Step-Mom Refuses to Treat Step-Kids Equally

Gillian Sisley

Should children be treated equally, under all circumstances?

It’s never easy to navigate complicated family dynamics. And there is no other family situation messier than navigating a divorce. Divorce is traumatic for all individuals involved.

Stepparents can have a tough time bonding with their stepkids when they don’t get along, which can make home life more challenging. Some children carry mental anguish from their parent's separation, and so on a psychological level, accepting a new stepparent doesn’t feel possible or reasonable.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a stepmother admits that she doesn’t treat all of her stepchildren equally, and feels justified in doing so.

Should children be treated equally, under all circumstances?

A Reddit post published on August 10, reported on by Kate Fowler from Newsweek, has gone viral with 12,900 upvotes and 1,700 comments.

The author begins her post by clarifying that she married a divorced man a year ago, and he brought along with him 5 children. Among those five is the oldest, Ava, who is 11. Unfortunately, Ava is being harassed and bullied by her own birth mother. The birth mother blames Ava for being born, claiming she is ‘the reason she was forced to stay in an unhappy relationship’.

After the divorce, the birth mother kept a relationship with all of her children, except for Ava. She intentionally avoided Ava and refused to see her, stating that she ‘didn’t want anything to do with’ the 11-year-old.

This, of course, was incredibly upsetting to Ava. The author realized how much of a toll this would take on Ava’s mental health and self-worth, and so when her other siblings were visiting their mother, the author would take Ava out for small trips, like dinners, beach days, and even hiking, just the two of them.

Favoritism is actually quite common.

In a shocking study, it was found that 74% of mothers and 70% of fathers admitted to showing favoritism to one child over another. With that said, only 10% admit to actually having a favorite child.

The author goes on to admit that she doesn’t spend nearly as much time on a one-on-one basis with the other four children. She reasons that they already have a mom who loves them and spends time with them, while Ava has been cast to the side like she doesn’t matter. That is why she has made such an effort to spend time with Ava over the others.

Recently, the author’s husband requested that she take all five of the children along on the day trips with Ava, because they were ‘starting to get jealous’ that Ava was getting so much attention from their stepmom. He also told her that she should be ‘treating all of the kids equally’, and that she should either take everyone on the trips, or take no one at all.

What do you think? Is the author just being a great stepmom by making Ava feel special whenever her birth mother refuses to see her? Or is she being an awful stepparent to the other four children, because she doesn’t take them on the day trips too when they’re visiting their mom?

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