Should a grandchild be treated differently because they are not blood?
That is a really great question, and one that can apply to a lot of families today. I know it is very relevant to my own family. Of course we all know that step-children and adopted children should all be treated the same as blood related, (born of the son or daughter of the grandparent) children. But because this question has to even be asked, we all know that they are not always treated the same by the step grandparent or adopted grandparent.
In one family that I know of, there was a very obvious disparity in the way blood grandchildren and step grandchildren were treated by the grandmother. It was especially apparent at Christmas, when it was time to open gifts, and certain ones received a whole lot more gifts than others. It was very hard to stand by and watch the hurt on the faces of innocent children when that happened. There was one Christmas in particular when one member of that family left half of her children’s gifts on the kitchen table when they left, and told the grandmother that if she could not treat all the children the same, then she did not want her children to be part of it. That simple act and statement led to that person realizing what she was doing, and it never happened again.
There are several things that you can do to help the step-children in a situation like this:
1. One is to just not go to visit that grandparent, which probably won’t happen, but it is a solution to the problem. You as an adult owe it to your children, all of them, to protect them from being treated as second class in that situation. Even the children that are being treated best can learn the wrong lessons from it.
2. Second, if you want things to change so that your children will have happy visits with their grandparents, you need to open a dialogue with the person who is showing a difference, and tell them what you have witnessed and that you would like for them to stop doing it. This conversation should take place somewhere where the children will not hear any of it.
3. If you have had the talk, and the disparity continues, tell the grandparent that you will not be coming back until they can treat all of the children the same. Then keep your word.
Do any of you, my readers, have advice or a different answer to this question? How does your family handle a similar situation?