Christmas being a stepparent - FamilyEducation
Christmas being a stepparent
12/28/2007 at 21:38 PM

Hey everyone, How was your Christmas being a stepparent?What kind of gifts did you get from your or did you get any at all? My stepkids dad did not help them with there gift giving. They are teenagers and they don't want any help,of course. I'm glad they picked out my gift because it let's me know what they think of me, to some extent. I receive from them 2 louffa sponges in the shapes of a gingerbread man and a snowman and a tiny bottle of lotion. I ought to be glad I got anything really. If I would not have asked them to get their dad something special besides a giftcard they would not have gotten him a gift card, no thought into it. He does so much for them, you would think they would just want to get him something special .Kids can be so selfish. They probably don't even realize it. Iwould also like to be appreciated a little more too. Guess I'm being a bit selfish myself, huh? Of course, I appreciated my gifts and did not expect anything more. What do you all think about Chirstmas presents and stepparents? Should the bio parent help the kids and give advise if they are teenagers or older?


Hmmm... really sensitive subject and your replies will be as varied as the people who comment I would guess. I'm a stepmom to 4 boys. I had a boy and a girl when we married and then we've had two together and have adopted one. Total of nine. They all live with us and have since we got married. I could say that I was fortunate that the boys mom wasn't involved in their life and hasn't been pretty much all along but really, the truth is - no matter what she's done nor how wrong she's been - that's their mother and they love her. And they should. When she has nothing to do with them for months at a time - it hurts them. And I hurt when I see them hurt. I made a decision from the start to not make it a competition. I wholeheartedly accept the fact that I will sacrifice my life for theirs and pour my heart and soul into them and not expect one thing in return - exactly as I would with my own birth children. Unconditional love no matter what. From the start, I made sure my (birth) children picked out a nice gift for their father (my ex-husband) and made sure that my other (step - I actually NEVER use that word to describe them or introduce them as) children purchased a nice gift for their mother. Every teen is naturally selfish and unthinking. It's their job. It's mine as a parent to teach them gently how not to be. I set it by example. I don't make a production out of it. And men are naturally clueless when it comes to these types of things. So I took it upon myself to make it my responsibility. It works for us. I have wonderful children and I'm proud of all of them. This year, money was tight. She got a coffee cup and I got socks. She doesn't drink coffee but I love slipper socks. Last year when the oldest boy had a good job - I got a diamond necklace. Guess what - I was just as happy this year. Alot of this is up to you and how you decide you are going to look at the entire situation. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. It's all about attitude. Good luck to you.  


“Men are naturally clueless to this”?? I’m glad you used that word, “clueless”. It opens the door for me to use it as well. I would say that someone judging me based solely on my gender would make them clueless as well. Every year I help my kids pick out some gifts for their mother. Not just Christmas, but her Birthday, Mothers Day, and Easter. She has not done this in over 5 years, but that’s not my focus. In fact it works better that way. My kids are learning that you do not have to receive in order to give. In actuality I get the better end of the bargain. The kids pick out things for their mother at the store, but they always give me gifts they make. The best present I have ever received was winning custody, and an order that places the kids home with me every Christmas morning.

At the end of the day I admit I am not the most progressive person in the world. I don’t care for Oprah, and Dr. Phil gives me a headache. What drives me and what dictates the decisions I make are the two young boy’s that watch my every move. Knowledge is a journey with no destination. If we live a life of learning, at the end there will still be so much we do not know. There are many things I am clueless to, but on this subject, I am well versed.


Dear SnglDad - I'm so sorry that I offended you - it wasn't intentional. It was actually a lighthearted poke.  Obviously, you are a terrific dad and being so well versed on this subject as well as many others is undoubtedly part of the reason you have custody of your children. By that, I simply mean this...bottom line - it's because you are the better parent - period. As was my husband when he was awarded custody of his four boys. My ex-husband fought me for two years for custody of our two children (simply to "bully" me as he put it.) yet I was awarded custody - I would hate to think it was simply because I was the woman. However, my husband truly is completely "clueless" about stuff like this lady spoke about. I was actually quoting him. But I have no problem with that. It's not a put down to him.  It's part of who he is. He is a wonderful, loving husband and father but he is not at all nurturing so that is where I come in. My entire point to the lady who asked for our views was to pick your battles and to encourage her to decide to not let it bother her. Your young men are very blessed to have you. I have no doubt that your guys will be just fine with or without a woman in their lives. I wish only the best for you.