Sometimes, life is like a fairytale—magical, full of wonder, possibly with animals singing and dancing as you go about your day. And sometimes… life can be like a fairytale… at least like the original tales collected by the Brothers Grimm—dark, dreary, depressing, dangerous, and full of people who want to make your life a living hell.
In those stories, stepparents often played a very important part. And more often than not it was a wicked stepmother or stepfather who would be out to make the kids miserable. We’ve collected some of the worst examples of real-life stepparenting ever, from the r/insaneparents subreddit. Scroll down to see how to never ever treat kids, whether they’re biologically yours, adopted, or from the partner’s previous relationship.
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Keep in mind that this in no way whatsoever means that all stepparents are somehow ‘evil.’ There are tons of amazing stepparents out there who love their stepkids very much. However, like in all areas of life, some people are simply rotten to the core, like a poison apple beneath its shiny red skin.
#1 I Got A Tattoo And Sent My Dad A Picture… This Is From My Step Mom 3 Days Later
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#2 Stepmom Puts Step Kids Out On Porch While Bio Kids Stay Inside. To Go Out. She Said The Kids Bio Mom Is A Heroin Addict Who Abandoned Them. Yay For More Abandonment Issues
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#3 My Stepmom Is Always Threatening Me With Something When I Don’t Do Exactly What She Wants. I Had To Sign A Contract To Go To College On A Semester To Semester Basis. I’m 20
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The reason why stepmothers feature so prominently in the fairytales collected, compiled, and edited by the Brothers Grimm is that women died during childhood much more often than now. Meanwhile, medicine was also less advanced and a serious injury or illness could lead to the loss of life.
Bored Panda previously spoke to a number of people about stepparents treating their stepkids poorly. In short, everyone agrees that nobody should have to deal with open hostility, toxicity, and a lack of love in a family setting.
One story that we covered involved a stepmother who wanted her stepchild photoshopped out of the pictures in a family photo shoot, so she reached out to a Facebook group asking for their help. Naturally, people were horrified by such a request.
#4 My Stepdads Solution To Make Sure No One Takes A Bath, Only Showers
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#5 Zero Awareness For How Cruel She Must Look
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#6 I Need Some Help Calming Down Right Now, Please. My Dad Is Dying And My F**king Evil Stepmom Didn’t Tell Me That He’s Been In The Hospital For Two Weeks. Then She Blamed Me Not Telling Her Because I “Don’t Call Her Regularly”. I Don’t Call Her Regularly Because She Emotionally Abused Me For 9 Years
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“Seeing the boy she wanted photoshopped out sitting by himself next to his step-siblings on the blanket just sort of broke me. But my reaction has changed after seeing it absolutely blow up. What really gets to me now is seeing people tell stories about being step-children who felt unloved (or at least not as loved as their step-siblings) growing up. That’s been my biggest takeaway from it,” one redditor, Foilfun, told us.
#7 Had Half Day At School, Decided To Go Out With Friends. Asked Dad For Permission To Go Out He Said Yes But Didn’t Tell Stepmom, She Texted Me Pissed And Demanding I Come Home Now Even Though I Had Permission To Go
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#8 My Friend Just Sent Me This. Her Stepmom Took Her Stepsister To Get Food Without Her, And Then When She Went To Go Get Food By Herself She Grounded Her
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#9 Was At My Dad’s For New Years Dog Got Spooked By Fireworks This Is How My Step Mum Dealt With It
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“I can’t help but feel like it’s a fundamental misunderstanding of what family means. She probably didn’t mean anything malicious by the request, but the fact that she made it—or wanted it in the first place—makes me sad,” the redditor mused
#10 Not Sure If This Qualifies, But About A Year Ago My Stepmother Used My Younger Sisters Phone To Ask Me For Money. No, I Did Not End Up Giving Money To My Stepmom For “Field Day”
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#11 So My Step Dad Gave My PC That I Paid For To Goodwill. Because He Said I Waste My Time On It And I Should Be An Auto Mechanic Instead Of Going To College For Computer Science. I Spent Like $800 On That PC
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#12 Well That’s A Lovely Thing To Hear About My Controlling Step-Father. Can’t Do S**te Now
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“The mother made the choice to step into this family; that means she made a choice to step into all of the family. Stepson most definitely included. He’s just a little boy. He doesn’t know what is going on and he didn’t have a say in the matter. She most certainly does. She was given the chance to raise him as her own (or some complicated version of “her own”) and her response was to photoshop him out.”
#13 On Facebook. You Can’t Have It Both Ways
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#14 My Parents Took In Their Neighbor’s 18 Y/O Kid (Still In 11th Grade) Who Was Getting Kicked Out Because His Step-Dad Didn’t Want Another Male Adult In The House. This Is The Contract His Parents Made Him Sign. The ‘Witness’ Is His Sister Who’s Still A Minor
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#15 Step Mom Can Be Crazy
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According to the redditor, a person doesn’t have to be related by blood to be treated like family.
