So far I don’t have any step-grandchildren of my own. However, I’ve seen the devastation. Children from an already broken home, need us. Mostly, they need to lose the word “step.”
Yissa brought three children into their marriage. She had a rough start into adulthood. Family life was hard for her. Not with her children. But with the men she picked to be their fathers. When Scott came along, he promised to love her–and them.
However, no one consulted with his mother about bringing children into the family. Not like they had to. But her step-grandchildren were singled out, as “Yissa’s children.”
When the family grew, the step-grandchildren were singled out even more.
One particularly hurtful day came when the family had to go to a funeral. As in most funerals, the entire family gathered to mourn and say goodbye.
The afternoon wore on, and distant family members began to make their way over to Yissa’s table, and introductions were in order.
The grandmother introduced “her” grandchildren. (The two out of the five sitting at the table.) While the other three just sat in silence. They weren’t acknowledged as her grandchildren, or even as her step-grandchildren. Nothing more was said.
Years later, the two sides of this story, continued to grow.
You see, the step-grandchildren only saw their grandmother- as just that. Their grandma. For all intents and purposes, in family settings, she was the only grandma they knew. Scott had taken on the role of step-father. They loved him as a father. They loved her as a grandmother.
And yet, she always made the distinction between “her grandchildren” and “Yissa’s children.”
The children are all grown now. Each one married and raising their own family. Every one of them would do anything for their grandmother. Without hesitation. Was it because she was so good to them? Or because she accepted them?
No. It’s because in the eyes of a child, bloodlines don’t matter in the least. A child only knows you by the love they need from you.
If you are faced with ready-made grandchildren, albeit step-grandchildren, here’s a few things to consider.
- Children have an innate sense of justice. They can feel rejection even when it is passive.
- Children from previously unwed mothers are coming from a greater place of need. Many times they haven’t had any contact with grandparents. They haven’t even had two parents.
- Your step-grandchildren, don’t see you as a step-grandmother or grandfather. All they see is a loving person they need in their lives.
You may not have the advantage of having your step-grandchildren from birth. So, it might take a little extra effort in getting to know them. But when you do, you will see that although they may not bear your family resemblance– they are yours, and they will reflect your love.