Should grandparents treat step-grandchildren differently from their biological grandchildren?

A mum has divided the Internet after calling out her in-laws for treating her daughter differently from their biological grandchildren [Photo: Getty]

A mum has kickstarted an online debate after calling out her in-laws for treating her daughter from a previous relationship different to their biological grandchildren.

After explaining to Mumsnet, that she and her partner of 10 years have a blended family – he has two kids from a previous relationship and she has one – the anonymous poster went on to say how upset she is that her daughter is constantly left out by her husband’s parents.

“My DD does not have a relationship with her paternal grandparents as they have never bothered with her,” she wrote.

“We have obviously always been very careful to ensure the children are treated equally and fairly.”

“There have been numerous incidents over the years where DH parents have favoured their bio grandchildren,” she continued.

“Last time they were told quite firmly to pack it in by DH who made it clear that he considered he had three children and they needed to be fair with regards to gifts and time to all three.”

But despite this, the mum’s in-laws recently took their two biological grandchildren out shopping, for dinner and to the Christmas markets to buy some treats.

“They were bought new shoes and games for their PS4,” she explained before going on to say how angry it made her.

“It’s not fair. DH has said he will speak with them but I’m reluctant so close to Christmas for a family row,” she continued.

“Part of me thinks I should say something myself but I know I’ll angry cry.”

“I know she isn’t their grandchild, I know I can’t force their love, but I feel they should be fair.”

The mum is upset that her daughter isn’t being treated the same as her in-laws biological grandchildren [Photo: Getty]

And it wasn’t long before Mumsnet users waded in on the thorny subject.

“I understand your rage,” one user wrote. “Whatever if they’re not her biological GCs – she’s a little kid who understandably gets upset. Your DH has told them this. It think its just being horrible of them. This whole “its not their job thing” I think is a bit ridiculous – its a question of how do you behave to treat with care and respect a small child (who your own son has indicated he feels is his).”

“They shouldn’t do it because they’re “obliged” or “not obliged” – they should do it because its a little child they actually do have a familial connection with even if its a step relationship,” the same user continued.

“Your DH’s parents aren’t very nice people if they don’t have enough love in their hearts to welcome their son’s daughter by marriage.”

It was a view some other parents agreed with.

“Anyone who would treat a child like this, especially after being talked to about it, isn’t a nice person,” another added.

“I would tell them that they won’t be seeing any of their grandchildren for the foreseeable future, and that they will be cut off permanently if they go behind your backs and pick them up from their mother’s again, while you think about how and if any relationship can go forward from this. They are happy to destroy a little girl’s feelings because she doesn’t have a genetic tie to them. How horrendous.”

“I’d return the gifts and tell them when they are willing to treat them all the same, you’ll accept gifts,” another user wrote.

“If other children have ps4, they are old enough to understand how mean this is and that their step sibling needs to be treated the same.”

But other parents could see the point of view of the grandparents.

“Don’t say anything, let your DH tell them how sad he is that they are ignoring his ‘other child’. He may feel she is as much his as the other 2, but they really are biological strangers,” one user wrote.

“They really aren’t doing anything wrong. That they picked their GCs up at their mum’s shows they were trying to be sensitive. But, as you say, you can’t make them do as your DH has done in accepting your DD as their own family.”

“I can’t really see the issue here,” another parent commented. “Your dd is not their biological grandchild. The fact that her paternal grandparents are crap isn’t their fault or problem. Would you feel the same way if your dd got treats etc from her paternal grandparents?”

“It is not the fault of your husbands parents that your daughter doesn’t have a relationship with her own grandparents,” another agreed. “I don’t really think they should have to step up because of other people’s failings.”

Should grandparents treat their biological grandchildren the same as step grandchildren? [Photo: Getty]

It isn’t the first time a mum has ignited a parenting debate on Mumsnet. Last year one woman took to the forum to ask for advice about talking to your children about sex after her little one walked in on her and her other half having a bit of grown-up time.

And earlier this year parents had a heated discussion about the worst baby names they had ever come across. 

Meanwhile a fierce debate ensued after one bride-to-be turned to the parenting site for advice about whether or not children should be invited to a destination wedding. 

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