Step parents at parent teacher interviews

[deleted account] ( 38 moms have responded )

Is it okay for the step parent of a child to be permitted to attend educational briefings like parent teacher interviews?

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Robin - posted on 09/07/2012

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Yes,

There is not a single legal item that limits a step parents involvement with their step children. I have read some of the remarks, and some people in here are pretty angry about their personal situations. Being a custodial guardian as i am i can tell you the only thing that you are limited from doing is making medical legal situations decisions/life and death and treatment etc., that is the only area that is solely left for the biological parents. Even in that situation you and your husband should have a letter or document between his ex and him as to extent of treatment etc. that you are allowed to participate in, ie: what if he falls and needs stitches and both mom and dad are 4 hours away and he is bleeding, etc. Legally there is no barrier, the ex wife may have her panties in a bunch about you stepping on her mom toes, but when he is with you he is your responsibility. I find as a parent in a divorce situation we tend to let our self inflated ideas of our value and worth in the situation direct our comments and emotional responses. How would it be if the ex wife was remarried and her husband wanted to attend parent teacher activities etc. she would allow it, I am sure. Do not worry as long as your main goal is the child's betterment and continued care you are doing nothing legally wrong. No matter what the rest of the divorced world tells you, legally you are a parent.

Valerie - posted on 01/11/2012

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It really does depend on the situation. My ex brings his new wife along which is fine, because at least he is there, but I would have a big problem if she went without him. I have attended every single parent teacher conference for my 3 kids. I am an involved parent and have the primary custody of them. Since our separation, my ex has tried to involve his then girlfriend now wife, in every way possible with the children's lives. She was picking them up from school, doing homework with them, cutting their hair, waxing eyebrows, putting on makeup, buying push up bras for the 12 year old, filling out medical and educational paperwork, and generally doing everything that I object to as a mother. I was available to do all these things with my children and I was not even consulted if these activities were ok with me. It was infuriating that this person felt she could lay hands on my children without the consent of both parents. My ex told me he considered her to be a perfect paragon of a mother and since she loved our children he felt that gave her the right to have as much parental responsibility as the both of us. I don't agree, and for this situation to work, there needs to be boundaries and respect for the parental roles one plays in the children's lives. This will also create confusion for the children as they learn conflicting parenting techniques that are enforced in two different homes. If I was an absent mother, or not involved, or at least got along with the step-parent, it would be a different situation and I doubt I would object so much.

Angel - posted on 10/30/2012

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Absolutely YES! Your kid (step or not) is your kid, no matter how many parents they have! You have to have the tools to help them in life. Some of that is finding out how they're doing in school and what is suggested to help them.



However, if it will cause too many problems with the other parent, it may be best just to let the bioparents go & the spouse of the "step parent" can give them the down low. Or you should be able to set up a separate appointment that you and your hubby can go to together without the other mom being present and they can do likewise.



The kid comes first, all parents should be looking to help their kid, whether together or separately.

Amanda - posted on 11/08/2010

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I attend my Boyfriends daughter conf. because she lives full time with us. We are the ones that making sure she is getting all her work done and her grades are excellent and no missing work. So I feel the parents (even the non-bio.) that are active in the child's education should be there.

Chrissy - posted on 11/05/2010

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I think that if the bio parent's don't get along, then they should set up different meetings. If BOTH parents have partners who are active in the child's life and are wanting to be filled in on what is going on in school, then yes, I don't see a problem with it. How I see it, if it's ok for 1 parent to do it, why isn't it ok for the other parent to do it?

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Kimberly - posted on 09/28/2014

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if she, the step, can keep her mouth shut and not try to take over. I think there is a line of respect for the bio parents that can be crossed. it defiently depends on the relationship. my ex is a control freak bully and his wife has a degree in bitch. can't stand either one of them and my son is now 30 years old with special needs. it never ends. but bottom line it is about the child, not the parents.

Clarisa - posted on 03/03/2014

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Yes,you going will totally help in the hosbittality of having a step parent i grew up in many differnt homes with many different 'mommies' it changed me totally when my 5th stepmom Went to one of my dances as a chaperone it changed my look on the real horrible stepmother theory

User - posted on 06/10/2013

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Just today, my friend was denied allowing her fiance attend a meeting. He lives with her & her son, and they will soon be married. I found it to be outrageous as it lacks the holistic vision needed to deal with children. Step parents are part of the child's life. Having them present allows a higher level of understanding as to what is needed from both perspectives. I cannot understand why the school would not want him present as they will now not have the total picture. Short sighted at best.