“They certainly don’t have to be blood to be family. I think that if you’ve made the choice to be a parent—step or otherwise—the responsibility is the same. These kids are the future. They’ll take both the best and the worst of you with them. If I were a father, I can’t help but feel like this would constantly be on my mind. Want to be a better parent of any kind? Don’t treat your kids like ‘kids.’ Treat them like the future. They didn’t ask to be here, but you get the chance to help them realize they can be everything,” they said.
#16 I Ate Ramen In My Room At 9 One Time. Also Music Played On My Computer Speaker For About Three Seconds Two Weeks Ago And She Took Away My Speakers. My Stepmom:
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#17 My Step Mom (Tita) Everybody!!
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#18 Stepmom Is Jealous Of Her Stepdaughter’s Relationship With Her Dad
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“I don’t want to see anybody hurt, but I also don’t want to see a world where kids continue to be pawns in their parents’ games and spats. Calling this mentality out whenever we get the chance is an important step if we’re going to see healthier generations going forward—ones that are better than we are.”
#19 From My Stepmom. Also Love How Real Is In Quotation Marks
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#20 My Brother Bought Girl Scout Cookies And This Was My Step Mom’s Response
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#21 Step Mother Was Stalking My Daughter For A Year Before We Knew She Existed. She Made 7 Fake Profiles To Gather Information, And Asked A Friend To Help Kidnap My Daughter. The Friend Sent Me This
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Meanwhile, another redditor, user Smokegenovese, said that “no one should be in a family that treats them like utter [crap] and doesn’t love them even as a stepchild.” They also believe that stepparents who step over the line “deserve to be on the news.”
#22 A Few Months Ago My Bike Tire Went Flat After A Late Practice And My Stepdad Would Not Pick Me Up. It Was 9 At Night And I Live In A Town Full Of Drug Addicts And Theres A Sex Ring Not Far From Home. When I Got Home He Scolded Me For Being Scared Saying He Wouldn’t Be. He’s 50 And 400lbs. I’m 15
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#23 Looking Through My Older Messages, And Saw My Now Ex Stepdads Messages. He Basically Flipped Out Whenever Something Didn’t Go His Way
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#24 Another Series Of Texts From My Loving Stepmother
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Bored Panda had also gotten in touch with the child’s biological mother who was horrified about how her son was being treated. She told us that her very first reaction upon learning that the stepmother wanted to edit out her son from the pictures was anger.
#25 I Make Memes About My Step Dad To Vent
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#26 My Step-Mum Tagged My 2 Step-Brothers In This And Thinks It’s Cute
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#27 An Interaction Between Me And My Extremely Anti-Lgbt Stepfather Mere Hours After I Came Out As Trans
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“She [the stepmother] didn’t try to apologize until after I had called my son’s grandma asking if she knew. The internet’s reactions to me is honestly amazing. I would expect anyone to stick up for a 3-year-old. Honestly, I’m not sure what I plan to do next,” the boy’s biological mother revealed to Bored Panda.
#28 Conversation With Stepmom About Me Packing Lunches, Devolved Pretty Quickly. For Context, I Go To College, And Mostly Pack My Lunches When I Go To On-Campus Classes
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#29 My Victim Complex Step-Father. Ps, His Actions Show No Attempt To Want To Get Along With Me
I was with my girlfriend and thus not checking my phone, the first two messages were within ten minutes of one another, the third was thirty minutes after the first. The whole problem was that I parked my car in the upper driveway as opposed to the lower driveway, and he wanted to park his truck there. The pancakes comment is in reference to a previous time he has said something like this, because I made a joke about not giving him some pancakes when I was cooking them.
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#30 More Texts From My Stepmother Regarding My “Attitude.” In This Addition, Invalidating My Anxiety!
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“Emotionally, it started out very badly. I was [angry] to an extreme, but now I’m really happy about this situation, because of all the support me and my son are getting through this situation. My family and friends are very supportive to me and my children through any situation,” she said.
“Honestly, my advice would be, get to know the children before you get married. Build a relationship with them. And if you’re not willing to do that—Do Not Marry Their Parent.”
