“Don’t treat my child differently”

When this mother told me her story I was so heartbroken. She recently got married and came into the marriage with her son and all looked good between her son and the soon-to-be stepfather before she was married. As soon as she was married she noticed that the child was being treated differently by the stepfather.

He started by asking the child to call him Dad which the child did not want to do because he knows his biological father. This was something not discussed with him, the father just demanded to be called Dad. The mother also had another child in the marriage and she says that it is clear that the father prefers his biological child over the step child. The show of affection between the two children is not the same.

How cruel can one be to a child. He is  only a child and I do not understand how one can do this to the mother. Not only is this painful to the child but is also putting strain to the mother. There you are looking forward to a new life and you have someone playing such cruel games with the child’s feelings. We run the risk of raising angry children if we allow our children to grow up in such hostile environments.

My first question to the mother was why was she not addressing this issue with her husband, the step father. To tip toe around this situation is not going to help but cause more damage to the poor young boy who feels voiceless and is looking up to the mother to protect him. Many people are walking with scars that were caused by step parents and while the biological parent sits doing nothing all in the name of wanting to preserve the marriage. My question is at what cost? Are you willing to sacrifice your child and the happiness because you want to stay married?

Our children are the ones who will be by our side when things get bad in the union and lets us not forget that blood is thicker than water. No man or woman is worth the happiness of your child. It is something no mother or father should tolerate. Every child deserves to feel loved, welcomed and appreciated. If you notice that a child is being treated unfairly why not talk to your partner.? Why not address the issue.

The last thing I would want my son to never say to me is “Mama, why do you chose uncle Andile over me” That would shatter me. Why can one not treat children equally. Why buy your biological child clothes and the step child nothing. In some of these cases, the mother will sneak out and go buy her child clothes as well so that the child does not feel left out. Address the behaviour and stop these games because children do see these things even if they do not say anything. Our children come first and let us strive to raise them in loving homes.

Do you treat your step children different to your biological ones?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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