Something that has always irked me was the phrase “step” in use with family. Recently, I set out to find where this term came from. I discovered through Wikipedia’s free encyclopedia that the term step-family finds it roots in the 8th Century when it was used to denote a child of a widowed parent or an orphan.
My question is why do we still use this term to describe families? It is no longer a term used for decease but instead has become a representative of combined family. Why? Can the world find no better term for a child’s placement in life than to become a “step” child in a blended family? Is a child born unto you biologically any better than one that comes to you through the process of marriage or a good relationship?
For me, the term “step” is degrading to the blended family. It creates the feeling in children that they are not equal to one another and that a child is better than them because the child is born into the family. Such untruth can destroy the esteem of a child. I would prefer someone to say “this is Dana’s child” over my “step” child, or simply this is “my child”. If you make a commitment to become married or seriously involved, then you also make the commitment to be a parental figure to that person’s children.