How much involvement should a step parent have in the decision making process?
What types of family decisions that relate to a child should a step-parent be involved in? When should step parent make decisions for their step child without consulting the parents? What types of situations should they always talk to the birth parents about?
I have one child from a previous relationship and I am now married to a wonderful man who loves my son dearly. We have since added to our family and now have a 2nd son and are awaiting a new adittion in the next few days. Whilst my husband often lets me make decisions in regards to his stepson ...he knows he can always talk to me and have a say if it is important or he disagrees. I have ALWAYS actively encouraged him to share his feelings and thoughts with me in regards to daily raising, discipline etc. I think it is important that kids feel there is no distinction or favoritism between the kids in your house, but also the parents! After all does an adoptive parent love their child less than a biological parent...no they don't!! So why should a step parent be treated differently when it comes to loving and having a say in your childs life. If we love, respect and trust our partner enough to have them in our lives and around our children then it shouldn't be an issue to have them dealing with our children i.e. discipline, play etc or deciding on appropriate decisions in regards to raising. The problem is not to do with them loving or caring less, we have to give them the right to express their opinions and like grown adults reach a compromise/decision that both of you are happy with and can stand united on. If you are lucky enough to have a good partner then take advantage of parenting teamwork ... which is much easier than being a single mum. I have done both and while it was a little hard for me to let someone else have a say in my childs decisions at the start, I realised that if I wanted him to love and bond with my son like a father then I needed to trust & give him the same benefits and respect as his biological father. I hope this helps you somewhat... if you are having trouble with the blended family then maybe going to a counselling session together would help or reading a few parenting books and openly communicating your thoughts together on what you have read and how you would approach matters. Maybe they don't know what to do... or maybe they don't have as much experience as you, but remember we were a 1st time parent at some stage too!
My daughter lives with me but has a step mom she sees a few times a year ( along with her dad). Obviously, when my daughter is in their home it is their rules but I don't feel this woman should have any say in the "big decisions" in my daughter's life. She is not a biological parent and since I disagree with her morals and ethics ( or lack there of) I'm not interested in her input as to how to raise my child. This woman had an affair with my husband while I was pregnant and hides behind religion to absolve her of all her sins. I don't like her ( or my ex husband for reasons to lengthy to go into here) and I don't feel they make decisions that are in my daughter's best interest. I wish I felt differently and had a good relationship with my ex and his wife but sadly, I don't so I could care less about what she has to say and have no interest in including her in any decisions that need to be made on my daughter's behalf.
That really depends on the situation with the other parents involved in the equation. In my home, there are rules and ways of dealing with things that my step daughters may not like or may no do at their homes, but they MUST abide by the same rules as my children to keep thing fair.
As far a decision making is concerned, I defer to my husband with little input from me. If is something in my field of expertise or a topic I have done research on, I arm my husband with as much information as possible and have him deal with it. I don't want to step on their mom's toes. In cases of emergency, I just use my best judgement and let all concerned parties know what I am doing as soon as possible. I always keep in the back of my mind, "What would I want for my OWN child?" when making decisions for his children.
My daughter married her second husband 10 years ago when my grand daughter was 6. He took over, even before they married. He had no children of his own. He guided my grand daughter in her life including sitting down with her every evening to make certain she understood her homework. He supports her in grueling 6-day week swimming practices, makes certain her chores are done, including cleaning out horse stalls and feeding the dogs.
She is now a beautiful 16-year old girl with exceptional grades. Last week she suspended her own Facebook Page because she felt distracted from her schoolwork. Pretty impressive for a 16 year old.
Today my son-in-law has his own son (8-months old) after vowing he didn’t want any other children except my grand daughter. The boy is attached to his hip when he is home. My family is blessed because of this Step-Dad.
