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Am I over stepping my boundaries as a SM to teach my SD how to live right and be a lady when her BM chooses not to?

I am the SM of an 11yr. old SD whose BM is not stepping up to the plate teaching her the things a tween girl to should know. She sets very low standards, and builds no self esteem. My DH and I have been awarded 50-50 custody and we now see much more. My SD comes back to our house having not taken a bath in days. Her homework not done because her BM won't sit down and help her. Her hair completely damages and uncombed. We have had many conversations with the BM to try to get her to stop seeing her DD as a baby and talk to her. Her only answers are don't tell me how to raise my child. My DH asked me to show her because he wants a positive roll model to teach his DD since his BM won't. I am not trying to step on the BM toes however, she will not go in public with us deshevled, and with spending more time with her I am teacher her to be a lady, and how to be organized. Am I wrong for this?

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Asked by StepmommyRee at 4:56 PM on Jan. 16, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (17)
  • Absolutely not! You sound like a caring mother. By stepping up to the plate you are letting your SD know that you care for her well-being and that you are going to be a constant source of love and care for her throughout her life.

    Answer by evwsquared at 5:04 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • not at all!! someone needs to teach her! dont try and replace her mom obivously, but step in as the rolemodel. My SD was much more of a father ro me then my dad ever was, and i love him so much, and i am so thankful that he was there! its an amazing thing for her to have someone like you that is there for her! trust me, they are very rare

    Answer by Amanduhpanda at 5:05 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • I think you are doing the right thing. The BM isnt doing her job as the parent so you took on the role of mom. Kudos to you for wanting to teach the child morals and setting standards she should live by. She will appreciate it a few years from now. Set the child on the path. She will learn from you the right ways to bring up her children in the future.

    Answer by mommomnaynay at 5:15 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • Well just hang in there I know exactly what you are talking about I remember when my skids were little my ss would come over with long dirty nails and of course I would trim them. And my sd she always had her hair down I always tried to have it nicely fixed when asked why the bm doesn't do this for her she said it was not her expertise. Anyway as time went on she (bm) later send me a nice card saying thank you for taking good care of my kids just like me you are a good mother too. I only did what I would do if they were my flesh and blood I love them like they are. Now they are teenagers and come by whenever but they do remember what I (we) did for them. So just do what your heart desires for them and it will all pay off in the long run.

    Some mom's don't know how to be like some other mom's it comes natural to some of us.


    Answer by Butterfly1108 at 5:50 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • I think it's perfectly fine, as long as you don't say anything bad about her mom ("I'm going to teach you this since your mother won't"), and don't use her mom as any example of what not to do or how to be, even if she is a perfect example. If the mom says anything, make sure your hubby is the one to deal with her about it, not only b/c you shouldn't have to, but b/c he is the one who asked you to do it.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 5:59 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • No, in fact I think she's lucky to have a SM who cares as much as you do.Kudos to you! I agree with 559 that as long as you're not bad mouthing her BM, I see no problem with it. GL.


    Answer by LovingParent08 at 6:07 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • Your husband is right that you should be a role model for your SD. As long as you and your husband have discussed this, then there's no reason not to. As your SD gets older, though, she'll be able to choose which role model to follow - it can't be forced, only encouraged. Good luck!

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 7:05 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • Your doing the right thing to your Sd.How else is she going to know how to act like a lady w/o your help.Your doing a great job!

    Answer by Lacis_mommy at 7:40 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • If your husband, her father feels she needs to improve in any area's then he should sit down with the birth mom and let her know the house/personal rules you and your husband came up with on your own on how you will treat your daughter. This allows your husband to assert his fatherly role, allow him to say you are a part of the girls life and now a parent so will follow through with it, and it lets the birth mom know what will happen to her daughter if she does x, y, and z, and what's expected of the girl.
    Now if the girls is unclean, not doing her schoolwork then this is another matter, and it sounds like if it continues your husband needs to look for full custody on grounds of neglect, but proof will need to be given, and the best source would be dad talking to daughters school.

    Answer by Knightquester at 8:05 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • no. even if the BM doesnt like it, your SD will appreciate it in the long run. try opening up to the BM and suggesting things, but if your SD takes to it, keep doing it. its not harmful and not overstepping.

    Answer by soldiermom1986 at 8:39 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

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