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Help with parenting my kids with my step-kids

I am struggling with how to balance parenting my children in conjunction with my step-kids. Between the two of us we have a 4-year-old boy, a 4-year-old girl, a 2-year-old boy, and a 2-year-old girl. We have joint custody of all four with ex-spouses who do not give much attention or discipline to the children while they are are with them. Our visitation schedules are almost the same, so we have all four together most of the time. We are both struggling with how to give all 4 the attention and discipline they so desperately need while at the same time not showing favoritism to any of them. Any help out there?

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strong4mybabies

Asked by strong4mybabies at 4:10 PM on Jan. 14, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (7)
  • Just treat it like you have two sets of twins.
    gemgem

    Answer by gemgem at 4:17 PM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • I'm not a step parent, but speaking as a step child I would say make sure you treat them the same. My stepmom would buy little things for her son and not my brother and I. Or she'd make us stop doing something because it bothered her son. He learned real fast all he had to do was tell mommy we were annoying him and she would tell us to turn off the tv or radio or stop doing whatever we were doing. If the tables were turned she wouldn't make him stop though. It was little things like that that really bothered me and my older brother. We ended up resenting both her and her son. I used to wonder if it would have made a difference if she had taken us somewhere to get to know each other better. Spend the day at the park with us or something like that, just to know she was trying.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:18 PM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • Hey go join Steparenting group. It helps a lot.
    aznblond9

    Answer by aznblond9 at 4:20 PM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • I think that you need to act as though all 4 are your children when you are all together. You can discipline his as you would your own and vice versa. My step son and I have a GREAT relationship, but I have known him since he was crawling and my husband has custody, so he spends most of his time with me. Just treat the children equally. You and your husband sit down and lay out the ground rules. The chores, the rules, the consequences, and the rewards so that you are both on the same page with everything.
    Mom1Stepmom1

    Answer by Mom1Stepmom1 at 4:34 PM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • I HAVE 4 BOYS THAT I GAVE BIRTH TO AND MY DOUGHTER THAT I DID NOT GIVE BIRTH TO BUT THEY ARE ALL MINE AND THEY KNOW NO DIFFRENT MY DOUGHTER LIVES WITH HER MOM AND DAD AND COMES TO HER MOM AND DAD OUT HERE WE WORK AS A TEAM AND IF PARENTS CANT DO THAT THEN THEY SHOULD NOT GET TO KEEP THEIR KIDS I KNOW ID HARD TO WORK WITH STUPID PEOPLE THAT YOU DONT AGREE WITH BUT THE KIDS NEED US TO SHOW THEM THAT WE ARE ONE IN RAISING THEM THAT IS THE BEST WAY
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:26 PM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • *Part one answer* First thing you need to know is that no matter what you do you will still be the evil step mom! I am speaking both as a step child and as a step mom from my first marriage. As hard as it is the next most important thing is that step needs to go! In your favor you are starting while they're younger! Keep in mind that it is hard to be an additional parent no matter how hard you try or resonable you think you are, but when it comes down to it all of your children need to know these few things: No matter what you love them,
    MyGirls04_09

    Answer by MyGirls04_09 at 5:41 PM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • You are not trying to replace mommy nor take daddy away! ALL children are treated the same (meaning 4 kids have a tiff try to let them figure it out because Your kids will play you and the "step" kids will try to play hubby!!) When there is an outsider trying to blame the "step" children make it a point to let them see you stand up for them!! If you do and keep these things in mind you will be the one they come to. Most of these things will be productive long term!! 4 year olds will be just that you are going to be a meany face no matter what and 2 year olds will take leed the best thing is to let them know where your boundaries are!! They will tempt fate and you will get very frustrated but that's what all of your kids are for!!!
    MyGirls04_09

    Answer by MyGirls04_09 at 5:42 PM on Jan. 14, 2009

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