step parenting advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2004
step parenting advice
23
Tue, 06-14-2011 - 4:31pm

i'm not a step parent, but I'm curious what those of you who are think of this guys take on it.

http://www.rosemond.com/?page_id=1528

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Thu, 06-16-2011 - 11:02am
I have to agree with you. The ages of the kids come into play quite a bit, as well as the situations beyond the marriage. With my DD, her bio-dad was never involved, and she was 10 when DH and I got married. She has never felt comfortable caling him dad, and I guarentee she never will. We went through a lot of issues when we first got married, and it is extremely hard to blend families. We do have different discipline styles which adds to how hard it is.

Now his son was 18 months when DH and his ex divorced, and she moved in and married the person she was cheating on DH with almost immediately. DSS calls his step dad "dad", always has, and always will. Initially DH had every other weekend and once a week custody until DSS turned 6 when DH left for training in the army, and we were married a year later and moved out of state permanently. After we moved, DSS started calling DH by his first name at the insistence of him bio-mom (messy divorce), he isn't allowed to say "his dad" at his regular house. When he says "my dad" at his mom's house, she corrects him and says you mean "Brian". I don't ask DSS to call me anything at our house when he visits, he calls me Tracy. We acts as much like an integrated family as possible when they are all together, by like another poster said, I am not this child's mother, and I would never try to replace one that is wholly involved in their life.

There are a lot of dynamics at issue with each family.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Thu, 06-16-2011 - 2:43pm

I'm a step-parent.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Thu, 06-16-2011 - 2:44pm

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Thu, 06-16-2011 - 2:50pm

Good article - I agree mostly with the last paragraph. In our case, my husband is my kids' stepdad because their bio dad passed away, so there is only one "dad" in the picture. Husband/stepdad and I always try to present ourselves as a united front to the kids and they are expected to listen to him and respect him as well as myself. Neither one of us discounts their feelings toward their bio dad - it's just that we believe, in order to function well as a family, that's how it has to be. As long as they are minors, anyway. We've hit a few bumps in the road, but for the most part it has gone well for nearly five years now.

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Registered: 03-09-2009
Thu, 06-16-2011 - 2:55pm

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Thu, 06-16-2011 - 3:15pm

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 06-16-2011 - 4:44pm

Do you think that things would be different if bio dad was alive?

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Registered: 01-06-2007
Fri, 06-17-2011 - 11:08pm

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Sat, 06-18-2011 - 9:03am

I feel very much like the author of this article. I grew up in a stepdad/mom and new siblings family (they had kids together, he didn't bring kids in) from the time I was 3. I called my SD "dad" until he died a year ago. It had NO bearing on my relationship with my dad- who lived out of state, but was very, very involved. In fact, we lived in the same state as adults for 11 years til he remarried last year and now we talk daily. Neither minded or resented the other. My "Ohio dad" had five kids (two came with the marriage) and my "Chicago dad" had three kids (my sister and I, and one from a brief second marriage).

I think the idea of a stepparent not being able to discipline a kid is bizarre - same as the babysitter, grandmother or teacher not being able to discipline. I divorced and brought my own two girls into a marriage - similar, I guess ;) - with a guy who had no kids. We had two additional kids. We are one family, they call my husband "dad" and even though they loved their father until he died two years ago, that didn't diminish their love for my dh. Why is it that you can equally love grandparents but not have two dads or two moms? What about my gay friends who have kids? Can they love their two moms?

You better believe that I expected my dh to treat my kids like his own - we even wrote wills shortly after our marriage naming the girls as the same as his natural born children (and later, after my ex died, he adopted them, so that point is now moot). I did NOT expect my girls to treat/love dh the same as their bio dad (they started calling dh dad on their own). But, after many years of being there for them every day, they love him very, very much. I can honestly, truly say that I didn't love my SD any less than my bio father. You might get along with one parent better than another - just like we all thought my grandma A was kind of tough to live with, lol, and grandma T was a pushover sweetie- but I loved them both the same.

Oh, and I think it's CRUEL to say to kids "you can always go live with your dad" or the like. No matter how bad kids are being, they need to know that you love them and are here for them no matter what. Luckily, my dh is the calmer of we two and the one time I screeched to him "I wish she would go live with ex" he quickly told me, "that's not an option... and we need her to know that we love her enough to keep her with us forever, no matter what."

My two cents...

Theresa

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Sat, 06-18-2011 - 10:59am
Maybe I have a different idea of what constitutes *discipline*. I don't think that my DS's teacher has ever told me that DS couldn't watch tv for a week cause he misbehaved in class. Ditto the babysitter or his Nana. At most, they'll tell me what he did and I decide on the appropriate punishment.

Stopping a child, any child, from dangerous or destructive behaviour is not *discipline* in my book.