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Stepparenting- how involved should I be?

So I started stepparenting when my ss was 4 yo. He is nine in a half and I have always thought that the younger a child is when they gain a stepparent, the more involvement they need from that person. So I have been "stepping" into role of stepmom when my ss is with us and his real mom can't be there. Problem is, i still feel like an outsider. Part of this could be how my dh reacts to this. He acts as if he doesn't need me to play role of "mom" to his son, and I believe my ss has picked up on this opinion from his dad. What can I do at this point. There's tension in the house and my ss is getting older.

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Asked by Anonymous at 9:45 PM on Nov. 24, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (5)
  • I would say, then, that your issue needs to be addressed with your DH first. The two of you need to discuss your role, what you want your role to be as a step mom and what he wants for your role to be as a step mom. You need to agree together what your role should be and what it shouldn't. Then, you can be a united with regard to the rules of your home when it comes to your ss. You guys really should discuss everything, from discipline to advice to everything in between. I would hope that your DH would be supportive of you wanting to play a bigger role in your ss life. You two are partner's after all, and his child should be respectful of all of his parents, not just his biological ones.

    Answer by Nummymommy at 9:59 PM on Nov. 24, 2009

  • a step parent shouldnt discipline the children -imo

    Answer by evilive at 10:02 PM on Nov. 24, 2009

  • I agree with Nummymummy 100%. But, I have to say after being in your SS's life for 5 years, it is going to take time & effort to undo some of the patterns that are already set. Your DH's treatment of you, hands down, is the biggest influence on how SS treats you in your home. Before you talk with DH I would have a clear idea in your mind of what you want your role to be, think about what you are comfortable taking on & what you aren't. Think about what boundaries you need & what is not acceptable for you.

    I also recommend looking into some of cafemom's step parenting groups. You will encounter a wide array of step family arrangments & set ups. Each step family is different. I had a lot of misconceptions about step parenting before I joined a couple of these groups. Although, I far from agree with everyone, I really understand how there is no one size fits all step family. What works for one doesn't work for all.

    Answer by BubbaLuva at 10:29 PM on Nov. 24, 2009

  • I think that's something that has to be decided by the bio parents and step parents. Unfortunately, it should have been discussed before you guys got married, but you need to do it now. It sounds like he feels like you should have a very minimal role, and even though you disagree, he is dad and you'll need to do as he wishes. You can certainly explain your views, but in the end, it comes down to him and the bio mom. Also, it may be that he knows the bio mom will have a real issue with you stepping into any type of real parenting role, and is trying to keep the peace. I would talk to him. Also, even if you're not really taking on a parenting role, the child should still show you respect, and you should still be able to step in in instances of real danger to him, of course.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 8:18 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • I would go by whatever your DH wants you to do. If you try to be more and don't have the support of your DH then it is pretty much all for nothing anyway. If the child is picking up on your DH's reaction, then I would let it go. When he has problems with the child, let him deal with it. Tell him you tried to be there but he pooped on it, so....

    Answer by salexander at 11:44 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

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