Step Parents

Lacye - posted on 11/27/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )

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How much involvement should step parents have in their step children's lives? I am a stepmother as well as a stepdaughter and I have always said that while I will play an active roll in my stepdaughter's life, I will never make big decisions like my step mother did. I ended up resenting her because she wasn't my mother and even to this day, I care for her but we still have a strained relationship because of it.

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TJones - posted on 09/16/2012

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As long as you and the child live together, you and the father should give the child rules, and the child should respect you as well as her father.

Amy-Jo - posted on 09/10/2012

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I agree that it depends on the situation. When there is a good mother and a good father, the step-parent needs to step back and allow them to parent. Ultimately, the step-parent has to know and understand that they would not be around this child if they were not with the biological mother or father. This child or children are NOT theirs. When you marry someone who has a child or children, you are not a parent. You are a responsible adult who should make every attempt to ensure the safety and security of the child/ren. I know when I was the child in this situation, I appreciated someone who just wanted to be my friend than someone who attempted to be my mother when I had one.

When I was a step-mom, I told them I was their friend and was not there to be their mom. I was there because I was married to their dad. I was there to make sure they were safe and taken care of when they were with us. I cared for them and loved them but never overstepped my place.

I applaud you Lacye! As a mom now, I am faced with challenges and pray that my daughter's father finds someone like you who will care for and support my daughter but back out when its a parent issue or decision.

[deleted account]

I think it depends at least somewhat on the particular situation.



My brother raised his stepson from 2.5 (when they met) til 18 (his age now). My nephew hasn't even seen his bio-father since he was 8 (when he was molested by an uncle during visitation... among other messes). My brother IS his dad in every sense of the word except biology and had full authority to make any and all decisions w/ his wife on the care of my nephew.



Then you have other situations where the step kid is in the house a few times/month (approx), so of course the step parent is going to have SOME say in the day to day goings on in the house..rules, respect, etc.... But... w/ 2 involved bio-parents... they are still the ones to make all the big decisions that directly involve the KID (schools, medical care, ear piercings, whatever).



Then you have the stepparents that are married to the uninvolved bio-parent and see the kids maybe 2-3 times/year. In those cases, the step parent still has some say as far as house rules, respect, etc... go, but neither the step parent OR the uninvolved bio-parent end up w/ much say so in the day to day lives of the kid/kids... cuz they aren't AROUND enough to have that input (especially when the other parent has full legal and physical custody).



Did that all make sense?

Jenn - posted on 11/27/2011

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I don't think this is a cut and dry answer. Each situation is different and should be treated as such. I have a step-daughter, and we have a relationship more like friends. I have a friend who has a step-daughter and she IS her Mother as the girl's bio-mom died so my friend filled that spot. I now have step-parents, but because this didn't happen until I was already an adult I don't even see them as a parent to me, but we get along fabulously!

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Jenni - posted on 11/28/2011

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I've been a part of my step daughter's life since she was born.



I treat her and feel like she is one of my own. I comfort, cuddle, teach and guide her... like my own children.



But I leave major decisions up to her mother and my husband. I may give my opinion to my husband on certain issues. But that's it. What they decide is the final say. I respect her mother's wishes and I always remember that *she* is her mother.



So I see myself as a "supporting" parent. No, not an aunt as was suggested in another thread. A supporting parent to her bio parents.



I don't make major decisions but my one rule is; she will be treated by me as I treat my own children. No favourtism either way. She has to abide by the same rules of our house as my bio children. Even if they're different from those at her mothers. You can't exactly run a household with different rules for different children.

[deleted account]

Like others have said, no two situations are the same and each one has a different answer to this question. In MY situation, I am MOM to my SD (her mother is out of the picture and we're working on terminating rights), therefore I make big decisions (with hubby, of course), I discipline, I sign school and doctor forms, I do everything. I have a very active role in her life and I have been in that role for over half her life now (I came into the picture when our oldest was 3 years and 10 months and she is now 9 years and 2 months).

Katherine - posted on 11/27/2011

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I am a stepmom and my mother was a step mom to my 2 half brothers and half sister. If they live under your house then you are to be thier mother figure. Its your home your rules. My mother treated her stepkids as her own and I do the same with my step son when he is in the home. You should have alot of involvement in your step childs life because you are in her life. I have alot of say in how tings are run in my home and what is and isnt exceptable when it comes to our kids raising. I have a say because I also raise him. You have a say because you are raising him/her. I am involved in anything and everything. from planning a b-day party, sports, parent teacher conferences, to taking him to the doctor. I raise him as my own. I do what is needed and move on to the next thing.

Kellie - posted on 11/27/2011

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I think people think to much. A Step Parent is still a parental figure and should be able to make decisions, big or small, where needed. They live in your house under your care and that should be considered too.

2 years before my Mother died I moved in with her and her boyfriend, I was 13. I was pissed because she didn't tell me he was going to be living with us and I took it out on him and told him he couldn't tell me what to do as he wasn't my Father. I regretted it, because from then on even when I asked him if I could do something he would say ask your Mother.

A Step Parent may not be a Bio Parent but I don't think that negates loving and caring for someone, nor does it negate the fact that a Step Parent shouldn't be able to make rules or decisions in their own house. They should not be made to feel like a part of the furniture with no say.

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