Friday, March 10, 2017

The UnFavored Parent

Unfavored Parent, step parenting, blended family
Do you ever feel like your kids favor the other parent more than they do you? Well, you’re not alone. Not only do I feel like my step kids favor their mother over me and my husband but even my own biological kids favor their father over us.  That was a hard reality that I have been feeling for a while and last night it really hit home to me that I am right, unfortunately. We went to both of my daughters choir concerts last night and after it was over us three were standing side by side when both of my girls came running up after they saw us in the crowd of people and both went running into the arms of their Father, while me and my husband stood there standing, never did they greet us either other than just a “Hi”.  At that moment I felt really hurt that they were so excited to see their Father, but not us. They completely ignored us like we weren’t even there until they asked about a friend spending the night this weekend.  Even, after all, we do for my daughters and all of our kids for that matter, that the other parents are their favorites. Even my stepkids have done this plenty of times, especially my stepdaughter.  It made me realize how my own mother felt when we did that to her at school events with my Father. It’s not a good feeling at all. In fact, once we all got into the vehicle to go home I had to say how I felt. I said to my husband, at least now we know who the favored parent is and it’s definitely not us. Then I went on to say, next year there will be no family vacation, it will just be about us and us alone, no kids.  One of my daughters spoke up and said well we didn’t see you. I said “how could you have missed us we were right next to your Father as you both came running up to him and hugged him. Where was our hug at?” After I said it I immediately regretted it, but I couldn’t take back how I felt. My stepdaughter did this to me and my husband last year at my stepson’s baseball game; she even sat right in front of us but didn’t acknowledge we were there at all. Then halfway through the game, she turned around and asked my husband a question.  She only did that after her Mother stepped away to take a phone call is when she finally turned around to talk to us.  It really hurt both of us, that she couldn’t at least say Hi to us when she got there.  My stepkids have done this plenty of times, to the point where we both expect no recognition anymore, but to get that kind of treatment from my own kids just hurt me more than it did when my stepkids have done it to us.  I honestly don’t really blame my stepkids because I know their mother would make them pay if they treat us nice in front of her. I hate to see them punished for recognizing a parent and greeting them.  In my case, my ex-husband and I are on great terms with one another unlike it how it is with my husband’s ex-wife.
All I did was think why is that? The only thing I can say as to why is because we are the more strict parents then both of our ex’s. We do have more fun with all of the kids and take them on vacations every year and still get that treatment.  I have come to the realization that kids really like the lenient parent more because they like no structure and no rules and so on.  They will appreciate what we have done when they are older. For now, we have to grow a thick skin and let things they do and say bounce off of us and not take things so personally since after all they are kids that don’t really know what they do or see things like we see them.  We have to wear protective armor and just let it bounce off of us.  I know it’s easier said than done. I come from a blended family myself and favored my mother over my father. I mainly did that because my mother had fewer rules and less structure than what it is was like when I went to my Father’s house every other weekend.  But now as an adult, I have a better respect for my Father and I also know how children should be raised because of my Father and his strict rules. I also learned valuable skills from my Mother too but I learned to be a respectful, peaceful, structured adult from my Father. My sensitive and spiritual side I got from my Mother. Learning how to be respectful is something that isn’t being taught with today’s kids enough, not as much as it was when I was a child, but that’s for another blog post for another day. LOL 

How do we get over being the UnFavored Parent?
  • Lots of praying
  • Growing thick skin – a suit of armor, a shield
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff – let some things go, but bring up important things. If the thing they did affects who they might become as adults, then have a talk about it with them.
  • Children need to be taught that you appreciate and recognize everyone that comes to see you at sporting or school events because they took time out of their busy day to help support them in their event. 

I plan on sitting down with my daughters and letting them know I was hurt and why I was hurt and how to treat those who come to see them at events.  This is a lesson that can only be taught by us parents. They need to treat everyone equally and to become more compassionate, appreciative and sensitive to others when they come to an event of theirs. No one should ever get the cold shoulder even if they do favor the other parent; they still should honor and recognize the other parent too.
Have you ever dealt with this before?