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Wedding Woes

IL's want to gift education to one kid, but not other 2.

Dear Prudie,
My husband and I are bringing up three wonderful girls. His parents have always been fair to all three with gifts but now want to pay for only their biological granddaughter to go to a private school. We are financially comfortable but not so that we could match this for the other two. (My in-laws could easily extend the offer to all three girls if they chose to.) We can’t see ourselves having a two-tier home where our kids go to different schools depending on blood relationships to the rich relatives; but is it fair to say no thanks on behalf of one daughter to the possible advantage being offered? Or should my husband ask his parents to pony up for their stepgrandkids as well?

Public Education Is Good ’Round Here Anyway

—Prudie

Re: IL's want to gift education to one kid, but not other 2.

  • tawillerstawillers member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited April 2015
    This is really offensive and I can't understand how your husband hasn't told his parents to eff themselves.

    mrsconn23
  • Preeeetttyyy much Taw.  

    I'd be *pissed* if my parents treated the kiddo *any* different than DefConn or my nephew. 
    tawillers
  • 6fsn6fsn member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    By bloodlines would have my blood BOILING.  This is where I will say, ILs paid for one granddaughter's private school but none other.  That girl is a superstar hockey player and super intelligent.  She got a partial scholarship to an uber expensive private school.  The difference between her and brother was this, not blood.
    mrsconn23GBCK
  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited April 2015
    Exactly, 6. 

    If all three kids perform at or near the same level and it's *only* a blood thing, then it's bullshit.  

    If one has an exceptional talent and a school will nurture and devetop that talent, I totally understand it. 
  • Lose the judgment and give it time.  It's like paying for a wedding, their money, their choice, be aware of strings attached, on the other hand, don't be penny wise and pound foolish.  I'm guessing the relationship is still relatively new (as in the biological GC is less than say 10) and the other kids are older.  Even still...

    IMO, having had these situations within the family of biological vs. step, stay the heck out of it even though she's wishing someone would wave a magic fairy wand and her biological kids would get a similar financial advantage too, and who knows what the biological GP on the other side are or aren't doing, but if blood grandparents want to put money into an account for that Grand Kid only, it's THEIR money, and THEIR choice.  They don't have to do it for the one, but it's their choice in their estate planning.  Fair is a place where you show a sheep, she needs to be glad there's the communication to know that'll be there for the one such that it'll be easier to plan overall... Either way, she needs to realize that choosing a school should be done based on the best investment for the money, not "I've got a big pile of money, choose a school that's more expensive instead!"... 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    ChemFanatic25
  • GBCKGBCK member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    I think people forget how damaging this is to kid relationships.

    From my baby-sis jokingly (mosty) threatening to send the news clippings about our cousin's arrest and conviction  to the grandmother who worshiped him and critiqued us to the "well you were an ACCIDENT, mom and dad chose to adopt me" thing I heard from other cousins, it doesn't *just* affect the relationship to grandma and grandpa--it affects the interpersonal relationships between siblings and cousins.
  • I'm betting the GP are the type to cut their son out of the will if he or his wife do anything they find offensive - so that's the reason the husband hasn't outright refused their offer. 

    I can see accepting if it was a question of developing an extraordinarily talented/gifted child - and the parents cannot afford the speciality program; however, if it's just a question of "supporting blood" (which is how it comes across) - they'd need to be crazy to accept. 


  • flbride2015flbride2015 member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited April 2015

    You know, I sort of get it. And I don't really see what the problem with this is. I mean, if the biological father's family of the first two kids extended the same offer for their biological grandkids, would the mom expect them to pay for her child with her new husband? Doesn't that sound sort of ridiculous?

    I don't see how a person marrying someone else with kids from a prior relationship, automatically forces the person's family to treat the stepchildren as their own blood relatives. Those kids already have two sets of grandparents (who are hopefully still in their lives). It would be nice for the step-grandparents to treat them like grandkids but it's not obligatory.

    And I say this as a former stepmom who was constantly told by the ex wife that I was not family or anything other than a step-parent to her child (and even that she would deny at times). So yeah, I don't see what the issue would be if my parents had offered to send my daughter to private school but not my step-daughter. She has her own parents and grandparents to take care of that sort of thing. 

