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Discussion Starter #1
My husband and I have been married a year and a half, when we got married our families (his 2 children & my two children) became one family. Last year on Christmas his 2 children received NUMEROUS amounts of gifts in the mail from my in laws and my children received zero (to be fair they have not met my children because they are 4000 miles away!)

I feel very strongly that you treat every child equally and that is what I do. His kids also go visit their mothers family and get tons of gifts, and my kids again are stiffed by their fathers side of the family.
My kids last year were grateful for what they got but it was really sad to see their faces when all of the "other' toys were showed to them.

My question is: What do I do? I got an email today from my in laws asking what the girls "his 2" want for Christmas, with a list of what their children want from us. I feel bad because I dont know if I should tell them I am trying to keep equality here? OR if I should just let them send the gifts and keep my mouth shut. I just feel like this happens way too much...Christmas, birthdays, random gifts come without any need - It is very sweet for the girls but painful for the others.
Please give me an honest opinion of what you think or ask any questions please. I would love feedback.
Thank you!

Just an FYI - his girls are ages 10 & 6 My girl is 9 and my boy is 6.
 

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Have you discussed this with your husband? I would suggest that you let him tell them that you decided, together, that you would like to keep it equal for the four kids.
 

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Honestly, I think this becomes a lesson in "life's not fair" for your kids. It would be great if your husband had a talk with his family and mentioned that it would be nice if they included something for your kids in the Christmas box. That would be a very generous thing for them to do.

In the end though, you really can't tell his kids' mother not to give her children presents because your kids' father doesn't give his kids presents. And your kids aren't her kids, no matter how blended your family might be in your own home.

In the same vein, you said yourself that his family hasn't even met your kids, so it's a bit presumptuous to ask them to send twice as many gifts to kids they don't even know.

I think that treating both sets of kids in the same house equally is essential to creating a new family. However, you and your husband are the ones that got married to each other. Clearly extended family is a part of that deal, but you and they didn't pick each other and marry, you know? To ask them for more presents is a bit out of order in the first place, but to do it across 4,000 miles to people that haven't met each other is beyond awkward.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I agree with you both. I do plan on discussing it with my husband I just wanted outside opinions first.
I also have been thinking about doing more for my kids since they are with us 100% of the time and his girls are with us 50% of the time...At very least they should be getting more clothes / shoes right?
 

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I think for the basics, it should be more about the two sets of kids being more or less equally stocked, regardless of where it comes from. One set in all new clothes all the time because they get them from gifts while the other ones are getting all ratty isn't really reasonable just so you can say that the dollar amount you spent was equal. Or with the age differences you have, I'm guessing that the price of clothing for the older girl is going to go up compared to the younger ones. And the girls can have handme downs or trade but your boy is going to need all new everything whenever he grows.... It's best to just make sure none of them have significantly more/newer/better than the rest, however the money works out.
 

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Since we're talking about young children here...I think the "life's not fair" lessons can be learned at another time.

It's simply poor form for his parents to neglect giving gifts to the two new children in the house (it's completely irrelevant that they've never met them). Honestly, when we're talking about ages: 10, 9 and 6...they really should know better.

And yes, EVERY kid should get an equivalent gift...no lame, crummy toy for the "step-grandchildren". And if that means they send less....oh well.

Now...regarding his ex-wife...yeah...she's entitled to give her kids whatever she wants. But perhaps you can make up the difference

He should talk to his parents.

And you all should make sure that everything is kept fair.

This "gifts issue"....matters a ton when you're little. And if your kids feel continually slighted...that will likely have lingering effects on their psyches as they get older.

So do what you have to...to avoid having this become a sore spot in their childhood. I'm sure the divorce was enough.

They'll learn that life's not fair in due course

pretty much an unavoidable lesson...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am so thankful to have found true honesty here and yes, the ages are hard especially with girls - They like to rub it in with the others that they are getting things and that they are not.
I have a close bond with them but they all are very jealous of each other (girls). I am teaching them that they all need to be "selfless not selfish" and to be happy for others.
I will talk to my husband tonight.
Thank you all so much.
 

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When it comes to the in-laws you need to understand the chain of command. You tell your husband, he tells them. You should not have to be the one talking to them about this. If your parents were treating his kids poorly, would you make him stand up to them? This sounds a bit like a power play on the in-laws part to me. It's their way of keeping distance and keeping you and your kids separate. Your husband needs to be the one to firmly tell them that you are all a family now and that he will not tolerate any disrespect (which this is) to the family.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Very well said! I will work this situation up the chain of command!


BTW - They send me gifts-BUT they have met me... Weird situation I know. Again thank you...The chain of command is the perfect way to deal with this!
 

