Step Family Versus Blood-Related Family


Brodie Curtsinger

Freshman Karley Britt and her stepgrandpa, Ronald Thompson, hugging in the top photo, and Britt and her grandma, Donna Thompson, hugging in the bottom photo. Stepfamily can be just as close as blood related family, with this step relationship and blood related relationship hugging in the same way. “I’m big on my faith, and God, and one of the major teachings is that you love everybody. And so, that’s kind of how I live my life, where we’re supposed to love one another,” said Ronald Thompson.

Brodie Curtsinger, Staff Writer

A stepfamily is and can be, just as close as blood-related family. 

Many people with stepfamily, anywhere down the line, consider them just as close as their family that shares the same blood with them. 

Freshman Karley Britt believes that her stepfamily is just as close as her blood-related family, but some of her blood relationships are closer than step relationships, and the opposite. Britt’s grandma, Donna Thompson, believes that stepfamily can be just as close as her blood-related family, but she believes that there are some limits to that. Britt’s stepgrandpa, Ronald Thompson, believes that all of his stepfamilies is just like his blood-related family. 

Britt considers all of her grandparents equal, whether they’re blood-related or just stepfamily. Although, when it comes to more talking, and having perhaps a slightly better relationship, she believes that she clicks with some other grandparents more. “I think I’m close with all my grandparents pretty equally in my opinion,” said Britt, “I am closer to some of my other grandparents, but I feel like we (her and Ronald Thompson) are pretty close, but I just click with some of my other grandparents more.” 

Britt and her stepgrandpa, have known each other ever since Britt was born, explaining the reason behind Britt calling Ronald Thompson “grandpa,” and Ronald Thompson calling Britt, “granddaughter.” “Whenever people ask how I’m related to him; I normally say he’s my grandpa, but if I have to go into more details, then yeah, I’ll say he’s my step grandpa. I’ve known him my whole life, so I do think of him as my grandpa,” said Britt. Britt thinks of all of her grandpa’s as “grandpa’s,” and she never really calls them “stepgrandpa’s.”

Britt believes, in some situations, that her stepfamily is closer than her blood-related family. On the other hand, in some situations, she believes that her blood related family are just as close as her stepfamily. Although, she doesn’t think of any of them as any different; they’re all family. “Normally, the people that I’m blood-related to, are the people that I’m mostly closest to, in some cases. But in other cases, that’s not the case,” said Britt, “I think that me and Nonna (Donna Thompson) are really close, but since my stepdad, Roger, has been around for the longest time we’re probably a little bit closer.”

Britt and her grandma, Donna Thompson, both love each other uncontrollably, and a part of that is because they’re family, and another part is because whenever they are around each other, they have a great time. “She always takes me and my cousin’s places, and she’d always let us have sleepovers at her house, and stuff. And she just always made us all have a good time together, with her included,” said Britt.

The other reason for the reason is that they have always had a good relationship ever since Britt was a baby. “I feel like we have a really good relationship. We’ve been really close ever since I was like a baby, she’s always been a big part of my life. That’s why I think we have a good relationship,” said Britt. Donna Thompson also believes that they have a good relationship, ever since she was a young child. 

Donna Thompson sees Britt as something that not a lot of teenagers can achieve, and that is that she will answer questions. Donna Thompson believes that Britt and she have a good relationship. “I feel that Karley and I can communicate well. She does answer questions, where some teenagers don’t like to be asked questions. I’m speaking about Karley, I guess, right now, more than me, but our relationship is good, and part of that reason is because she’s kind, she’s considerate of other people’s feelings, and she tries not to, you know, alienate people. She wants to make people happy,” said Donna Thompson.

Donna Thompson believes that when Britt and her are having a conversation, then it is a great, enjoyable and fun time for her. The only way in which she does not believe this is when Britt might be preoccupied, and the same thing with any other conversation. “I enjoy my time when they want to talk to me, Karley wants to talk to me. If she’s on her phone the whole time, that’s not too enjoyable,” said Donna Thompson, “You want the time you spend with Karley, or any grandchildren or step-grandchildren, to be, it’s not as much the quantity, as it is the quality of the time that you have when you’re with them. You know, that you’re actually engaging in conversation, and listening, and they don’t mind you talking, asking some questions, that they think may be stupid, but you just want to know more about them. 

Donna Thompson believes that stepfamily can be just as close as blood-related family, but she believes that there are limits to that statement. “There’s no reason why you can’t be as close to your step-children and step-grandkids, as your own children and your own grandchildren. Again, I think that there is a limit to you don’t take as much from somebody,” said Donna Thompson, “It says you can’t pick your family. You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family. My family’s always going to be my family, no matter what. Sometimes, other folks that are not quite as close to you relationship-wise, can come and go. But once you love somebody, you love them.”

Donna Thompson believes that if a blood-related family member makes you mad, you have to get over it. Although, she also believes that on the other hand, if a stepfamily member makes you mad, you’re allowed to be mad. She just overall believes that relationships work, depending on how you treat the people. “If they make me mad, then I’m mad. If my grandkids make me mad, then I have to try to get over it, and keep a relationship with them. So, I guess that’s some differences with grandchildren and people who are very distant. But if somebody treats me right, then I’m going to treat them right,” said Donna Thompson.

Now, before meeting her now-husband, Ronald Thompson, Donna Thompson had two children: Devan Griffin and DeAndra Hurley. Ronald Thompson met Donna Thompson at which Griffin was around 3 years old, and Hurley was around 18 months old. Hurley is the mother of Britt, and with Ronald Thompson knowing Hurley before she even had Britt, this makes it to where Ronald Thompson met Britt when she was a newborn. 

Ronald Thompson described this as just a big happy family. “I’ve been around DeAndrea and Devan all of their young life,” said Ronald Thompson, “They were raised by Donna and me, and they’re just like my child, as well as her’s, as was my previous children. And then when they started having children (like DeAndra with Britt), it was just a big family.” 

Ronald Thompson doesn’t ever really even think about the word “step,” because of how close all of his family is. “I think that is true (that people should view step-relationships, just as if they were blood-related). I mean, we’re just one big family. I never have even thought about that term: stepgrandchild. I don’t even think in those terms,” said Ronald Thompson.

Ronald Thompson believes that he has a good relationship with all of his grandchildren equally. Whether it’s his five blood-related grandkids or seven stepgrandkids.  “When she has Birthdays, we celebrate her birthdays, just like I would my other grandchildren. Same way with Christmas and gifts. I’m big on my faith, and God, and one of the major teachings is that you love everybody. So, that’s kind of how I live my life, where we’re supposed to love one another,” said Ronald Thompson. Ronald Thompson, no matter how far down in the family, considers all of his family equal. Whether they’re stepfamily or blood-related family.