Katie - posted on 11/21/2012

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I went to my boyfriends children's meeting and it was awkward as hell! Considering I didn't get a word in at all because his ex wife wouldn't let me....And she was lying the the kids teacher about how she helps her daughter with her emotions considering she is getting to the pre-tween age..When it's really me who has been helping her...

Michelyne - posted on 10/23/2012

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I use to be a step mother to two little girls. (The relationship has since ended) I went to almost every parent / teacher interview, and most of the time I went alone. So I think, it is not only acceptable but that child is lucky to have suck a caring step-parent.

Jennifer - posted on 09/29/2012

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I am currently divorced but still love my step kids as if they were mine. we ALL went to parent teacher nights - both their mum & her hubby ans well as my ex and me. this would only work if everyone is friendly.



in the end - if all parents (step included) deal in raising the children and help with their schooling and such, all should be welcome to attend

Kate - posted on 09/20/2012

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Yes, Step-parents should attend if they are active in the children's lives...the kids have always been the ones to asked me to go (as the SM). I agree, if you do not get along with the other parent or don't want to deal w the step-parent, schedule a separate time. I realize it can appear as an inconvenience but the Teacher may more stressed dealing with all of you together than just scheduling another time. You do have to consider you may get slightly different info from the teacher if separate (natural, based on questions or different parental concerns) so that may be an issue. Remember this is about the kids, not us mature adults (right?) so let everyone be involved and show their support and interest in the child's life - its about what is best for them not us!

Karen - posted on 09/17/2012

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As a step parent with 50% custody, I go to PTC. BM hasn't attended since 2nd grade. And I'm the only person he came to for help with 5th grade science project. My interest is his education, not personal, silly games that I don't have time for.

Michelle - posted on 09/10/2012

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In Australia you can have as many interviews with the teachers as you want. As the custodian parent I have talks with the Teacher on a reglar basis at lest every fortnight and if Dad wanted to talk to Teacher he organises it himself. My partner doesn't get involved with the boys but if their stepmum went with Dad I wouldn't have a problem with it as the only person I can controll is myself. It's up to you.

Chrisdee - posted on 09/09/2012

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This situation truly depends on the relationship of all the parents involved. In general, if the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent agree and the step parent is actually involved in the child's care, then there is no reason that a step parent should not attend; however, this is often not the case. Let's not forget the basis for the parent teacher conference, the child. If the step parent is not actually engaged in the child's care, or has not developed a strong relationship with the birth parent and the child, then I think things should move a bit more slowly. In short, a step parent should not interject just because they are the new spouse. Make sure the reason for attending is to support a successful parenting relationship for the child and not a jab or power struggle just because you are the new spouse.

Andrea - posted on 09/04/2012

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It depends on the circumstances. My daughter birth father chooses to have nothing to do with her. She calls my husband dad and considers him to be her real father though he hasn't legally adopted her yet. My husband has been in my daughters life since she was 2 years old. In our situation he and I both attend her parent teacher conferences and any meeting having to do with her IEP when she was in grade school.

Connie - posted on 04/15/2012

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Yes, why would'nt it be? My ex lives 50 miles away and never asked about his school here yet my husband came to the parent teacher conferences with me. Now my ex has temporary custody and still waiting for records from him for school, medical, and counseling....maybe the 10 days will be up and no records and can file for contempt I hope.

Jody - posted on 04/15/2012

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I went threw this. If you like you can set it up where your ex and his wife can have seperate meetings with the teacher instead of all of you together. In my case, I told the school that I was unwilling for her to have ANY acess to my childs records at all. A step parent has NO Legal rites. If the bio parent says no then the school has to honor it or they can get in trouble. Even if he ok's it you have to also. I removed my ex's gf off my daughters emergency contact list threw the school and had her blocked to where she can't pick my daughter up, talk to the teachers and has no right to see her grades etc... (my ex's gf has a serious drug problem) It was a bit of a process to make the school understand that I had the right to do this but a quick letter from my lawyer had them understanding in a big hurry.

