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Step family issue, what to do?

today my stepson got a Christmas present from his maternal grandfather. He gets one every year. We have full custody of my stepson and his mother no longer has any rights to him. We allow contact with the grandfather only when my ss requests it, as he is mentally disabled and has memory loss. We understand the grandfather had nothing to do with what a loser his daughter is and it wasnt his choice to lose his grandson. We live 1800 miles from him. We allow ss to call gf when he requests it, which is maybe once a year. Here is the issue. My family has totally integrated my ss into our lives. They do not call him step, he is grandson, cousin, nephew. They get him gifts on occasions just like they do all the other kids. He is not singled out or left out of anything. His gf only sends a gift to him, and our younger twins get really upset about not getting anything. I realize I cannot ask the man to buy extra gifts for my kids, but it is hard to explain to them why he gets an extra gift every year from someone they dont know. To make matters worse, ss lords the gift over the younger ones, and eventually gets it taken away for being such a jerk about it. This makes for tears all around. Every year DH and I discuss asking the gf not to send a gift, but then we forget about it until gift arrives. I was thinking about asking him if he could put the money he would spend on a gift into an account for ss, because he will not be able to live on his own when he is grown, and since his mother pays no support we dont have any extra to put back for this a good idea?


Asked by shivasgirl at 12:58 AM on Feb. 8, 2011 in General Parenting

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This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • I think thats very fair, and an excellent idea. But doesn't him mother pay CS? U can or the courts can go after her for the payments even back pay. That also will help him when he gets older if u decide to put it into a intrest bearing account. That would give him a cushion to where he won't have to worry to much about money if u get someone to control payments he can live like that for awhile.

    Answer by Michigan-Mom74 at 1:07 AM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • You shouldn't punish the grandfather for your s-son's bad behavior. The poor guy just wants to pick out and send the kid a gift - don't take that away form him!! It sounds like you need to work on your SS's behavior, not the GF's. The GF isn't doing anything wrong. If you s-son has a disability he will qualify for SS and other programs to help him when he is older. The small amount the GF is spending isn't going to make a difference really.


    Answer by Crafty26 at 1:34 AM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • I agree with Crafty 26. The grandfather should be able to pick whatever he wants to as a gift. My oldest son is mine from a previous marriage. I met my husband when he was only 4 & my husband has always just treated him as his son. We have 2 more sons together & they are just his brothers. He did however have contact with his bio dad & his dad's family & received gifts from them,.even though he also received gifts from my husband's family. The younger boys obviously never got gifts from the older son's biological dad's family. They had to learn that there were times when they didn't get gifts. Your stepson needs to learn to be gracious about these gifts & your children need to learn that every time someone else gets a gift, doesn't mean they're entitled to 1 as well. These are just normal life lessons.


    Answer by ohwrite at 1:57 AM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • I think you need to just let the gfather send gifts and teach the kids how to handle it. Disabled kids can learn, even those on a 3 year old level. My son is 13 and functions on the level of a 6 year old, now. For years he was like a 3 year old. And your bio kids can learn to handle it too. My oldest 3 get gifts from their dad, my younger 2 will just have to learn that's how it is - that's the only "compensation" they will ever get for having to grow up without their bio-father here everyday.

    Answer by missanc at 9:28 AM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • Your stepson, no matter how much a part of your family he is, still knows that his biological mom isn't part of his life. And as he gets older he will know that there is a whole part of his family that's pretty much missing, these small gifts don't really "even things up". How sad to take them away from him or his grandfather.

    Answer by ohwrite at 1:59 AM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • I would not put restrictions on the GF that is not fair to him.

    Answer by LiLJeni at 4:31 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • I would say either have the GF put it in an account for him, or get Bonds. They will mature the longer they aren't used. And they can be put in the childs name, so when he comes of age he can cash them himself. I don't think its wrong of you to ask him to find another way of gifting the child. Especially if it is disrupting your household. (another way of dealing with it is to "send" your other two children gifts from "santa" so they aren't left out when your SS gets something in from his GF

    Answer by mysticlady1221 at 1:23 AM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • my ss doesnt know his bio mom...his disabilities prevent him from remembering what he had for lunch yesterday, much less a person who only had him for the first 2 yrs of his life. (he is 7 now) Everytime he gets a gift from his GF, we have to explain in terms he can understand who his GF is, we do not include any info on his bio mom, per instructions from his psychiatrist. He doesnt understand that he is not my bio child. I dont want to punish the GF, he is a nice man, but when I have to deal with the havoc they cause. It's not like I can teach my SS to be gracious, he functions on the level of a 3 year old, and has made no improvement on that scale in 3 years. He has major brain damage from his mother leaving him with a meth dealer as a baby sitter and exposing him to second hand meth smoke. I can help my younger ones learn that not everyone gets a gift every time,& I intend to. I just think that there is another solution

    Comment by shivasgirl (original poster) at 2:18 AM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • also, his mom bounces around and we cannot pin her down long enough to have her parental terminated rights formally terminated. Thankfully in the state we live in we have something called status quo, which means if she wants to see him she would have to file a case in court here, which at that time the court would see that she has been out of his life with no contact for more than six months and has not supported him in over six months and then her rights would be terminated at that time. Our goal is to never have to deal with her. We have extended an invitation to the GF to come visit, but the fact remains that my ss will probably never really know that side of his family because of his inability to understand

    Comment by shivasgirl (original poster) at 2:22 AM on Feb. 8, 2011

  • I would tell your children that they are from his real mom's father who is is grandfather. Tell them he has a whole other family and while he doesn't get to see them, they still love him. My brother lost custody of his son after he got back from Iraq (he kind of lost his mind) but does that mean I stop loving my nephew? I am just as much his Aunt as I always was, I didn't do anything to loose my relationship with him. Maybe it is a little different cause all my brother did is what he was supposed to and lost his mind for it but my nephew KNOWS who his family is and if his step dad tried to replace us with his family, that would only hurt my nephew.

    Answer by JLS2388 at 7:11 AM on Feb. 8, 2011