we spend the Jewish holidays with them and Christmas with mine.

    His parents do lots for difficult child, not as much as their only grandchild but they do make her feel welcome.

    If your boyfriend isn't going to do anything about it, I suggest you stop going to his family for the holidays. It's not worth it to hurt your children.

  15. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Daisy Face - Welcome!! I"m sorry I missed yours, and thank you for the response.

    Steph We actually spoke of it last night and I said you have to say something to them, i'Tourette's Syndrome not right. He's convinced it wasn't intentional. I said come on how could it not of been?? if that's the case than it just proves how little they do not care, we're not even on their radar. I said it was intentional and you don't get it i will not go there again. i won't put her through that, it was just mean what they did and their lucky i'm not calling them on it. I'd lose it.
  16. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I feel so bad for your difficult child. I do feel that boyfriend's family is afraid of getting attached because you are not married. My sister/brother in law had three boys. (wanted a girl) They adopted a girl. His parents SAID "she is not their granddaughter. She isn't going to give her the same as the boys, only to have her walk out and find her "real" parents"

    I really like the idea of sending boyfriend - alone. I would rather create my own holiday memories. Visit for a day, open gifts at your home. I would not attend the gift opening. Drop off a gift, pick up a under YOUR tree.
  17. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I was thinking about this again this morning. It bothers me so much.

    You know, we teach our day school kids not to do this amongst themselves. If you don't give a gift to everyone, you don't present a gift to anyone. The kids are allowed to give larger gifts to each other but if they don't have one for everyone, that gift is to be put into the backpack to take home. It is not to be given or opened in front of the other students.

    I don't see it as the issue that the people did not give your girls the same. I understand that grandparents have a way of giving more to their own (we tend to do this with our own kids). It is an issue of how they presented the gifts. Kids can differentiate between relationships - they see how one person got more/better than them and though they know why, it still hurts. They wish they were the other person and not themselves. We don't ever want our children to wish they were someone else - that is the start of a very low self esteem. Makes them feel not good enough.

    Bottom line, you never show favortism in a group of kids. Grandparents could have talked to boyfriend and said, "We would love to have you and Jen and her kids for Christmas Day. We do have to talk about how to make it work around the gifts. We do not want to hurt Jen's kids by having them present when the other kids open their gifts. Can you and our grandkids come Christmas Eve to open gifts? We will save one out for each kid to open when Jen is here."

    It is easier for the kids to see and enjoy other kids' gifts once they are open - the opening is the hard part.
  18. ML

    ML Guest

    I agree with Andy. Consideration of the kids' feelings has to be the most important thing. I think difficult child could understand the relational differences but there has got to be more thought put into it. If money isn't an issue and clearly for them it isn't, a couple presents that would have meaning for difficult child wouldn't have been that hard. It doesn't matter what their intentions or nonintentions are. Next year either don't go, or if you do, make sure difficult child has gifts even if you have to bring them and put "from Santa". I'm sorry she got hurt. Blended families are hard, I know. Thinking of difficult child and you.

    And remember, it's OVER!
  19. compassion

    compassion Member

    I have found it helpful to set boundaries. The kids have a godmother who came over yesterday. She is very thoughtful. Id o though alwasy put out what is best for our family. Coming over Christmas was not. My son, 18 did not want to see her and I did not push it.
    I have to really practice detachment with the two uncles. My brother hasnot called aor sent anything this year, his loss. My hudaband's brother was late and noncommucicative,again his issues.
    I model incluscivty,genrosity. I give to son's birth bother's each year. I find it helps to keep the focus on my values an dchices. ihave loved that we do our own traditons here . Compassion
  20. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I'm trying to calm down about the whole thing, because i don't want to eat boyfriend alone due to it, it really isn't his fault. Thing is if we're going to make this work than we cannot allow anyone to rock us is my motto, not his family nor mine with the carp my family pulled about a year or so ago disowning me when him and i got together. it was rough.

    with that said i said to him, i was hoping you would control it. yet it's not fair to him inbetween running a business, keeping us ok, making sure to take care of his kids needs and mine and than i put that ontop of him as well. I got difficult child thru it and kept pushing we have a great xmas a.m. together, boyfriend made cupcakes with her while i cleaned the wrapping paper, with her new cupcake maker. we ate breakfast together, we laughed. it was so so much better than last year it really was. tha'Tourette's Syndrome what my hope is that every year is better than the one before. this year it was regarding this.

    I did tell him he needs to speak to them, becuase him and i put so much effort into making sure that each child got same amt of gifts, etc. so no one would feel slighted. he even made sure to give kids the wii he bought them when he picked them up at his house instead of here. we couldn't afford two of them, and soon we'll get one for here as well. yet his kids had asked for one, mine had not.

    so piont being is we put so much effort into what we do, with everything and we function incredibly well with the 5 kids together so for an outside party to rain on our parade is not acceptable. i told him if you do not speak to them i will not go there ever again.

    bottom line is they put absolutely no thought into it at all. i'm mad, really mad, yet i tend to obsess thats my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) so i'm trying to release it and move forward and not take it out on boyfriend. i kept telling him since november make sure they do the right thing for my kids, etc. than that happened. his family is very self centered, all about the money whereas boyfriend is not. the guy goes to work in the same old work cooking pants for 20 years now, where's the same sweatshirt, etc. i have to make him take it off so i can wash it lol. so he's not that way, drives an old truck. yet them it's all brand new cars, the best of everything, huge houses, you name it. soo not me. i cann't connect with those types of ppl