    MesmrEwe
  • You know, I sort of get it. And I don't really see what the problem with this is. I mean, if the biological father's family of the first two kids extended the same offer for their biological grandkids, would the mom expect them to pay for her child with her new husband? Doesn't that sound sort of ridiculous?

    I don't see how a person marrying someone else with kids from a prior relationship, automatically forces the person's family to treat the stepchildren as their own blood relatives. Those kids already have two sets of grandparents (who are hopefully still in their lives). It would be nice for the step-grandparents to treat them like grandkids but it's not obligatory.

    And I say this as a former stepmom who was constantly told by the ex wife that I was not family or anything other than a step-parent to her child (and even that she would deny at times). So yeah, I don't see what the issue would be if my parents had offered to send my daughter to private school but not my step-daughter. She has her own parents and grandparents to take care of that sort of thing. 

    Both sets of DH's and my parents are divorced, with most of them remarried--some more than once.  So my kids have step-grandparents out the yin-yang at this point.  When people say stuff like this, it feels like "Yeah, we already have enough people who care, we're full up here so move along."  FIL married his 4th wife after DH was grown and on his own (we've actually been together long than FIL and SMIL4), so she was never in any sort of mom-like role to him.  If all these Steps want to be sweet to my kids and spend time with them, I'm not going to be all "Well, she's not his real grandmother," and I'm sure as hell glad they don't treat my kids like they're somehow less "real" than their cousins. 
    mrsconn23GBCK
  • My oldest is not mine via birth.  His 'real' grandparents from his mom's side and his biomom are not around and have not been in over a decade.   My parents have seamlessly filled that 'role'.  He is considered their first grandchild and that has not changed since my nephew and son were born. 

    I'm sorry that you had a negative experience as a step-parent (and I know how hard it can be), but it doesn't have to be that way.  I've found if people do open their hearts, even just a little, there's more than enough love to go around.   

    I would be quite upset with my parents if they decided to do something for my son or my nephew because they are 'blood' related to them and leave my oldest out of it.  
    tawillersHeffalumpkmmssg
  • My oldest is not mine via birth.  His 'real' grandparents from his mom's side and his biomom are not around and have not been in over a decade.   My parents have seamlessly filled that 'role'.  He is considered their first grandchild and that has not changed since my nephew and son were born. 



    I have an almost identical situation.  Son's biomom and family have had nothing to do with him in years and years.  He's about to turn 14.

    My family has seen him as their own forever.  I don't think I could have a relationship with anyone who would think of him any less.

    Your example makes not an ounce of sense, @flbride2015.

    And @mesmrEwe, yes, it's like accepting money for a wedding with strings and all that.  But the point of this whole thread is that the grandparents are dicks for those strings and their son would be a huge dick for accepting them.  The mom and dad need to decline the offer and relay how dickish it was.  They can pay for their own kids to go to school, tyvm.  Dick.

    mrsconn23Heffalump*Barbie*
  • @flbride2015

    What if the man and his wife had adopted one of those kids or what if they had used a donor egg or sperm or both to conceive their child? The child still wouldn't be "blood" but I would expect the parents and grandparents to love that kid just as much and treat them just the same as they would any other child in that family. 

    Given your post, it's pretty clear why the ex-wife would say that you're "not part of the family".
    mrsconn23
  • I'm giving FLBride the benefit of the doubt. 

    It IS really hard to navigate daily resentment from an ex-spouse and/or/via stepchildren.  If you don't have the support and backing of your partner, that resentment will fester until it becomes an unruly beast that cannot be tamed.   It can turn the best people bitter and angry.  

    I know it can be a '4 men (or women) in the world' thing, but that's not always reality.  And with more and more single parents out there, blending families is a reality more often than not.  Being successful at it can be a daily struggle and it is easy to lose that struggle sometimes. 

    In a perfect world, a lot of things would be different.  But it's not.  However, FLBride...I encourage you to work through the anger and resentment you have about your previous situation.  It doesn't *have* to be that way.  

    HOWEVER, back to the letter, from what is written the grandparents are approaching this in a terrible manner and it could have terrible effects if the parents let them play this game of blood vs. not. 
  • Question, what if the grandparents pass away and in the will they leave their holdings (or whatever it is) to the bio grand daughter? Is this just as wrong? People do this all the time.

     

    Private school for grade school while the other kids go to public school - that is one way to cause a huge fision between the siblings. I would just say "thanks but no thanks." I would most definitely not ask for the grandparents to pay for the other siblings though. Just leave it at - "we don't want to separate the children so they will be going to the same school."

