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How many step-grandparents treat their step-grandkids exactly like their grandkids?

completely overwhelmed's picture

How many step-grandparents are ultra-involved in their step-grandkids' lives? Is this the expectation now? Treat them all the same?

One of SD's teachers called my mom SD's "grandmother" and my mom clarified that she's "a step-grandmother" and then added that she's really only "SD's stepmother's mother, and she doesn't feel she is SD's step-grandmother". SD's teacher reacted like my mom is the most terrible person in the entire world for feeling this way.

My mom has been helping me deal with my almost 18 year old SD and picking her up from school when I can't. SD is in special ed classes and it's a long, complicated story. My mom is an absolute angel who loves helping people, but she isn't close with SD. They don't get along and SD treats her very poorly. My mom puts up with it because she wants to help me out.

SD is a lost cause at school and is so far behind there's no way she will graduate. One of her special ed teachers this year is new and has been battling trying to get SD to do anything (if you've seen my other posts, this is impossible and SD just sleeps in class most of the time).

My mom taught elementary school in the district for over 15 years and she runs an adult reading program at the library. She's not a special ed teacher, but she's worked with kids with reading problems. But the situation with SD is very complicated and my mom's never been involved in tutoring SD and their relationship is so poor that I don't think that would work at all.

I had DH send an email to the school asking them not to talk to my mom at all about SD's school problems since  I hate that my mom is now being blamed for SD being the utter failure she is and this might impact how she's seen in the school district because they assume the word "step" is irrelevant.


SteppedOut's picture

Seriously, a step-grandmother that is being blamed for the issues of an 18yr old sp-ed student... I mean, honestly, given she is step how can they be sure how long she has been a step to this 18yr old? Could be only a year? 

It "feels like" if there is a step situation, automatically it is the step portion that is "blamed" for any and all issues. Couldn't possibly be the fault of the bio-family... you know, the ones that are actually responsible for the kids? 

Ugh, I feel bad, but also mad, for your mom. No good deed and all....

ITB2012's picture

My parents are divorced. My mom makes sure all the kids are treated the same. My dad does put my DS above the skids a little (little bit bigger gifts, little more attention). And it's not because I have said anything. It could be because my dad has experience as a stepdad and my mom does not have experience as a stepmom. Not sure. My ILs are distant so it's hard to tell how they really behave.

All that being said, I got cornered by one of the skids teachers when I first married DH. I think she was desperate for someone to help with the kid. 

Based on my experience as a step mom, watching influences, and watching my dad and step siblings...there is no way you mom could have enough influence to "fix" things. 

Kes's picture

Why assume that the school are blaming your mother for SD's academic failure?  The rather stupid views of one teacher do not make this the case.  You are very lucky with your mother - she does sound a really supportive mum.  Compared to mine (fortunately now passed on) who would not have pissed on me if I was on fire. 

In answer to your question - I would not see myself as grandmother to any children SD24 and SD22 may have in future.  I simply do not like them and would not be all that interested in their offspring, most probably.  However in contrast, my DH adores my two daughters' children and they adore him, and they (and I) look upon him as their grandad - the "step" bit is irrelevant.  I am very happy that this is the case because their real grandad (my ExH) is in a home with advanced dementia.  


tog redux's picture

My parents were kind to SS and they got him small gifts if he was around for Christmas, but that's it.  They didn't treat him like their grandchildren at all. Some on here seem to expect that from their parents, but I never did and SS didn't seem to feel slighted at all.  They treated my older sister's stepdaughter the same way.  Like me, they kept their distance from the crazy that SS and his mother brought.

Swim_Mom's picture

...said, at our wedding in 2016, 'Hey! Now we have 3 more gradkids!' and they treat my kids exactly that way. My kids got really lucky on the Grandparent front - they have 6 now. They are closest to my parents, who live 15 minutes away, and still to ex-H's parents (who were also wonderful in-laws...I miss them) and now have DH's parents. But, we are talking about fun get-togethers, holidays, family parties and vacations - getting involved in a serious school issue to me is outside of the lane lines for a step-grandparent. Your Mom is wonderful for helping - the school should be doing nothing but thanking her.

Rags's picture

My Skid is my parent's eldest GKid.  For many years (20+) he was technically their GSkid but they never treated him as anything but theirs.   He is the eldest of their 4 Gkids (SS-27, Niece 25, Nephew 22, Nephew 17).  Though I adopted him at his request when he was 22, that made no difference in how he is treated by my parents. They love that he is now officially a part of the Rags clan. But other than the paperwork, there has been no change in how they feel about him and treat him.

My SS has had 6 GPs for his entire memory (until the passing of my FIL just over a year ago). Only one set does he feel close to and those are the GPs that he has no genetic relationship with at all.  In recent conversations with my son and my niece and nephews I asked where they consider home.  They all said my parernt's home.  We are an Expat family and all of the kids have been raised in a variety of places. While home is where ever the family is, it is my parent's home that we all consider "home".

TheRightThing's picture

My mother treats my step son and my son the same. She has known my step son since he was 4 and treated him like her grandson from the get go. When we had my son, a year ago, she made special effort to ensure step son didn't feel in anyway pushed out or less loved.

They have a beautiful relationship. 

I think it is very dependant on the ages of children involved.