Julie - posted on 10/24/2011 ( 36 moms have responded )
I need some good avice about being a Step Parent. I don't care what it is. Any advice is good advice :)
Julie - posted on 10/24/2011 ( 36 moms have responded )
I need some good avice about being a Step Parent. I don't care what it is. Any advice is good advice :)
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Faith - posted on 03/16/2013
My advice is to NEVER say anything negetive about their mum - whenever they are near.
I have two step son and have been for over 11 years the boys are now grown up (with one being married and the other at UNI). It is never easy but I think it worth it. I also made an effort never to cuddle them in front of their mum but rather once we got them to our home. I was able to explain to them when they were older around 16-17 that at times it must of seam that I was not very loving as soon as I saw them (as I did not imbraces them straight away) but I did not want to ever make their mum feel uncomfortable. By the way I was only 23years old when I became a step mum and I am so glad that god had given me the wisdom with these steps however I also know I have made mistakes just like I have made mistakes with my biological children. I guess I will continue to relie on Gods grace to cover me. Be encouraged that not all step mum and step children are doommed but as raising any children it is never easy but rewarding
Sarah - posted on 01/30/2013
I find that it is important, like others have said, to treat the step child like you would treat your own, but on age appropriate levels (my own children are 1 and 2 years and my step son is 15 years). I also find that certain things are "up to his dad". I don't interfere with his dad's expectations and consequences. I back my hubby up on all of his decisions. If I disagree with something I talk to him about it IN PRIVATE. If he decides to that I have a fair argument, he may go to his son and change a punishment, if not he leaves it the same. Ignore the mother. If she is not happy that your hubby moved on to you and a new life, then she can make you miserable if you let her. Try not to communicate with her if you can help it. Let your hubby do all the communicating with her, but you can be in the same room or in the car or where ever they are talking at, just keep your opinions to yourself until you and hubby get a chance to talk...again IN PRIVATE. As much as she may get under your skin, just ignore it. It will make it easier in the long run, plus the child won't see the moms fighting and feel like it is their fault. Above all, communicate with your hubby. Make sure your hubby is okay with you disciplining the child or does hubby want you to have boundaries. If boundaries are wanted, then make sure he gives them to you IN PRIVATE. This way the child knows that step mom and dad are on the same page, even if you and hubby disagree in private. Good luck. It is challenging sometimes, but as long as you and hubby are united then it will be easier at times.
RichG - posted on 01/30/2013
Hi, i know this is an old post but due to the expereince I have had with my step mum I can advise on what you should do. Its important to build a relationship with the children that arent yours, spending time with them help make them feel wanted and cared for.
My step mum couldnt give a toss, and made our dad not have a bond with myself and my two brothers, we are now in our late 30s, and recent her for this.
she fails by not accepting, she fails by not allowing the grand children to stay over some nights in the holidays, If you do the reverse of this, you will be respected greatly. As a step mum we never expect you to replace our mother, but we do expect you to make the house feel like a home. Then the time that you spend with the dad is more respected and encouraged.
Incidentally my mum died when I was 10, and even though I m male and in my 30s, I still want to see my dad. I live in england and he lives in New Zealand where I was born.
For the first time my step mum will see my son who is 5, and I will hestitate but not stop him bonding with her, but i guess thats me protecting his feelings if she rejects him in some way. All he asked if I could spend time with my grandad and step grandma in new zealand and I said yes certainly, but i am weiry, the trend doesnt follow. she already rejects my brothers kids who live in new zealand.
Laura - posted on 08/01/2012
Be patient and keep your feelings clear to your husband. It is incredibly difficult to come into a situation where a mother figure's involvement is questionable, especially if you and your husband come from different parenting philosophies. I have heard that it is difficult for children and their mothers to accept a new female-authoritative role in everyones lives. The children see their father loving another woman that is not their mother, (nor "only" the child), and this can be extremely hard to come to terms with. For the mother and child, this can be seen as a If you have the option to build a relationship with the mother--go for it. If not, it is especially important to develop guidelines with your husband. Think about behaviors that you can tolerate vs. can't tolerate. Think about what you think can be improved with your help. It is necessary to accept that your feelings are not the only feelings in your relationship. However, your feelings are important to consider. If there is something that you can't stand, it is important that you let your husband know that.
It is also key to understand what you can put up with. The babying is inevitable. Most single parents feel like they have done their children a disservice by getting a divorce, or by splitting up. It is important for you to make sure that your husband and his child realize that there is nothing wrong with them. They should be treated just like any other child in any other family
Jessica - posted on 02/02/2012
Love them like they are yours. I say that being a Step-mom is the hardest job in the world but I wouldn't trade it. My step-son, and I never call him that he is just my oldest son, is 11 and I married his father when he was 3. We have had full custody of him for the past 4 years and he is an amazing kid. I have spent time building a relationship with him where he knows that I am not trying to replace his mother but that at the same time I will still mother him because that is just how I am. He makes me so proud when he says there are no "steps" in our family. I think what has made it easier for us is that he was young when I came along and we have always had a way of talking, communication is the key. Show them respect but also show them authority. Good luck and God Bless.
