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What is fair between full time and step children??

helprequired's picture

My 10 year old daughter is with my partner and I full time, while his 8 year old daughter is with us every second weekend (4 nights).  My d's father lives interstate.  This seems petty but the argument leads to much bigger issues.

Last week my sd insisted that my d give her half of the Ooshies (qty 6) she collected on sd's off weekend.  In the same sentence she told us she had 19 at her mums house.  I had also given them the 16 that I got from shopping and told them to share evenly.  sd got all upset and started to cry insisting that she should have the same as d so d had to give her more.  She told me that what she has at her mums does not matter, but here all should be the same.  I agree to that mentalilty BUT my d does not have that luxury as she does not regularly go to another home.  I tried to explain that they share everything when sd is here, but when sd is at her mums house d is with her mum here because she can't see her dad. And that she should not need to share the things I give her when sd is not here.  I tried to explain that if d saw her dad like sd sees both her parents then that would be fair but d can't, she only has one home not two.  Also explained that when she goes home, her mum would have more for her for this week and then again more next week, which she did not need to share, but she is expecting d to share everything with her.  I did tell her that she needed to not think about herself but to think of others and their situations, which was probably overstepping but sd can be selfish and does only think about her wants not others all the time (when sd is with her mum she gets whatever she wants and does not have responsibilities. i.e. has only started making her bed this year at her mums and both girls here have been doing it (not well mind you) since they are 5).  

My partner is furious with me and believes that in this house all is shared so girls should have the same of everything - therefore splitting all Ooshies here equally.  In two weeks time, my calculation of Ooshies for example is that d will have 28 and sd will have 28 here and over 70 at her mums.  As I said this is petty but a good example of how do you separate and balance having a full time child and a step child.  It is like sd and partner feel that time is suspended as soon as sd leaves.  Am I wrong in my thinking??


hereiam's picture

What your daughter collects herself,or what is given to her, when SD is not even there, should not be up for grabs by your SD.

Yes, some parents (and their kids) DO think that the whole world should stop when the precious beings are not there. Ridiculous.

If your partner truly thinks all should be shared, then SD needs to bring her Ooshies from her mums and split them with your DD.

hereiam's picture

Well, he's not the boss of you, is he? Do you pay your share of the bills? Do you fianancially support your daughter? If you don't want to make her split her things with SD, don't.


lieutenant_dad's picture

"Well, DH, when they are mine to share, I will choose how I want to share them. If you want SD to have more, then you go collect them."

I have no idea what Ooshies are, but if it's that damn important to him, he can get off his bum and get some for his daughter.

hereiam's picture

I had NO idea, either, had to look it up. I thought it sounded like it could be a snack of some sort. I was reading her post, thinking, "Well shoot, that's a lot of Little Debbie cakes to be collecting!"

lieutenant_dad's picture

Same. I'm on a diet right now, and an entire box of Swiss Rolls, Oatmeal Pies, or those carmel-coated, puffed rice, chocolate dipped discs sounds amazing...

hereiam's picture

Oh my God, Nutty Bars. When they are fresh, they just melt in your mouth.

But, back to the subject at hand.

Helprequired, your partner is being unreasonable and is turning his daughter into an entitled brat. Your daughter is unfairly being made to give up her things that she's acquired or been given, in her own home, and when SD is not even there. Nothing can be just hers? In her own home? That's not even how it goes in intact families. It is a great way to create resentment, though. So, SD gets to be entitled and your DD gets to feel resentment.

Tell your daughter she can keep her Ooshies. And her Little Debbies.


Jcksjj's picture

We tried doing everything completely equal with my ODS (with us fulltime) and SD (halftime) at first. Big mistake, SD took advantage of it, for example she left her valentine candy at school once until it was her mom's week because she thought she would then get half of ODS candy at our house. Also there was a lot of bragging about how she got so much more for having 2 houses. Now we buy anything necessary to have at our house but not much extra if she already has it at her mom's. She still ends up having more total, and it won't ever be totally fair, but it's not as extreme and her attitude is less conceited.

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

This is pretty much how we operate. We obviously for our own bios go "all out" in terms of the things needed and whatnot because they only have 1 home. For my SK, we keep the essentials and some extras-- but don't SHOWER SK with toys, candy, clothes, gaming devices, etc because it just gets so excessive-- and we're already trying to combat SK turning into a complete brat

tog redux's picture

What is an Ooshie and how do you get them? Why does everything have to be equal, can’t they each have their own things? Your DH is making SD feel entitled to demand whatever she wants.

helprequired's picture

They are stupid little toys given out by the supermarket as collectables.  It just leads to a bigger issue of equality.  Being fair and just is not always making sure that things are equal.  You are right and the reason I gave the talk on thinking about others, sd does feel entitled to get what she believes is fair not what actually is.

SeeYouNever's picture

I would tell your SD that if she wants to have her collection with her then she should bring it while she's at your house. She can't just decide for them not to count, they still exist and she still collected them with her mom. Does she keep them in a case or anything? Maybe get each girl a box for her own collection.