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • My oldest is not mine via birth.  His 'real' grandparents from his mom's side and his biomom are not around and have not been in over a decade.   My parents have seamlessly filled that 'role'.  He is considered their first grandchild and that has not changed since my nephew and son were born. 


    I'm sorry that you had a negative experience as a step-parent (and I know how hard it can be), but it doesn't have to be that way.  I've found if people do open their hearts, even just a little, there's more than enough love to go around.   

    I would be quite upset with my parents if they decided to do something for my son or my nephew because they are 'blood' related to them and leave my oldest out of it.  



    Oh don't get me wrong, I know it doesn't have to be that way. I have a child of my own now and my ex's new wife and I get along great. She and her family are very much a big part of my daughter's life, as is my fiance's family. They all treat my daughter as if she were a biological grandchild. I constantly tell my daughter how lucky she is that she has so many people who love her.

    Despite how it may have come across, I loved my step-child very much. That was the problem, her mother didn't feel I had the right to even be around her child. But that's a whole different issue. I'm just saying that in blended families, you can't force those who didn't choose to be a part of the family (like step-grandparents) to treat your new step-kids like their own biological grand-kid. Just like as a step-parent, you don't automatically become a new mom or dad to your step-kid, there's a relationship that has to be built over time.

    Is it nice when you can take on that larger role in the kid's life? Of course it is. Is it ideal for the child to have more people to love him or her instead of the extended step-family saying you're not a part of our family because you're not a biological kid? Of course it is. I am very happy about the fact that my kid has so many new wonderful people in her life. But if my fiance's parents had chosen not to establish a more grand-parent type role in my daughter's life, that would have been their decision. Thy didn't choose for their son to marry someone with a child, he did. He's the one who has to take on whatever role he, her dad, and I decided is appropriate, not his parents. And the same goes for my ex's wife's parents. I'm happy they treat her like a grandchild, but if they didn't? That's their decision. As long as they treat my child kindly and with respect, I can't force anything else upon them.

    MesmrEwe
  • *Barbie* said:

    @flbride2015

    What if the man and his wife had adopted one of those kids or what if they had used a donor egg or sperm or both to conceive their child? The child still wouldn't be "blood" but I would expect the parents and grandparents to love that kid just as much and treat them just the same as they would any other child in that family. 


    Given your post, it's pretty clear why the ex-wife would say that you're "not part of the family".



    That's a completely different perspective I hadn't consdered because I can't imagine any grandparents treating an adopted or artificially inseminated child differently. I can only imagine this situation occuring in a step-family sort of situation. You're absolutely correct though, in a situation where the children are adopted or some form of in vitro or artificial insemination had occurred, I would be furious if either parent treated our children differently because of a lack in biological ties.

  • I'm giving FLBride the benefit of the doubt. 


    It IS really hard to navigate daily resentment from an ex-spouse and/or/via stepchildren.  If you don't have the support and backing of your partner, that resentment will fester until it becomes an unruly beast that cannot be tamed.   It can turn the best people bitter and angry.  

    I know it can be a '4 men (or women) in the world' thing, but that's not always reality.  And with more and more single parents out there, blending families is a reality more often than not.  Being successful at it can be a daily struggle and it is easy to lose that struggle sometimes. 

    In a perfect world, a lot of things would be different.  But it's not.  However, FLBride...I encourage you to work through the anger and resentment you have about your previous situation.  It doesn't *have* to be that way.  

    HOWEVER, back to the letter, from what is written the grandparents are approaching this in a terrible manner and it could have terrible effects if the parents let them play this game of blood vs. not. 



    I apologize if it came across that I held resentment towards the situation. That's not the case at all. I come from a super blended family and we always treated each other as biological family members. Not just amongst siblings, but also amongst the parents. My siblings' mom was and still is a wonderful person who treats me very well. I wanted the same for my step-daughter but was not allowed to do so. It is what it is. I did my best while he and I were married to have the best relationship I could with her without stepping on her mom's toes, and fortunately I still get to interact with her occasionally so my daugher and she can continue to be in each other's lives.

    If anything, my previous situation has made my current one a lot easier. It taught me a lot of what not to do as the biological mom in a blended family, and my kid is fortunate to be able to beneft from the close relationship all of the adults in her family now have.

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