Lorri - posted on 02/02/2012
I am having the same problem. Except it has been going on for 6 years. If you get it figured out, please help me.
The only thing I can say right now is,be patient. I have tried everything, and I am searching for answers as well.
Jennifer - posted on 01/28/2012
Treat your stepchild the way that you would want your own child treated by someone eles. Don't play favorites. I also feel that the stepmom needs to show respect to the mom and vice versa. Custody issues can be very difficult and if there is step parent or girlfriend/boyfriend causing more problems then it just leads to a lot of drama. You don't have to like one another just show some respect.
Jennievy - posted on 01/27/2012
Treat them the same way you treat your own children. My sister's Dad and our Mom split up years ago but he still treats me as his daughter and my kids as his grand kids. He has been a part of my life since I was 8 years old, I'm now 30. At first it was difficult because I wanted my Dad but then when I was 9, my Dad was murdered and my step Dad stepped up. He was great and still is.
Maggie - posted on 12/24/2011
My advice would be to treat the child as if they were yours while never forgetting that they aren't. Make sense? Try and form a good relationship with your stepchild's mom. keep them informed on family plans and things that go on while the kid(s) are with you.Even tho you may feel they don't need to know; It will help the mother respect and be more comfortable with you. As well as when punishing the child my opinion would be to let the mother be aware of if their child was misbehaving and what actions you took. Example: My son told me that his father's girlfriend spanked our son and that is something that made me furious. Communication is key,
Dusty - posted on 12/24/2011
Treat your step child like you would the children you gave birth to. Don't call them your step child. When you introduce them to people, state that they are your child. DO NOT force the child to call you mom. Make sure that your husband includes you in decisions when it comes to your step child.
Robyn - posted on 11/30/2011
I agree with everyone else...I am a stepmother and mother of 4 children total. I treat them all as if I birthed them and have the same expectations of each of them.
Pay no attention to the BM, if she really gets under your skin talk to your hubby and have him deal with it. It is unfortunate that sometimes BMs can not put aside their feelings and see the big picture for the kids. But it is what it is.
Lacieann - posted on 11/09/2011
It's pretty simple. Treat them as you would want someone to treat your kids, because they ARE your kids. It's what happens when your S.O. has kids from a previous relationship. As long as you are in their life and afterwards, the things you do will have an impact.
Kimberley - posted on 11/09/2011
I'm a step mom of an 11 year old girl, for the past 10 years. And have had a step-monster for 22 years.
My advice in a nutshell is be a consistent and united team with your husband. Even if you don't always agree, don't dissent in front of the kids. We have an 8 year old son, and I try to treat them equally, which is challenging even for parents without stepchildren, because we all know that no two kids are the same. My relationship with my step-daughter is awesome (we don't even use "step" to refer to each other) I hate my stepmother, just keep in mind whatever you do/don't do will impress on them forever. I don't know how long or how many "steps" you have or how old, or what the birth mom is like - so its hard to give more advice (which I have lots of) email me if you'd like :)
Leanne - posted on 11/08/2011
Hi Julie , like urself .I too am a step mum.Always try not to say anything in front of the kids about either ones parent.Have paitence. I have a son to my partner and he was married before having 2 children .( to previous partner). It hasn't been easy.I have been with my partner for 6 and 1/2 years and it only seemed to get easier when my little boy came along.(that is with the ex).If ur not a kid person it won't work.
Lacy - posted on 11/07/2011
they are going to push every button they can just to see how far you can be pushed! stand your ground and displine them just like you do your own children! my step daughter sometimes thinks she should get special treatment because she isnt here all time. Try too make sure that you dont push the child into calling you mom that may cause hard feelings for the child! i found it hard to deal with the when are you getting back together with my mommy conversation she had with her father... my best advice for that is let ur spouse handle it you getting in the middle of that conversation can turn out very bad. Most of all remember that its ok to step back and take a deep breath they dont always understand why there parents arent together and your now in the picture.
Audrea - posted on 11/07/2011
I have 2 older step children, ages 11 and 7. I treat them just as I do my own. I don't get along with their mother very well but I don't hold that against the kids. They love coming to our house on the weekends and spending time with their little brother and sister, ages 5 and 4. I wouldn't trade any of them for anything. They all are my world.
