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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.

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

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

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

onefootback Report

#2

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

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

alexislynncatherine Report

#3

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

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

shrubbylight17 Report

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 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

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

EE_33 Report

#5

My Brother Bought Girl Scout Cookies And This Was My Step Mom’s Response

My Brother Bought Girl Scout Cookies And This Was My Step Mom’s Response

nyymphia Report

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#6

On Facebook. You Can’t Have It Both Ways

On Facebook. You Can’t Have It Both Ways

AlwaysAngryFox Report

“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

Zero Awareness For How Cruel She Must Look

Zero Awareness For How Cruel She Must Look

darkizzle Report

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marshafredell avatar
Lovin' Life
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So cruel to do such a thing. When you marry someone with kids, it's a package deal. Take them all or take nothing.

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#8

Was At My Dad's For New Years Dog Got Spooked By Fireworks This Is How My Step Mum Dealt With It

Was At My Dad's For New Years Dog Got Spooked By Fireworks This Is How My Step Mum Dealt With It

fandom_toaster Report

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#9

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”

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”

YEEEEZY27 Report

“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

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"

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"

fibralarevoluccion Report

#11

I Make Memes About My Step Dad To Vent

I Make Memes About My Step Dad To Vent

rustywinge Report

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Black Pearl
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And if you keep that up I'm gonna make sure you're beaten again as an adult

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#12

My Stepdads Solution To Make Sure No One Takes A Bath, Only Showers

My Stepdads Solution To Make Sure No One Takes A Bath, Only Showers

skiddotheory Report

“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

Step-Dad (65) Rage Texting After I (42) Try And Set Some Boundaries

Step-Dad (65) Rage Texting After I (42) Try And Set Some Boundaries

LoGungFu Report

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Kimi Tomminello
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

All that for just saying "Please stop sending this stuff". I feel for OP. That is some pretty heavy belittling from a dad when you're an adult.

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#14

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

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

rainbowequalsgay Report

#15

My Step Mom Is Narcissistic, I'm Sure You See Her Intentions If You're Familiar With Narcissists

My Step Mom Is Narcissistic, I'm Sure You See Her Intentions If You're Familiar With Narcissists

0Aranda Report

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Lovin' Life
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Dad doesn't need to take them anywhere if he has covid. Don't spread it!

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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.

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#16

I Got A Tattoo And Sent My Dad A Picture... This Is From My Step Mom 3 Days Later

I Got A Tattoo And Sent My Dad A Picture... This Is From My Step Mom 3 Days Later

jaynellll Report

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IzzieM
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

WTF? I am also ...untitled to live the lifestyle I chose, however I don't understand what an exit date refers to.

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#17

My Stepmother's Mother Came Out As A Lesbian. The Chat Is Between Me And My Stepmother

My Stepmother's Mother Came Out As A Lesbian. The Chat Is Between Me And My Stepmother

Vsauce_Waifu Report

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BigOrangeTractor
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"She's in her menopause" like that has any effect on whether you're homosexual. The ignorance on display through all of this is tragic.

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#18

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

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

cocktailfantasy Report

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Ember
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That poor kid....thank goodness for kind souls like your parents though

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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

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

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

VaticanCameos714 Report

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Report them to the police for attempted kidnapping and child trafficking and file for a permanent restraining order.

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#20

Well That’s A Lovely Thing To Hear About My Controlling Step-Father. Can’t Do S**te Now

Well That’s A Lovely Thing To Hear About My Controlling Step-Father. Can’t Do S**te Now

rianbear12 Report

#21

Step Mom Can Be Crazy

Step Mom Can Be Crazy

AutisticBoss69 Report

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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.”

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#22

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

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

kdm01 Report

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Katy McMouse
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I call bull s**t. No qualified therapist in their right mind would recommend such a thing.

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#23

My Victim Complex Step-Father. Ps, His Actions Show No Attempt To Want To Get Along With Me

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.

Bensbeanbowl Report

#24

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

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

Ezra-DorkLord Report

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Lovin' Life
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wow! I cannot image putting my name on things in the refrigerator. I thought, in a home setting, that what was there was for everyone.

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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.

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#26

Stepmom Who Complained About The Vaccine Not Having Fda Approval Is Now Complaining About It Having Fda Approval

Stepmom Who Complained About The Vaccine Not Having Fda Approval Is Now Complaining About It Having Fda Approval

floydwarpo Report

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April Stephens
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Would you rather have less, smaller, already-nibbled, more expensive food that contains bugs instead of food with traces of pesticides? Eating organic is a trade-off.

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#27

Stepmom Is Jealous Of Her Stepdaughter’s Relationship With Her Dad

Stepmom Is Jealous Of Her Stepdaughter’s Relationship With Her Dad

spiderfightersupreme Report

“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

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

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

TySnave Report

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Isn't it amazing how abusing parents always pretend that they are the victim when their children break all contact with them?

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#29

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

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

jjjoe_ Report

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Kimi Tomminello
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Do yourself a favor- find a couple friends/ work associates and pool your money to get a place of your own. If you're already paying rent at least you're used to that portion of it already. That's some otherworldly hover parenting.

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#30

From My Stepmom. Also Love How Real Is In Quotation Marks

From My Stepmom. Also Love How Real Is In Quotation Marks

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Kimi Tomminello
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I actually believe all of this except real should not be in quotes and I still double mask (cloth under n95) and am triple vaxxed. I think my reasoning is the opposite of hers, though.

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Note: this post originally had 60 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.

“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.”