I have been a step mom for 9 years. I have known my stepson since he was almost 2yrs old. Since then my hubby had 50/50 custody then when my step son was turning 5 and going to kindergarten, he got primary custody. I quit my job when my hubby and I got married to stay home with my stepson and make sure he was getting the structure and things he needed. My hubby and stepson's mom were young when he was born and they had no idea how to parent, much less get a child with issues help I call most of the shots for my stepson. He was diagnosed with ADHD and Aspergers' Syndrome when he was 7. I will ask for input from his parents but the decision usually falls in my lap. However, I think that if the parents are doing a decent job co-parenting, then the step parent shound step in when asked/needed and discuss their thoughts with the parents. But I think, like in my situation, when no one is doing anything, someone needs to take control of the situation.
hi i personaly think it depends on the situation i have a bleanded family with 5 kids and both absent parents have always been very absent so my husband and i had to fill the gap this was hard because the second the other parent got wind they would freak out so there were alot of times we walked on egg shells which was not good for our kids at all a step parent is a very blessed rule we get to play and i always told them they were special we did not have to love them they we chosen by us this was one of the hardest times in my life but the most rewarding! good luck and stay strong god put you here for a reason you do make all the differance!
I have been living with my partner and his son for 9 months . I have a child of my own from a previous relationship. Since day one I have treated the boys equal. I love his son as if he was my own . Recently my son has been calling my partner "dad" ,and while I feel that my son is entitled to love however he wants, his bio dad is infuriated , and I don't know what to do. My partner treats both kids equal the same as I do , and I'm afraid if I tell my son he isn't allowed to refer to my partner as anything other then his first name then he won't respect him as an authoritative figure, which I believe my partner has as much say as I do . The whole thing is very stressful . My partners ex and my sons dad both see the kids on weekends, and are still a part of their lives. We all have differences in parenting, but my partner and I stick true to our rules in our house . Good luck to anyone starting a blended family , it's extremely difficult and requires a lot of patience , especially when dealing with ex's . But just remember its about the children and their happiness . I just hope we are doing the right things , and I find myself always looking for answers to everything . I pray my son and partner develop a lasting relationship and that his father realizes that he's not replaced . What a difficult thing .
I think every circumstance has it own rules really I think it is essential for the step parent to play every role they can in the step child's life in there home with biological parent because other wise you and your husband may come to an end. you have to do what works best for you and the child. Often times it becomes a jealousy struggle between step mother and biological mother or visa versa. If the child is safe and well taken care of then the child is ok. I discuss every decision I make with my sons step father and he discusses every decision he wants to make with me about his daughter . we have custody of both. I have found that over the years we have had to back each other up over the other biological parents and grand parents. We have instances of the hatefulness from his daughters mother then we have instances from my sons step mother. We just hold true to our rules and beliefs on how we want our children to be and sometimes when the children come back from visits we have to remind them that we love them but we still have our rules
I think a step-parent should have a major role when it comes to the decison making prcess for their step-children. Just like in a household where both parents are biological the step-parent should talk about decisions they make for the children to the other parent, but I think they also have the right to make a decision as the standing parent when the biological parent isn't around. A step-parent should be involved in all familial decions because they are apart of the family.
So I have had the hardest time getting my stepdaughter to get along with me. I'm not mean to her or anything and we finally got over that hump and are getting along great now. Well I talked to her mom last week and she told me she is tired of hearing that I'll do something for her daughter. if she ask me for something she needs I'm going to get it for for. Well she call my husband and told him about her "worries" and that their daughter is spoiled. So now everything from shampoo needs to go through my husband before I buy it. I don't spoil her. And it also said that he will be the one reinforcing the rules all the time now. I feel like my step-parental rights are being taking away. I also feel like the ex is doing this because she is jealous of the relationship I have built with her daughter and that she doesn't get everything that she wants like she use too. Its getting really stressful and I am at a least on how to explain this to my husband. Part of me feels like just pulling away from the family and just be me and my 17 month old daughter. HELP!
I think a step parent is another parent to the child Just because it's split family doesn't mean decisions about the well being of the child should really be up for discussion. If the kid is sick bring them to the doctor give them the medicine they need and so on and so forth. My daughter is split family and that means she has 2 dads and 2 moms we share responsibility and don't have to call each other. We communicate with each other about "our" needs and wants and work through everything in a matter of minutes, or tag phone calls. For the most part we don't have to make calls on last minute desisions because we already no what to do and what the other ones would do.
