The Light at the End of the Tunnel: Parity
I'm the veteran BM & SM of 5 reflecting back on my steplife as I read the posts.
Parity was my stepparent religion. Our kids were close in age & once we were all living here, parity seemed the wisest policy to prevent jealousy & envy. At Christmas, I not only spent the same on each but made sure each had the same number of gifts to open. I spent the same amount on birthdays and school clothes. As they reached driving age, we handled each the same. Lather, rinse, repeat for everything.
I extended this policy once the grandkids began to come. I kept the amount of babysitting level across the families. This seemed especially important where kids from different famines were close in age.
But parity is a utopian goal. As time went on, the reality became apparent that the kids & GKs had differing wants & needs. We tried to respond to each situation as best we could but everybody had different needs & desires for our interaction. I was often left with a guilty feeling: if we did x for Child A, shouldn't we compensate B, C, D & E? It was not possible or realistic.
So, I've decided that parity is good for behavior consequences, gifts and privileges but at some point it is not realistic or possible. How do other SP feel?