#31 My Stepmother’s Mother Came Out As A Lesbian. The Chat Is Between Me And My Stepmother
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#32 My Parents New Idea To “Fix” My Life I’m 20 Btw, Work Part Time And Pay Rent, My Step Dad Has Set Internet Timers
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#33 Step-Dad (65) Rage Texting After I (42) Try And Set Some Boundaries
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#34 My Father After Being Rude To Me When I Came Out As Trans And Kicking My Brother Out Cause Our Stepmom Didnt Like His GF
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#35 My Step Mom Is Narcissistic, I’m Sure You See Her Intentions If You’re Familiar With Narcissists
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#36 I’m In A Stepmoms Group On Fb And I’m Convinced That 90% Of These Women Hate Their Stepchildren. “Stay In Your Room, Do Not Approach Me”
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#37 Stepmom Who Complained About The Vaccine Not Having Fda Approval Is Now Complaining About It Having Fda Approval
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#38 When You Blow Up On Your Stepmom Cause She Hid The Fact Her Family All Tested Positive For Covid
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#39 The Child In Question Is Only 4 Years Old And Grieving. Step-Mom Giving Wicked Witch Vibes
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#40 Always Had A Rough Relationship With My Dad. He Met My Step Mom & It Got Worse. 22 Years Old & Had To Ask Permission To Have My Boyfriend Of 5 Years Over, My Brother & I Were Basically Their Maids Til They Hired One, Screaming Match Led Me To Leave And Not Be Contacted Since May Or Apologized To
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#41 My Step Mother Has Controlled And Brainwashed My Father Ever Since He Had His Stroke Over 10 Years Ago. It’s Been Years Since My Siblings And I Have Seen Him. Details In Comments
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#42 A Group Chat Text Between My Sister And Stepfather
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#43 My Dad Told Me To Kys After I Came Out As Trans. My Step Mom Has Been Messaging Me And Trying To Guilt Trip Me Into Going Back To Their House
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#44 I Ran Away From My Dad’s House To Live With My Mom Because They Are Borderline Hoarders And I Needed To Prioritize My Mental Health, Which They Denied Me Help For For Years. Here’s My Stepmom’s Reaction:
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#45 From 2020- After Years Of Emotional Abuse, My Stepdad Flips And Puts His Hands On My Mum, Lunges At Me And Hits My Ex-Boyfriend In Front Of My 2yo Brother. Moved Out With No Intention Of Going Back
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#46 Would Love To Unsubscribe From My Stepdads Email, Text, And Facebook Crazy Video Mailing List
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#47 I Told Them I Was Going To Lay Down For A Nap Cause I Didnt Sleep Well And My Stepdad Decides To Message This To Me Separately
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#48 I’ve Been Having Some Insane Breakdowns From Stress. Got This Text Today After The Stepdad Saw Me Crying. I Really Don’t Think I Can Do This Anymore
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#49 Sent To Me By My Stepmom, Who 2 Days Earlier Told Me To Jump Off A Bridge Because “It Would Be Easier Than Beating Me”
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#50 This Is From My Stepmom Who Also Won’t Be Taking The Vaccine Because One Doctor Shared The Same Viewpoint As Her
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#51 My Stepdad Texted Me This After I Went On A Date
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#52 My Stepmom Comes In My Room And Tries To Organize All My Things. When I Told Her To Stop She Freaked Tf Out, Threw Things All Over The Place. This Is What She Said Afterwards
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#53 Stepmom Calls Me A Mooch For Trying To File For Ssi Due To A Slew Of Varying Disabilities, And Tells Me I Sat On Her Aggressive Dogs Cookie After He Attacked Me For Unchecked Resourse Guarding Behavior. Then Proceeds To Play The Victim When I Wont Accept Her Apology
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#54 Stepmom Threatening To Lock Me Out Of The House If I Don’t Finish The Chores I Started This Afternoon, But Had To Stop To Go To Work
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#55 Here’s More Nonsense From My Insane Stepmom Who Believes Being Around Vaccinated People Is Dangerous
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#56 Here’s How I Found Out That My Dementia-Ridden, Not-Blood-Related But Basically A Father To Me, Family Friend Passed Away. Was Planning To Surprise Him With A Visit Next Weekend, To Meet My Wife And Our 7 Week Old Son. (I Did Find His Address Shortly After Sending That Message To My Stepdad)
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#57 My Stepmom Is Like This Whenever Anyone Comes Over But Here’s The Thing: My Nightgown Is To My Knees And A Few Nightgowns I Have Go Past Them, And I Have A Flat Chest So Idk What Needs To Be Covered. Also, The Person She’s Talking Abt Is An Adult
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#58 Lockdown Week 1: Mum Acting Like Roses After Step Dad Screams That I’m ‘Ruining Their Relationship, No Wonder You Are The Way You Are’
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#59 The Way My Stepmom Instantly Gets Upset When I Don’t Wanna Give Her My Address (Bad History Between Us And She Expects Me To Forgive And Forget)
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#60 I Stopped Sharing My Location With My Stepmom Bc I’m Not Comfortable With Her Watching Where I Am At All Times, This Was Her Response When I Said I Wouldn’t Share It Again
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