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Can anyone offer advice - step grandparenting

(11 Posts)
melaina Thu 31-Jan-13 14:34:25

Hoping someone on here has been in a similar situation and can offer advice based on experience. My DS is getting married to a lovely woman. They are both divorced with one child (similar ish ages)

I am delighted to welcome my DIL-to-be into the family but am not sure how to play it with her daughter. My GD is my only GC so far and the apple of my eye. But as they are all going to be living together (the child's father lives abroad and doesn't have much family) I would like to get off on the right foot as a step granny. Do I treat both children the same (even though my feelings for each are not the same at all) I would like to get it right but I have no idea how.

nanapug Thu 31-Jan-13 15:38:31

Oooh, I can't offer any advice, but will be watching this thread with interest as I may well be in this situation very shortly x

gillybob Thu 31-Jan-13 15:46:33

I am not in this situation myself but feel that you will have to try and treat them both the same especially if they will be living in the same house. I know your feelings for your own dear GD will be very different but in time I believe you will probably grow to love your new Step GC too. smile

Movedalot Thu 31-Jan-13 15:47:55

No experience but I think I would try to make the newcomer feel as welcome as possible. What is the age difference? Which is the eldest? Are they both girls? I think it would be easier to answer the question if we knew a little bit more about them

petallus Thu 31-Jan-13 15:53:45

I think you should endeavour to treat both children the same when they are with you. Over time you may well come to be very fond of your step grandchild but of course you don't feel the same now about both children. How could you?

Fondasharing Thu 31-Jan-13 16:23:29

I have eleven grandchildren, four of whom are step grandchildren. I am fortunate enough to have known them from the minute they were born, so actually love them just as much as my "blood" grandchildren. There is a chance that the next grandchildren I have will be older when I meet them (stepson may marry someone who already has children) I know that I will treat them just the same as all the grandchildren........they all need you....and the love you can give.....and all the welcoming arms and times they will share with you and as they respond to your warmth, you will grow to love them too.

Children will always know when they are made welcome, and sometimes it is the ones that you have to "try harder" with are all the more special.

BAnanas Thu 31-Jan-13 16:42:36

Hi Melaina, I'm a step-grandparent. My husband has three granddaughters from his first marriage and we have 1 granddaughter together. My youngest son is only three years older than my husband's first grandchild. We have been together before any of them arrived. My husband was a very young father first time around and it did occur to me when we first got together that I could have become a step-grandmother before I became a mother, nice thought! I get on very well with his girls, they call me step grandmama, a title they jokingly conferred on me and I happily accepted. I suppose as I have always been part of their lives it's different than suddenly having that role thrust upon you. Personally I don't think you should ever try and usurp the role of their natural grandparents, both grandmothers are still around in my case and I don't forget that. I would also never add my 10 cents worth if I think they are acting up, just butt out, It will get you brownie points cause you are always the good guy.

nightowl Thu 31-Jan-13 16:43:31

I am in a similar situation melaina as my son's partner has a son who was four when I met him and is now six. At the time my first and only grandson (DD's child) was only six months old and I was completely besotted with him. Like you I was a little wary of welcoming another child into the family and wondered whether I could love this little boy. Well I can assure you that I have loved every minute of getting to know him and to watch the developing bond between the two boys. I have always tried to treat them the same. Even though I look after my grandson most days and see less of my stepGS because they do not live nearby, I feel blessed to have acquired two such dear little boys so quickly.

At a family party shortly after I met stepGS someone asked whether the boys were cousins; I said no. Last year at DGS's second birthday party I found myself introducing them to adults as cousins without a second thought. Just be patient, take your time to get to know this little girl, treat her like your DGD and you will reap the rewards. Children are all loveable in their own right and you will form a unique relationship with her in your own time.

gillybob Thu 31-Jan-13 17:04:39

What a lovely post nightowl smile

whenim64 Thu 31-Jan-13 17:06:25

I think you have to take that leap of faith and increasingly treat them as your own. My son, now divorced, took on four step-children from 4 to 12, when he married ex-DIL. He treated them as his own, and one of them changed her name to the same surname when she was 20. All of them have stayed in contact with him, and they are all adults now. When the marriage ended, they were all confused and angry with their mother, who demanded they take sides, starting with not maintaining contact wth me and reminding me that the children I had treated the same as my grandson were no relation. I do see them every now and again, but it was heart-breaking to experience the damage that was done, especially as the one who changed her name now has 3 chidren herself, and her young ones saw me as a permanent fixture in their lives. It was during that year that I realised how much we had been through together over 12 years, and I could not help but grow to love them. They all know I still care about them, but I have been made to understand by ex-DIL that I can see my grandson but should not nvolve myself with them. They don't know their own grandparents, who were ousted immediately her previous two relationships ended.

Children do not weigh up whether you are legally related. They all need to feel safe and loved in equal measures, whilst they are growing up. They can work out family dynamics when they're older, and boast how well they were treated.

Mey Thu 31-Jan-13 17:29:50

melaina Its understandable that you are worried but the worse thing you could do is treat the children differently, it would cause so much trouble you could not begin to imagine.

At the moment you have more love for your own GC and hey who can blame you, but things are about to change and you are getting a new grandchild and hopefully if you see it that way you will love them both the same, in time.

I think aswell maybe putting yourself in the little girls shoes, shes getting a new Grandma. I wish you the best and how lucky are you to be getting a ready made GC.