Marie - posted on 04/13/2012

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I believe the more in-step you can appear to be iwth the other-mother, the better for your kid. I did that with my ex and his Russian wife... invited her to an IEP conference. Let her weigh in, even though she hadn't known my son that long. I even solicited her opinion in front of the teachers. Every single thing I do is aimed at making my son feel more comfortable with his family as it is now. It is not about me, it is about my son. That's my view on it. I have stripped my ego out of divorce completely.

Lesley - posted on 04/10/2012

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as a bm and a sm i have two sides. as a bm, no bc my sons dad or sm do nothing for him and as a sm of my sd its hard bc my hubby has guardianship until she turns 18 she is 13 now. i do everything for her bring her to gyno and pedi, dentist and vision doctors. my name is now with my hubby on all her records. so i will be there for everything her bm choices not to be there.

Yollanda - posted on 04/10/2012

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I attend by myself, and his teacher is very familiar with me. My son's father is engaged, and we do not have a good relationship, however he can attend if chooses too, but he doesn't. And no, I would not be happy if his fiance attends because they both are not involved in my son's education, and/or everyday life. BTW he came to my son's Kindergarten Play & Ceremony last year school and I was ok with it- No drama because we were there for my son.

Kelli - posted on 02/07/2012

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Elizabeth Siener...When I was teaching, I would have been more than willing to set up two differenct conferences for both sets of parents and did it a couple times for one childs parents who did not get along. The dad asked the school for an extra set of everthing to be sent to him also as the mom didn't tell him anything. So we mailed a set of everything to him also. Even sent a copy of the report card to him so he could see it also. Made two times for conferences so he could hear what was going on.



Now, I am also a step mom and my husband and his ex went to their sons conferences together, no spouses. Now that we live 3 hrs away, she goes with her current husband and then sends a copy of his report card to us. She will also usually have their son call daddy after conferences to tell him how it went.



I think it is ok if the step parent goes to the conferences, but completely depends on the situation, if other parent can't come and step parent is very involved, then why shouldn't they be able to go to conferences.

Renee - posted on 01/31/2012

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Of course a step parent should be able to go. My husband and I are the ones that make sure the child does her homework and gets her assignments done. Most of the time, my step daughter has to do assignments from the week before when she was with her mom, and assignments for that week as well. For most situations, the teachers have always allowed separate meetings. When we go talk to the teacher or school counselor, the meeting is about the child. When the mother has been present, the meeting has turned into all about her. If you are involved and helping raise that child as if they are your own, then you have every right to attend school meetings.

Jaysa - posted on 01/10/2012

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I have done it and I recommend it! I have had my stepdaughter since she was 2, and I attend everything as if I were her Mom, alongside her Mom. Many nights and weekends I am helping her with homework and need to know what is going on at school in order to be a good parent to her. Her Mom probably (does) feel a tad threatened by my presence, but my stepdaughter knows i am there because I care about her. That's what counts.

Britt - posted on 01/09/2012

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i have always attended my stpchildren conferences. They are welcoming to ALL parents.

Jessica - posted on 01/08/2012

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I am a teacher, and I would rather set up two conferences if I have to. There is nothing worse than being in a meeting with parents that do not get along. Also, if the step parent plays a role in the child's education then I love having them in the meeting.

Aerica - posted on 10/18/2011

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Absolutely! If their intentions is for the academic success of that child then yes.If they have a different underlined agenda then no!

Jamie - posted on 11/17/2010

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My Ex Husband works until 6pm and he isnt really able to take time off without warning, sometimes the school really doesnt give you much warning. But When I do know about them I tell my ex-husband and he usually forgets but when he doesnt I tell him he could come if he wants and he says i can just tell him, He knows my husband now goes with me because he is usually off of work at the job that he was working, my ex-husband didnt really like it in the beginning but now that i have gotton re-married I am seeing that my ex is alright with it because what i forget to tell my ex , my mom does or my new husband does. As long as he gets told he doesn't care.I think it is really depending on what the mother wants to do, or the father who ever has the main part of the custody. I mean as long as the parents of the child know what is going on, the step-parent even tho theres the word "step" in front of it sometimes in some cases step parents are just as involved and they want to be involved. and then again some step parents dont but most of what i have seen they do. My step dad was there for me 100% for me while i was growing up my real -dad didnt want anything to do with me until it was convienent for him. When I was 8 he decided that he wanted to start seeing me. I was nervous but my step dad told me and sat down with me, just me and him and we talked i explained how it was for me and he told me this: " No matter how much your dad is in your life or out of your life My love and My care and My Concern for you will never change and that he will love me no matter what thats what a "dad" does ... "Anybody can be a Father but it takes a real MAN to be DAD" and i had 2 guys in my life that stepped up and took the place when my real wanna be father wasnt around.