Alicia - posted on 11/07/2011
Just breath, and remember baby steps because, it's hard for the mom or dad to let you be a parent too. Just talk to them in private and set up some guide lines, like not overriding you even if you are wrong tell you in private, don't call each other out in front of the children. So the child as much love as possible because there is a stigma with being a step parent make sure they know you love them unconditionally. It took me a long time to let my husband be a father to my oldest, because I was scared and she was used to me being the boss. Don't lose heart. It's a though transisition for anyone to have to go through including a kid because its another big person bossing them around.
Christian - posted on 11/07/2011
Do not try to come between your husband and his children. Understand that they were there first. You can have a great relationship with him and still respect that. This was the biggest thing that drove a wedge between me and my step- mom. She told me and my sister "I am his wife now so there is no room left in his life for you" needless to say, I still have no respect for her to this day because of that one sentence.
Jessica - posted on 11/07/2011
I've been married to my husband since 'his' daughter was 2 1/2. She has been in my husbands custody since she was 18 months, although they did not live together until 2 weeks before her 2nd birthday (long story, not getting into it, very sad.). I always treated her as I thought I would treat my own, and I have 2 'of my own' now. I've always respected her, let her make her own decisions about me, and treated her fairly. She started calling me 'Mommy' about 1 month after her 4th birthday. This was completely her decision, and she seemed embarrassed after she said it, until we told her that it was okay if that was what she wanted to call me. We have never used the term 'real mom'. I hate that term. I'm just as real a mother to her as her birth mother. I am her step-mom and she is her birth mom. She loves me and considers me her mom and I love her and consider her my daughter. The courts only allow her to see her birth mother 6-8 weeks out of the year. My best advice is to love them, no matter what. Show them that. Respect them and let them decide how close they want to make the relationship. I think it is harder the older they are. If you're lucky like me and have a young step-child, you two may become very close indeed. oh, another thing, we occasionally leave the house alone, just the 2 of us. We have gotten our hair done together, gone for ice cream, shopping, you name it. I make time to show her she is special to me. I tell her that I chose to be her mommy when I married her Daddy. It makes her feel special. On another note, I discipline her just the same as my other 2 girls. And I do the disciplining just as much, if not more, than my husband. I'm the one that taught her how to ride her bike without training wheels, yesterday. I'm the one who taught her to swim this summer. I play a VERY big role in her life. I'm very hands on and involved with her. But, once again, let your step-child decide how involved you get. If they reject you, it is not the right time yet. I was her step-mom for 1 1/2 years. The day she called me 'Mommy' both our attitudes changed and we became so much closer. I have been 'Mommy' for almost 5 years now.
Betty - posted on 11/07/2011
And one more thing...do NOT "make" or even encourage them to call you mom or dad. It will hurt the other parent and it is not fair to make the child feel at war between you and their real mom (or dad).
Betty - posted on 11/07/2011
Don't over step your boundaries. Don't ever bad mouth or down the other parent to them and let them know you are there for them but make sure you are respected as well. NEVER try to take over or "steal" all the parents (like if your the stepmom) do not try to steal their dad from them. You may be the spouse now, but always remember they were there before you.
Tiffany - posted on 11/06/2011
Ur approach should be age appropriate...what I mean is this, to a lil kid (I say 8 and under) almost every adult is an authority figure and they're ur best friend unless the. bio mom is poisoning them aganst u. If not, lil kids will warm right up as long as u show them u r on thier side. Teens n tweens r another story..they already hate the fact thier bio parents can tell them what to do all the time n then here u come being bossy!? Ur asking 4 it! With teens ur more like a cool aunt NOT a mom!
Angela - posted on 11/05/2011
love fierce , tread lightly , and be a good role model , try not to give opionions without first understanding both sides , lots of step moms do that (me included ) until I made to see the other side of what was going on.
Valerie - posted on 11/04/2011
i dont have step kids but im a step child. my step dad has been around forever he is the one who was in the house with me and he married my mom with me there. he has always treated me like his own. i have 2 younger brothers the older of the 2 gets favored but the younger doesnt. so even though im not doted on as much i know im his he feels like im his. i call him daddy and i love and hate him like a daughter loves and hates her dad. my step mom is a totally different story. im the red headed bastard child. she has perfect amazing children and im not nor never will be as wonderful. honestly im pretty positive her dad didnt even know my name. and shes been around since i was 12. thats half my life. and its not like her dad had no contact. he sent her kids birthday cards and christmas gifts. i have come to respect her as my fathers wife but i will never love her and feel like her family. its not that she tried to replace my mom or anything. she was like oh she already has a mom and i have kids shes not mine i dont have the time. ill never forget how upset i was the day they got married and her and her girls loaded up to get their hair done and i got left home. she didnt have the money then my dad said hed pay and she said no. i sat home and did my hair by myself while they were out getting pampered. but she never misses an oppertunity to clame my girls as her granddaughters. the point is if you let them know that you are not trying to replace their mom but you love them like they are your own. it may take some time but they will love you. just be careful of the i wanna be your friend approach. this could end up in them not respecting you as an authrity figure. good luck!!
