The Unwritten Rules of Step-Children

Jenni - posted on 08/10/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I'm a step-parent of a 3 year old girl, Kira. Although we all had trouble adjusting in the beginning, my spouse, myself and her BM all get along very well. (Surprised the heck out of me! b/c his BM is so much younger than us.) I've even had Kira's mother babysit our son on occasions. Now I've known my SD since birth so I feel a lot closer and more involved in her upbringing than I would had my spouse had older children. But what are the unwritten rules of being a step-parent? What is step-parent etiquette?

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Charlie - posted on 08/11/2010

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I had a step dad and the most important thing for me was he may be family but he will never be my father and he should never try .

Stifler's - posted on 08/10/2010

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I think it's never try to take the role of their birth parents away, but still treat them like your own and be fair between your kids and the step kids.

Tara - posted on 08/10/2010

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hmmmm... I'm not a step-parent. But we are a blended family. My children other than my 8 month old are from my previous marriage, so my partner now is step-dad to my other kids.
His roles is simple. He is their friend, a male role model, a kisser of booboos, reader of stories etc. when it comes to discipline, we are united ALWAYS. this was a HUGE issue with my ex, (among many others). We discuss things as a family and the kids respect him and treat him as they would their dad. We have joint custody, here with me sun-thurs with him the rest of the time, EVERY week. Our goal is for our kids to have the best of both worlds. They love their step-dad, they know he's not there to replace their dad, they feel lucky to have both of them.
:)Tara

Krista - posted on 08/10/2010

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I would say the biggest rule of being a step-parent is that the birth parent and the stepparent HAVE to be a united front. They have to really sit down and talk and figure out how this is going to work and then stick to it. We see too many cases of kids running roughshod over the stepmom, who is not allowed to discipline the kids, and the father just won't discipline them.

So communication, communication, communication -- that is the unwritten rule.

Oh, and the stepmom should NEVER trash the mom if there is any chance that the kid could hear or find out. A child should never be made to feel like he or she has to "choose sides".

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