Father Furious About Family Drawing by Stepson

Gillian Sisley

What does a healthy family truly look like?

Adapting to having a new step-parent can be difficult for some children. For one, they may still be trying to come to terms with the separation of their parents, and having a new paternal figure in their lives.

With that said, not every step-parent is fully understanding of the psychological toll that separation can take on a child, and how tough it can be for a stepchild to recognize them as a new member of their family.

This reality was highlighted in a recent online post in which a stepfather rips up his stepson's drawing, because he found the depiction of family in it offensive.

What does a healthy family truly look like?

A Reddit post published on May 8th, reported on by Jack Beresford from Newsweek, has gone viral with 20,600 upvotes and 3,500 comments.

The author begins her post by explaining that she is currently in her second marriage, and has an 11-year-old son. Her new husband also brought a 15-year-old son along with him from a previous marriage as well. The author adds that her son isn't very close with his stepbrother, in part because of the age gap, but also because the author's stepson makes a habit of ripping up her son's drawings whenever they get into a fight.

With that said, a fight recently broke out after the author's 11-year-old drew a picture of himself along with his mom and stepdad, and then showed it to his stepfather. The author's husband became incredibly angry and scolded the 11-year-old for not including his stepbrother in the picture.

The stepdad then proceeded to 'rip the picture in half and then into smaller and smaller pieces' in front of the 11-year-old, resulting in the child running away and crying.

Stepfamilies are incredibly common in the US.

A study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 42% of adults in the US have some form of step relationship in their lives, whether it's a parent, child, or sibling.

The author immediately intervened and yelled at her husband, who seemed completely unbothered by his actions and told her son to go upstairs as punishment for his drawing. The author asked her husband to stop his awful behavior, but he told her to ‘stay out of it’. He then accused her of being the reason why they were having issues, especially because of the way she treated her son each time the stepbrother destroyed his drawings.

She immediately demanded that her husband apologize to her son, but he refused to do so, and warned her that her son would grow up 'antisocial and soft' if she continued to parent him in this way. He accused her of trying to 'undermine his word' by telling him he needed to apologize to for ripping up the family portrait.

What do you think? Is the author entirely justified in demanding her husband apologize to her son after he ripped up his drawing? Or does the husband have a point in that his son should have also been included in the picture, and the author needs to put her foot down to ensure her son draws his stepbrother in future drawings?

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