Step Siblings can be pretty weird, like a person that now lives in your house but you often don’t know them nearly as long as you would a brother or sister. So naturally, there could be some conflict, but one would think that an adult would be able to set aside such pettiness in the name of family.

A dad wanted to know if he was in the wrong for canceling a big family vacation after his adult stepdaughters hid his biological kid’s passport. In a cosmically selfish move, they wanted to make sure OP’s daughter would stay behind and babysit their kids. Fortunately, Dad put his foot down and called the whole thing off.

Family drama can be hard to deal with, but sometimes it’s pretty clear who are the bad guys in a situation

Image credits: Vinta Supply Co. | NYC (not the actual photo)

A Dad wanted to know if he was a jerk for calling off a big family trip after his daughter’s passport was hidden by her stepdaughters

The Dad knew the story didn’t make much sense, but his daughter couldn’t travel without a passport

Image credits: RDNE Stock project (not the actual photo)

Image credits: Positive-Elk-8110

Stepfamilies come with their own sets of unique challenges

It’s generally never easy to learn one is going to have stepsiblings. Firstly, this is often the result of an already broken relationship, a divorce, or even a death. Now a child has to deal with their remaining parent potentially having to split attention and resources in a new direction, all for some unknown entity. This nervousness naturally can cause some tension and friction, as both households try to come to terms with a new arrangement. During cohabitation, the main difficulty that often arises is the precise one in OP’s story, that one parent might favor a child over another. A parent favoring their own child might elicit a similar reaction from the other parent, who will become overprotective of their offspring to protect them from favoritism. This inevitably leads to infighting and can be a pretty strong test of a relationship.

Of course, in OP’s story, basically, all the players are adults. His daughter, as the youngest, is also the most vulnerable. Generally, adults should be able to move past these initial difficulties, as they are all independent and no longer need a parent to take care of them. However, the stepdaughters seem deeply spoiled, to such an extent that they will play some very childish games to get their way. It is important that an adult faces responsibility for their actions, but some of the blame must be placed at the feet of their mother, who clearly never set proper boundaries and did not step up to protect her partner’s child. Her adult children hiding someone’s passport is a clear sign of downright warped moral boundaries. Similarly, they have now put their kids at risk, as they do not have a concrete babysitter for them.

Image credits: Anete Lusina (not the actual photo)

Psychologists believe that stepchildren are often at higher risk of abuse

Some commenters believed that this story had tell-tale signs of the “Cinderella Effect,” so it’s worth exploring what that is and what it means. Despite the allusions to the story, both men and women can be abusers in a stepchild situation. Research, unfortunately, shows that stepchildren across the board are at higher risk of physical and mental abuse and even more likely to be murdered by a step-parent. This isn’t to say that a step-parent is automatically more abusive, rather, when presented with a child that isn’t their biological offspring, step-parents feel less inhibitions in perpetuating abuse. We do not know if OP’s daughter or even stepdaughters were ever abused, but it’s clear that the mother’s biological children always got preferential treatment.

Most readers absolutely sided with OP and commended him for protecting his daughter

Some did think he should have gotten out of such a toxic household earlier