If you collect any while your SD is there THEN they can split them. I think your husband didn't bother to learn how the collecting works and just said for them to be split equal because it's an easy answer.


simifan's picture

Life is never fair or equal. Each child is unique and needs different things at different time. Better SD & DD learn that now.  SD's mom & dad provides items for her, and you provide for your daughter. If everything is split evenly, then your DD will always be lacking - as she only gets items from your home. I would agree to spliting them, only if SD is bringing the ones she has at mom's to be "SPLIT EVENLY". after all, that would make it fair and equal.  

justmakingthebest's picture

For something like this I would split the one's you get while SD is there. The 2 weeks that you get them when she is not 100% go to DD. That is what is fair and reasonable. 

I do agree on some level that it doesn't matter what SD has at BM's house, but that doesn't mean that you build a shrine of gifts for SD so that she comes to your house to have stuff. Your SO needs to realize the level of entitlement his daughter is showing. 

Right now they are grocery store toys... what happens when it is clothes, shoes, expensive hair appointments, a car? SD who spends 4 days a month does not need the same amount or level of those things. It should be relative for how much she is with you. 

ndc's picture

If your partner wants your daughter to eventually dislike and resent his daughter, and for you to be less eager to accommodate his daughter, he has the perfect approach.  If he'd like to facilitate a blended family where there's mutual love and respect, he needs to drop his stupid thinking.

I think it would be perfectly appropriate to divide any Ooshies acquired during the time your SD is present in your household equally between the two girls.  I see no reason for your daughter to share Ooshies acquired during times when SD is with her mom, but you might mention to your daughter that it would be more kind to not bring those Ooshies out while SD is there.

strugglingSM's picture

I don't even know what an ooshie is, but I feel that your SD needs a good lesson in fairness. If she thinks that everything should be divided evenly, then the ooshies she has at BMs house should also be part of the equation. Her total ooshies, include the 19 she has at home, so already it is "unfair" that she has more and "unfair" that she is excluding those from her count, due to an arbitrary reason. If the ooshies at her mother's house don't count because your D doesn't live at her mother's house, then the ooshies collected during the time SD is not living at your house, should also be excluded, because at the moment they were acquired, she was not a resident in that house. 

The concept of "fairness" goes out the window in stepland, because some children have two households and some children have one household. If everything was divided evenly in that one household, then the children who only live in that one household would be missing out, because they are not receiving the "gifts" of two households, so to speak. For example, stepchildren go on vacations with their BMs. Is it "fair" that they get two vacations, just because they have two homes, while the children in BD's home only get one vacation? No, it isn't. When my SSs complain about how we didn't get them enough for Christmas I want to scream at them, because a) they usually get a full household's worth of presents from us; b) they also get a full household's worth of presents from BM, meaning, they get at least double what other children get (they also get a full household's worth of presents from MIL, because she feels we are shortchanging them). This is what makes CoDs into entitled brats. They are used to making arguments like "it's not fair" in order to get more for themselves and guilty parents, often oblige. 

Rags's picture

In my case.... my Skid was full time.  I look at this from a presence perspective.  FT or near FT residents in the family home get priority of space. The home has to support those who live there.  Visitors are accommodated in the least invasive most comfortable manner possible that does not disrupt the usual flow and dynamics of the home more than necessary while facilitating the participation of the visiting skids or guests.  For clarity, Skids are not guests, even if they are visiting Skids.

Keep it simple.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

So your SD has the opinion "What's mine is mine and what's yours is half mine!" Lovely.

If your daughter has to share the ooshies she collects while SD is at BMs, SD has to share the ones SD collects while she is at BMs, too! If she wants true ooshie communism, your daughter will only benefit! 

Survivingstephell's picture

Ah, I remember this situation well. My 3 bios and his 4.  5 girls in the mix.  You can't keep it fair.  You've got quite a few different parenting that won't blend.  We ended up with the philosophy "what happens at the other parent home stays at the other parent home.  Each kid has a set of parents and whatever they bring to the table is what each kid gets.  The new partners are not responsible for filling in gaps or making up the shortfall.  When SD starts her whining about fairness , you shut her down with who her parents are and that it their job to provide for her and it's your job to provide for yours as you see fit.  Separate your money and when Daddy can't keep up with everything he can cut her off.  Make him cover his experiences and retirement first and if he has any left he can waste it on toys for SD.  

The_Upgrade's picture

I grew up in a family where mum loved my sister and me. Everything she gave us was shared. But my dad hated me and showered gifts on my sister. Those weren't shared. Not a step situation but similar where one kid got a bonus parent gifting them with all sorts that the other kid wasn't allowed access to but expected to share anything they got. Which led to zero relationship with one parent now and years untangling family resentment and jealousy issues to get to the other side with the other family members.

Ooshies are just a phase now at the 5 year old mark. Sort this out now with your partner before you move onto other collectable phases. Just wait until they hit teenage years and you're arguing over "fair" allotment in brand name clothes, jewellery and electronics. My sister and I almost murdered each other over "sharing" those items.