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As for the kids' mother's there is nothing you can do about that, but for the in laws I agree that you need to talk to your husband, and he needs to address his parents. My sister had this problem when she first married and they decided to tell his parents either get them both something or get them nothing (she had a child previous, and then they had one together)

We're a blended family and sometimes my youngest daughter gets more gifts throughout the year and at christmas because she has three sets of grandparents not including my husbands. Also her father is deceased so they tend to overdo plus his family is big and gifts come from everybody not just the grandparents . My oldest daughters mother is not in her life and the family doesn't maintain contact. The only thing I can do is tell them not to overdo it general because we don't believe in that but i cant stop them from giving ger things.

our parents treat all of our children equal but we have in the past made up the discrepancy in gifts.
We're still figuring this out ourselves though as the kids are starting to get older and starting to notice.
 

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I guess I'm going against the crowd but I'm not sure what you really expect.

Your husband's parents give their grandkids nice gifts and not your kids, who you admit they have never meet.

It might not be nice or fair from your or your kids points of views. But I think its pretty ballsy to ask them to treat your kids the same as their biological grand kids.

If you and your husband divorced, those people wouldn't be involved in your kids lives.

How is it fair to them to ask them to treat your kids (who they haven't even meet) the same as their grandkids?
 

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I guess I'm going against the crowd but I'm not sure what you really expect.

Your husband's parents give their grandkids nice gifts and not your kids, who you admit they have never meet.

It might not be nice or fair from your or your kids points of views. But I think its pretty ballsy to ask them to treat your kids the same as their biological grand kids.

If you and your husband divorced, those people wouldn't be involved in your kids lives.

How is it fair to them to ask them to treat your kids (who they haven't even meet) the same as their grandkids?
I completely disagree.

I now have a very blended family, with my soon to be husbands son, his two step daughters and my two children.

We treat all the children the same whenever we can.

One step daughter and his son will be spending christmas with my two children and us and my extended family. I would be embarrassed if my family treated them differently. Also I try and make it fair to all the children as it's a lesson I want to teach my children in fairness and kindness.
 

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its all down to blood relations, obviously because the steps are not blood related then why should they feel they had the obligation of giving any gifts to them in the first place (and also they never met each other in the first place)

blood is thicker than water, if you feel that your child got neglected then sadly life is a lesson that life is not fair after all and blood relations are above all else
 

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I completely disagree.

I now have a very blended family, with my soon to be husbands son, his two step daughters and my two children.

We treat all the children the same whenever we can.

One step daughter and his son will be spending christmas with my two children and us and my extended family. I would be embarrassed if my family treated them differently. Also I try and make it fair to all the children as it's a lesson I want to teach my children in fairness and kindness.
Obviously the two people in a blended family should treat all the kids involved as equals. Because they are equals in that family.

However when your talking about extended families, I don't see it the same way. Extended families didn't choose to marry into those kids, so expecting them to treat them the same is a bit much.

In the OPs case, her husband's kids are her in-laws grandchildren, and her's aren't. Its as simple as that.

Would it be nice if everyone was treated equally? Sure. But in the real world it isn't realistic. Not to mention the fact, they haven't even meet the two new kids.
 

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Since the kids are so young, I see this as causing some ill feelings down the road-between the children and between the grandparents although I am not sure your in-laws really care so much. I would talk to your husband as some others suggested, and have him talk to his parents. That is his job. It doesn't matter that that they aren't grandchildren by blood. They ARE however now grandchildren by marriage. In my mind, this is the same thing whether they were born biologically to your husband or not. Who cares if they haven't met them or not?!? What a sorry excuse.

So; really poor form on their end. Hope this gets resolved by Christmas.
 

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I guess I'm going against the crowd but I'm not sure what you really expect.

Your husband's parents give their grandkids nice gifts and not your kids, who you admit they have never meet.

It might not be nice or fair from your or your kids points of views. But I think its pretty ballsy to ask them to treat your kids the same as their biological grand kids.

If you and your husband divorced, those people wouldn't be involved in your kids lives.

How is it fair to them to ask them to treat your kids (who they haven't even meet) the same as their grandkids?
To a large extent I have to agree with this. It's my guess that the inlaws are assuming that the OP's children get gifts from their own grandparents...
 
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I personally think that if they are buying for you, then why can't they get at least something small for your kids? Even if they have not met them, they KNOW you have two young kids, they have accepted you as a part of their family, the kids are a part of you.

When my ex sister in law remarried and had a second baby, that other little girl also gets a gift at Christmas. We felt it would be rude to the kids to only send gifts to the older one. Kids just don't understand that. Even the younger one considers my parents her "grandparents" in a way.
 

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Even with all things being equal, grandparents play favorites.

My two sons were born to my first wife and me. WHen the first one was born, my father would save quarters to give to him. This continued until the second was born. At that time, he stopped.

It doesn't bother me that he stopped so much as it bothers me he didn't treat the two equally. It's like he liked the first one but not the second.
 

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This happened all the time when we would get together for Christmas. We didn't have any blended families, but there was many different families.

My sister's husband had a large family. Their kids got way more gifts than others because they had so many uncles and aunts. I remember having to explain to our kids that the other kids got more gifts because they had more relatives. They were young and it was painful for them to see the other kids opening double the amount of gifts.

Kids will understand. I am not so certain that it is automatic that when families become blended all of a sudden you get 6 grandparents sending gifts instead of 4.
 
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