Control issues and Step Parents

Lindsay - posted on 02/15/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Where do you draw the line on step parents making decisions in their step children's life? Should they have as much say as the bio parents if they are helping to raise the child(ren) or should they just go with the flow?

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Julia - posted on 11/20/2012

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Sorry but the steps have no final deision making power unless the bio parents BOTH approve (obvious exceptions when the BIO parent is not involved or sees the child on a very limited basis). This is the crux of many problems that create hositiliy and anger in families and confusion for kids. The step parent of course can be a sounding board for the spouse and give an opinion in that capactiy but ultimately the bio parents make the decisions. Unfortunatly I think there are a lot of step parents who are not acting in the kids best interests (even though they may believe otherwise or that they are an exception). The true exceptions are super few and far between and they usually happen in situations where one BIO parent is out of the picture totally so there is no conflict, jelousy or suspition. I have seen again and again people that I know and love act in thier own self interest rather than the childs. I have been sad to see girlfriends be catty and selfish against children, although they all rationalize why it is in the best interest of the kid and say they love the step kids. I had a woman at school present herself to me all year as the mother to find out she was not even the step mother but the fathers girlfriend and was volunteering at the school behind BIO moms back. Of course she claimed it was her selfless desire to help the kids and the school but sorry it was selfish because she was laid off and wanted to add to her resume and it turns out the parents where in a bitter custody dispute and the girlfriend was running around the school presenting herself as the mother and snooping around for things the father could use against the mother in court. Sorry, but be a spouse and don't try to be a parent. There is a role for you as a mentor and a friend or carve out a role that better suits you but if the job of mother or father is filled don't try to be what you are not and will never be. It just creates bad feelings all around. We follow these guideline closely in our family and there has never been any strife. I have primary custody. I consult my ex when needed or warrented but as the primary parent all final decisions rest with me. It is one of the things that I can comend my ex on. He has maintained a good relationship with our son and has been respectful of my rules since my son is primarily with me and those are the rules he is used to following. There is no confusion about what the rules are for my son and there is no minipulation of well the other parent lets me do that. Everyone is on board, including my significant other who does not repremand my son unless he or someone else is in immediate danger and I don't reprimand his children. I am an open and caring adult in thier life but I am not the mother and I would never try and replace her or over step my bounds and I expect the same in return.

Adrienne - posted on 02/16/2010

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I think that in any parenting situation, there should be open and honest communication. ALL of the parents should present a united front. Even a step-parent should be respected by the child and therefore should be a part of the parenting and decision making process.

In my opinion, anyway.

Jodi - posted on 02/16/2010

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Well, I am a step-parent, as is my husband, so I am answering from my personal experience :) However, I will say that my experience is only based on the fact that all biological parents of the children are still involved in their lives to some degree. I do believe every situation is different, because there are many situations where a biological parent is declared unfit, or where the other biological parent is not around at all, in which case the role of step-parent would most probably be different.



Both of my step-children live with their mothers (each of them has a different mother, my husband seemed to attract women who liked to cheat on him, LOL, I'm the obvious exception), and they visit us over school holidays and every other weekend. My husband involves me in making decisions about his kids - he likes to discuss issues with me, in order to have my support, but at the end of the day, they are not my children, and the decisions about things like education, medical, and so on, are between him and his exes. I stay out of it unless asked for my view. With regard to day to day discipline when they are in our house, I am involved in that, because the rules are the same for ALL of our children, no exceptions. It is my house too, so just because I am not their biological mother, does not mean I shouldn't receive respect as an adult in this house, etc. Occasionally I discuss things with my husband's ex, but only because (1) I get along with them and (2) I answered the phone and they figured they may as well just talk to me about it and I can then talk to hubby. I would never, however, presume to have any authority to make certain decisions or come close to having as much say as the bio parents at all.



My husband is much the same when it comes to raising my son. He leaves it pretty much to me, although we do discuss issues, because my son lives with us. His father has absolutely no say about his upbringing any more (he lost that privilege when he refused to attend mediations to discuss it and didn't show up in court), so the decisions are entirely mine, but I like to discuss these things with my husband, and more often than not, we come to a decision together. Any dealings with my ex, however, are only ever by me. But really, I guess in some ways my husband has more say in my son's life than his dad does, but his dad made that situation.



(and yes, I did copy and paste this from the other thread, just in case you were wondering, LOL)

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DARLENE - posted on 11/19/2012

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Ok I have been there and done that. Everyone has different personalties and that is why the rules are so different in each home. I teach my children that every home they go to in life will have a different set of rules so please try to beaware of them. I have done this with my kids and it has paid off. My son has not done this with his son so the games that go on in new marriage is sad. The step Mom is going nuts and I see it but somethimes we bring in guilt because we are divorced from the real parent. When we don't explane to your childnen that these new rules are made with love also and please respect them. Thier needs will aleays be respected but peice for all is the mane goal.

Erin - posted on 02/20/2010

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Holly, the same thread is on the other debating board. I think that's where you posted :)

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