Dear Amy: Today a lady introduced me to her "daughter, Laura" and her "stepdaughter, Katherine."
Later, on TV, a man was describing his family and said that he had two sons and his wife had three sons.
What is it with this Cinderella syndrome? Either these children are members of the family or they are not. If I was one of these stepchildren, I would be very distressed.
What do you say?
— A real daughter
Dear Daughter: There are times when introducing a child as a "step" is seen as a way to clarify a relationship that people often ask about, regardless of the introduction. For instance, if a parent says, "These are my daughters, Laura and Katherine," you might be shocked at how often the person will then say (in front of the daughters), "Hi, now which one is yours?"
Another reason to do this is to acknowledge in front of the daughter that she has another (unseen) parent, who is her birth parent. The daughter may feel it is disrespectful to her bio parent if she is introduced as a "daughter" by her stepparent.
Parents of blended families should treat all of their children as "their" children, but there are nuances attached to this that can be challenging for everyone.
Dear Amy: Thank you for telling "Worried Neighbors" to call the police when they heard yelling and loud noises from next door.
Almost 40 years ago, my neighbor called 911 when she heard noise from my apartment. The police arrived in time. No one ended up in the hospital or the morgue.
Dear Survivor: Frightening. Thank you.
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