But on the other side of that I have a step daughter and there is NO communication between the 2 sides because apparently it's to complicated for them to talk to each other and raise their kid together separately. I have to walk on eggshells so I don't upset his ex-wife because "I am out of place" ... So unfortunately my step daughter either has to be ignored by me or I have to let her win so I don't have to hear it from anyone.. It's sucks having to treat her like she can't handle reality she is 14 years old and it's been like this for almost 10 years.
It sucks because all it's going to do is ruin her mental development
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well in my situation i am not allowed to make any decisions on when and how to take care of my child. I make decisions for him and my husband overrides my authority...tells me Im babying him. He controls the time he goes to bed how many times to eat a day and what he can drink..H wants to control every thing about him and I have no say but I do fight him constantly on how he treats my child..He is 13 and he makes him go to bed at 930 during the week during summer and at 11 on weekends..thats fine and all but that isnt how I feel..When he is trying to clean up after himself he is watching every move he makes..At the dinner table he tells him how to eat his food..If his plate isn't empty he goes to bed with no snacks...Now I can understand it if he were way younger but he isn't..He is a good kid and gets treated like he is not important at all..He is always explaining his dumb ideas that make no sense..He was raised by a tyrant and he is treating my kid like he is nothing...He even tells him how to shower..when to use a wash cloth...tells him if he eats to much he will get fat...tells me im week because i help him with things that he doesn't know how to do..He isnt allowed to hug me because he is too big...im babying him If I hug him..I so sick of it what do I do...
My husband and I have a blended family. He has 2 children from his first marriage and I have 2 children from my first marriage. I leave the decision making for his kids up to my husband and his ex wife. We have a pretty good relationship all of us and they will ask me my opinion at times or if I feel there is an issue I will bring it up to them. It works. I love my step kids but I'm not their mother. They respect me and listen to me but I completely respect their mother. My husband ALWAYS shares with me though what they decide and decisions they make in regards to the kids. My children's dad and I are pretty similar although he's not nearly as involved in our kids lives and decision making as my husband is with his. I do not feel like his wife really should be allowed to make decision in regards to my kids (although there are many reasons why) because that should be my ex and I's responsibility. I realize that every situation is different. It would be different if I walked away from my kids. I feel strongly that my children need to respect her and listen to her as they should with most adults in their lives. If there is a problem though it should go through my ex or I. I feel from my personal experience that as a step parent you MUST respect the role of the Bio parents. That doesn't mean you have to like them or be their friend or agree with everything they do or every decision they make but you have to respect the fact that they are the parent. If you do that then it makes everything so much easier. I can't tell you how my times my husband's ex wife has told me how much she appreciates they respect I have for her and how I've never pushed myself on her or their kids. The kids love me for it and so does she... I hope this helps!
Like I've recently read on here every situation is different. I have 3 children from my first marriage and a step son from my second. I was made aware of everything pertaining to my step son and my husband would ask for my opinion. But ultimately the decision is left up to the bio-parents. As it should be especially since there was 50/50 legal custody. I also had a great relationship with his ex-wife. However my situation was a bit different. At first there were no problems with visitation or decision making. My ex and I could take about anything and talk for a great length of time. Then he remarried. Now the step mom thinks she calls all the shots. She is always making decisions behind my back and doing things that she shouldn't be doing. I too have 50/50 legal custody of my children. This lady is so far out there and controlling that she wouldn't/didn't inform me of when my son's graduation from college and my daughter's high school graduation were to be held. Nor was I permitted a ticket to attend. Any pictures or announcements she just purchased were sent out to everyone but me. My entire family received an envelope full of keepsakes. I received nothing. And again I was not informed of anything. My youngest daughter who's 17 and my oldest son who is about to be 23 do reside with my ex and my mid daughter resides with me. However that shouldn't matter in the least. I'm still the mother. And ever since day one she's had a problem with that. She's always having surgeries and altering herself to I assume look or feel better. I don't know. I also just recently had to have CPS out to my ex's house as the step mother punched my daughter in the back of the head. Since my 19 year old was there visiting she came home and immediately told. This had not been the first time the step mom struck my daughter. I've discussed numerous times with her that there's to be absolutely no corporal punish inflicted on my children. She would constantly promise that it wouldn't happen again. Now as for my ex he just lets her do whatever she wants whether right or wrong just so he doesn't have to listen to or deal with her. That's sad. He's also not allowed to talk to me at all. Then to top it off I have absolutely no idea who their doctors/dentists are or have any emergency information like medical insurance which he provides per the court order.