Brittany - posted on 11/16/2010

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I go to all of my son's parent teacher meetings- in fact I go to more meetings than bio mom. When I enrolled him in Preschool we didnt really have any parent teacher meetings but in Kindergarten we had one meeting with all 4 parents present; it was really awkward so we decided to just have separate meetings from then on. We have kept it that way through out his school years and have never had a teacher have an issue about it (they were actually pretty understanding about the whole thing). Me and my husband attend every meeting and when bio mom can't make her meeting we do let he know how it went. Children could use all the help they can get!

Pat - posted on 11/16/2010

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I feel that is between you and your EX... In order ,to move ahead and be a family you are going to have to do ALOT of things you don't want to do.. Also,how old is the child??? I think if she oe he is 13 they have a right as to this decision as well. Good luck!

[deleted account]

Tara,
I am both a divorced mom and a former teacher-- so I've been on both sides of the desk. Having the step-parent there depends a couple of factors: 1) Are you and you ex civil and respectful to each other?
2)Are you civil and respectful toward the step parent?
3)Are you and your ex on the same page for your child's educational welfare?
Let's tackle this one issue at a time. Are you and your ex civil and respectful towards each other? That is not the same thing as agreeing with ,or liking your ex. I'm saying can you put your differences aside and truly put your child first? As a divorced mom of 2, I couldn't stand my ex hubby and we could not agree on the time of day or if the sky was blue--BUT when we decided to talk to a teacher--TOGETHER-- our kids knew that they were more important to us. And the teachers knew that if we managed to be in the same room and take a stand on our children instead of ourselves-that we meant business . As a teacher, I was used to playing diplomat between divorced families.... but was always impressed when parents (2,3,or all 4 of them) could listen to or ask questions on the progress of their child. 2) do you have a decent ,civil relationship with your child's step parent?
Sometimes there is an oddly strange positive relationship between ex's and step parents. Again, I'm not saying that you have embrace your ex's partner's spouse and nominate them for step parent of the year. But can you agree on Homework rules or after school activities? This leads to 3) are you on the same page with your ex about your child's educational welfare?
In a perfect world, parents and step parents would attend conferences an open houses together--if not together, at least at the same time. It would much easier to ask questions and get answers if everyone got the same information at the same time. That would eliminate a lot of the "he said she said" later on.
After all of that, the answer is YES-- it is okay to have a step parent there at parent teacher interviews.
After all, they are a part of your child's life. HOWEVER- as a teacher I knew that sometimes mixing parents and step parents in the same room was like jump-roping on land mines--you had to watch your step or things could quickly explode. If that is the case...be honest with yourself-- especially if the step is a new element in the mix. IF you can't just can't bear that thought--okay-- have separate conferences . I must confess that I started out that way-- but slowly realized that he divorced me-- not our boys--and with time, was able to attend open houses and parents night and conferences if not with him, then at least at the same time.
Sometimes, both spouse agree to keep their present spouses out of the decision making process. The bottom line is what is best for your kids? I don't know your story or if your kids like their step parent(s) but it sounds like you have your child's best interest at hand. Good luck to you-- you will make the right decision for you and your kids.

Christy - posted on 11/07/2010

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As a step mom I attend all my step kids conferences and meetings. I figure that they are rewarded and punished for these things in my home and my fiance has sole custody. As a matter of fact in the last 2 years bio mom hasn't attended anything in regards to the children.

As long as mom and dad are ok with it there isn't any reason why a step parent shouldn't be allowed to attend.

Elizabeth - posted on 11/07/2010

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I just answered this question in another forum. But anyway the teacher is most likely not going to set up two different conferences for the two sets of parents. if they do you'll be annoying them, because thats two sets of info they have to repeat. The bio parents should go than relate any info to whoever.

Amanda - posted on 11/07/2010

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If the bio parents agree the step parents can be there, but school and things that have to do with the child really are for the bio parents.

Janice - posted on 11/05/2010

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I think it is fine. My oldest son's father is in another state and my hubby goes with me and my son so that there is a father involved in his education.

Donna - posted on 11/04/2010

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I dont think so.. I think the childs parents should go.. but if you have an active parent in your childs life other then his father then yes.

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