Liz - posted on 10/26/2011
Treat them like your own. If they do something bad punish them correctly, if they do something good praise them and show your other half you can cope. I took my 3 step kids out all by myself and suprisingly it went well I love them to bits even with my own lil baby. I was scared in case they told their mum I'd done something wrong but am friends with her so she knows that if I do something its for a reason.
Rachel - posted on 10/26/2011
here's something my mom and stepdad did - whenever I had something I REALLY wanted for Christmas/birthday etc, it ended up being from my step-dad. Sounds shallow, but I felt like he wanted to really know me (my likes and dislikes). It worked. Also, he never tried to be the heavy hand, he just supported my mom. And the opposite for my step-siblings. Lastly, get your parents involved. My step-dads mother didn't hesitate a second jumping into all the traditions she had with her own grandkids.
Melanie - posted on 10/26/2011
As a stepmom of two boys (now 16 and 20) you have to make sure that you treat and show them the same love and attention that you would your own. I have never considered them my step kids they have always been my kids. My husband and I also have a 4 and 12 year old together and we make sure that everyone is treated the same. I mean with the age gaps we can't do everything EXACTLY the same because different ages mean different rules, consequences, and privlages. When we first got married the oldest asked if he had to call me mom now and I told him he could call me mom or whatever he felt comfortable with calling me as long as it was nice.
Megan - posted on 10/26/2011
Comming from a step chiids point of view so this should help.. put urself in their shoes.... treat them as they were you own and just remember dont make them feel like their the old and u are the new!! And thats all you need
Heather - posted on 10/25/2011
When I married my husband he had custody of his two children, and I have 4 daughters of my own. We had so sit down and discuss how we were going to raise our children since both of us have different parenting styles. It's been 4 years and things are so far going great. His childrens mother has moved away and we dont know where she is, so since I'm the only mom they have I make sure they feel just as special as my biological children do. I will warn you that they will try to test boundaries but in my case my husbands kids weren't raised with any, it took a few months to adjust but everything has worked out for the best. In a few months I will be adopting them so I never have to refer to them as my step children again. They're mine, maybe not by blood, but they're mine just the same...
Lori - posted on 10/25/2011
I was/am a step child twice. My 1st stepmom was great. She is the first mom I remember. She made sure that we saw my mom's parents for the holidays and loved us like we were her own (even after the divorce). My 2nd and current stepmom is completely different. I was treated differently then her 4 boys. She was very disrespectful of my mom (a very sweet woman who to this day will not say a bad word about my dad even though they have been divorced since I was 4, I am 31 now). She is all buddy/buddy now with my mom. I still don't trust her. Just be good and fair to all the kids. Discuss with your hubby how discipline will be handled and BOTH OF YOU stick to it. Let the stepkid(s) call you the name they choose. Don't make them call you mom unless they decide to do so. Love them like they are your own and remember they can hear everything so be careful what you say about their mom.
Janice - posted on 10/25/2011
i have 5 step children and im struggling with it... the kids are great dont get me wrong but their mother is like a demon from hell. I have a horrid stepmother who doesnt like me and i dont like her... i just use her as an example as to never treat my stepchildren that way...
Tiffany - posted on 10/25/2011
i am the step mom to three children 16,15, 11 and i treat my step kids the same i do my own i know what it is like to be treated like a red headed step child and i would never do it to someone else much less want it done to my daughter. i give the same attention and love
Medic - posted on 10/24/2011
I have a stepmother of 22 years (I was 4) and I hate her to this day. She always treated me differently and allowed her family to do so. She didn't and still doesn't agree with how my dad raised me and treats me now and its really none of her business, its MY relationship with MY dad not her. I think as long as you treat everyone the same across the board and make sure your stepkids know your not trying to replace their mom but you will love them like a mom everything will be ok.
Lacye - posted on 10/24/2011
Do not let the BM get to you! The children will push your buttons, but so will the BM. Communicate frequently with your hubby about everything involving the step kids.
September - posted on 10/24/2011
Just love and treat your step child like you would your own children. I'm not a step Mom however I grew up with a step mother that I love very much! She was always sure to treat us like she would her own and that means a lot to me to this day! :) She played a huge role in my life and I'm super thankful for that!
Sabrina - posted on 10/24/2011
they will try and step all over you, just to test their boundries with you, I found treating them like they are part of your family full time helps alot, it may take them awhile to accept you, but they will come around, just stick to your guns!!!!