What now need is some advice on what to do. Is there anyone out there with any similar issues. I can't believe I'd be the only one. This has really taken a toll on not just me but my children as well. Her constant bad mouthing me and informing my children of adult issues is way out of control. And she's an attorney(well worker's comp)!
I'm open for any help.....
Thanks in advance
It all depends. It depends where the child resides: mom and dad both remarried or not; how much time child spends in each home. In our situation, my hubby's daughter, my SD, resides with her mom and mom's new husband, and visits with us every other weekend, etc. SO, as a SM I do not have much say about anything, accept when she is at my house and only about little things like meals, routines, rules, behaviours, etc (we have 4 kids all together). When it comes to major decisions, her mom makes them, and often doesn't even consults with my hubby, child's BF. But my hubby also makes decisions and doesn't consults with BM, not major decisions of course, when the child is in his custody.
I believe that all the major decisions should be made by bio parents and should be discussed between the two of them. Step parents' input should be the extension of the bio parents' decisions and not the decision makers. First and foremost it's just simply not legal, unless of course the child doesn't have bio dad or bio mom and the step parents assume the responsibility for the child. So, yeah, it depends on the situation.
I have often tried to help my children's father with the 4 children he has with his current wife, but I know my boundaries because of her, and I ask him first before I do anything. But they like me alot and often will walk up to me (or run) even in front of their real mother. While I love their attention, I know that their real mother will yet at my children's father (something she does on a daily basis) about the fact the children walk right past her and run up to me instead. He has told her it is because I play with them and do things for them whereas she doesn't. But one thing I've learned is that you NEVER force a child to choose who they will and will not love. It is their choice only. I have helped my 2 daughters I have with their father, choose gifts for him or their 4 half-siblings (who would be my step-children if their father and I ever got back together), since his wife gets them NOTHING, and does nothing with them. My children's father has told his wife flat out, as have other people as well, that I would make a better mother to the children than she is since she does nothing for them. She does not take care of them at all and instead chooses to lock herself in her room and play games on the computer. My children's father has to be Dad AND Mom to all of the children while she just sits there. He wants to leave his wife and we are talking about getting back together, and I have told him that I considered even his other 4 children as my own, regardless of the fact I did not birth them myself.
I am a step mother myself, & as far as the decisions go in my husband & I's house, he lets me help make all of the decisions. But I also think it depends on the situation. I am very actively involved in my step daughters life, & I love her as if she were my own. Her biological mother however, is pretty much a piece of crap, to put it nicely. I am the one that has taught her right from wrong, how to use her manners, etc. I'm the one that got her enrolled in preschool. If her mother was there more for her, & didn't make bad decisions regarding her daughter's life, I would definitly take a step back & let her be the main parent. I always let my daughter know no matter what, I will always be here for her & she doesn't have to call me mom. I leave that decision up to her. However, I do think no matter what the situation, the step parent should be allowed to help in some decisions, because they are also playing a parental role in the child's life.
My husband and I have been married for 6 years, together for 9. We have 2 children together and he has a son, who is now 11 from a previous relationship. My husband and I where together for about a year and him and his ex where arguing about Coby, which they often did and still do, I said that they both needed to act like adults and start getting along for Cobys sake. Well needless to say since that day EVERYTHING has been a nightmare. Since day one Cobys mother talks down to me in front of Coby so any chance Coby has to disrespect or disagree with me, he takes it. Actually makes me very sad. I love Coby with all my heart, as if he was my own. Everything I do in Cobys moms eyes is taken as a threat. I dont know what to do. I want to make the right decisions for ALL my children. This whole thing has always been hard on all of us, at times it takes its toll on my marriage but most importantly this is really taking its toll on Coby. My husband works a lot so I take care of things like doctor appts or going to parent-teacher conferences which means I sometimes have to be the one to communicate with Cobys mother and to be honest with you it scares me to death. I am afraid of what shes going to say. Will she start a fight with me today or what?? When she does treat me horribly, I then resent my husband because I feel if he would have just taken care of this I wouldnt have to deal with her at all. I constantly feel like I have to walk on egg shells around her because I am not sure whats going to trigger her that day. Very sad but true. I strongly believe that both biological parents have to work together in order for any positive changes in Cobys life. There are NO similar between the two homes. There is no communication because 90% of conversations (wither it be between my husband and Cobys mom or myself and Cobys mom) turn into an argument. Its very frustrating for me so I can only image what this is doing to Coby. Any advise would help. Thank you!!!
My step daughter was 6 when her dad and I met; my kids were 3 & 5. She had always lived with her dad, her mom is a flake and while she refused to relinquish custody she did agree to let their daughter live with her dad. When we married, we just tossed the kids into the mix and told them to "get on with it", which they did, quite successfully! We have rules in our house that all applied equally to each child. We tried to be very fair while being very firm. Every now and again "mom" would not like something, but the daughter was told that "your mom doesn't make the rules here", but we were certainly willing to talk things over. We didn't exclude her either. When it was time for that first bra, I called "mom" to tell her that this was needed much sooner rather than later and did she wan to take her shopping or should I....they made that next weekend visit into a special shopping trip.
My bottom line is that kids need to respect the rules in the house of whichever parent they happen to be. Major decisions should be made by primarily by the bio parents, but my husband and I discussed everything regarding ALL the kids then with the other parent. It worked for us, but we didn't have all the emotionality that seems to get in the way for others.
I have been a step-mom it seems forever. My stepdaughter came into my life when she was four. When she turned 6 she came to live with us permenently. Since her mother was far away and not much of a mother, I stepped in even before my hubby and I married. We got married when she was 10. I had two of my own but never treated her any differently than I treated the ones I birthed. I always made sure to have a say so in EVERYTHING and keep myself involved. I feel if you live under my roof (even on the weekends) I should be able to discipline or reward you. I should also be able to tell you what to do as long as I am not telling you to do anything illegal. My SD is now 21 years old. It was rocky during her teen years when she went through the "I don't want you as my mom" phase but I stood my ground against her, my mother-in law and my husband at times when I knew I was right (which was most of the time..LOL). We have a great relationship now and she often thanks me for being there and doing what her mother didn't. It truly depends on the situation but in my house It's MY WAY or the highway!
I am a step parent my self, when my husband and I got married his first child was just born so I've been apart of his sons life since he was about 6mths. His biologcal mother didn't want her son any where near me eventho I never mistreated him, he will be 2 next mth and things are a lot better but she still doesn't think I should have a say in anything In reguards to her son eventho I love him just as much as I love me and husbands daughter.... I think she let's her feelings get in the way of things. Bcuz mayb she still hurting for why they broke up .... neverthe less I think when children r invovled its all about them and if there are good parents in the picture why act immature and not let them help u?
If it directly involves you you DO have to say something or you just get shelved. Just when it effects you and not just any issue you think you should give advice on. I learned early to keep it simple, stay as far out as possible unless my car, my eyes, or my efforts (or my husband when unreasonable, you know what I mean ladies!) was involved.
Well said. I am a step parent myself & I can say that I am actively involved in the affairs of my step kids. And I think that's the way it should be.
There are several factors. Who the child lives with. Is the biological parent involved? Are there other children involved. You have to let the step parent be involved if the child lives with them you can include the other parent but their say cannot be final word. If children do not live with step it has to be between the parents only but rules in your house must be equal when other children are involved.