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How do you deal with step parents?

My daughters soon to be stepmother drives me crazy, I just feel like she crosses lines and needs to step back. My daughters dad has been with her less then a year and they are engaged to be married in August and she has three kids of her own with two different guys. She seems like a okay person I just wish she would respect my feelings more as the mother of my child, and I've tried talking to her about things and it's just a big joke to her. Today my 20month old daughter came home recking of perfume? And when I brought up potty training to my daughters dad, SHE said they didn't feel she was ready, which I quickly corrected her on this with it really not being her decision at all. How do I deal with it?

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Asked by D.Tetz at 4:21 PM on Mar. 13, 2010 in Relationships

Level 3 (17 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • The tough thing about step parents is that even though they aren't a natural parent, they do have at least some say in the child's development. I agree that she is probably overstepping her boundaries a bit, but since she's a mom, too she probably doesn't even realize. I think she's probably treating your daughter the way she treats her kids. If I were you, I'd (nicely) lay out your feelings about certain things and then bite your tongue when little things aren't followed. A split parent household can only run smoothly when both parents are understanding of the other, both in their major feelings and in letting go of the little things. Honestly, in her house, your daughter follows her and your ex's rules. What if you allow your daughter to eat something your ex's family doesn't? There will be many little things like that to come up. Best to learn to accept the small things!

    Answer by mickstinator at 4:26 PM on Mar. 13, 2010

  • it doesn't sound like the issues are too out of hand. You're going to have to pick and choose your fights, potty training and perfume don't seem substantial enough to cause a stink. If she's not being abused, she's well taken care of, fed, and loved then allow her father and his soon to be wife to do the best they can. I understand there are somethings you may not like but its no sense to make it an issue. Simply say you'd rather she don't have perfume on.....and you leave the potty training to yourself. They'll follow your lead when she's going to the potty...otherwise its not a bad situation...just leave it be and everyone get along.

    Answer by LynnB1 at 5:00 PM on Mar. 13, 2010

  • You have to remember that whether you like it or not she IS going to be a parent to your child. People are so quick to think that step-moms shouldn't even think about the child but in reality your child will be in her household on a regular basis. She will be the one giving baths, making dinner, taking her to softball practices later, etc.

    You all need to sit down and set some ground rules that EVERYONE (inlcluding YOU) needs to follow. Type of an agreement and have EVERYONE sign it. When you find someone else that you would like to marry, meet again, and have him sign it.

    Be ADULTS about this.

    ANd just for the record...My step mom was a WONDEFUL influence on my life and I am VERY grateful to her. Just because your child has a step parent doesn't mean it has to be in the end of the world or that the women has to be your arch enemy.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:13 PM on Mar. 13, 2010

  • The reasons you listed are not serious issues at all. The step parent is going to have a substancial impact on your childs life and you are going to accept that. While you and your ex are the biological parents, your children will have more parents to love and help raise them. My son loves my fiance and my ex husband has chosen a nice woman to be my son's step-mother. I tell my son that he has to listen to her just like he listens to me and his father. It is just how it is. Oh, and I do think that 20 months might be too young to hardcore potty train, but it wouldn't be bad to start introducing it. You could do that while she is at your house. Also, the perfume is not a big deal at all. Perhaps your daughters step mom was just playing with her and dolling her up. My ex husband had these same issues because he didn't like that I had a boyfriend but he soon got over it when he realized he wasn't going anywhere. Good luck!

    Answer by worriedmommy600 at 7:23 PM on Mar. 13, 2010

  • WOW I'm so amazed you think these issues are not serious... a 20month old with perfume on? And potty training is kind of a touchy thing and if its not approached in a good way its not going to go over well at all. And just to give more on it he met this chic at a bar, moved her in after 2 weeks and a guy I worked with told me he use to do shrooms with her at the bars and never even knew she had three kids... shes been divorced twice and is getting married again and shes in her 20s. She posts pictures of my child and refers to her as theirs, but yet she leaves her kids out of these pictures. Guess I didn't pick the best examples to get advice needed. I'm not clueless on how the step parent thing works, I had them, and I'm with another guy. This chic and I just have extremely different views on whats appropriate and whats not, like referring to my child as hers. And I don't care if shes in her life or not...

    Answer by D.Tetz at 8:41 PM on Mar. 13, 2010

  • I agree, these are not serious issues. My stepdaughter's biological mother has thrown fits over which hair bands I put in my stepdaughter's hair, about what my stepdaughter calls me, and many more little things that my stepdaughter chooses to do herself. Perfume on a child who is almost two is not a horrible thing. Many parents spitz their children while they are getting ready because they "want to be like mommy/daddy" If you start throwing fits now about the LITTLE things, when something big comes up nobody is going to listen to you, not even your daughter. My stepdaughter is to the point now that her mother talks so much crap about me that she says I am her favorite "mommy" but she RARELY calls me Mommy when she is trying to get my attention. In the end that is entirely the child's choice and it should stay that way even though it is hard on you. Imagine how hard it is on a child who doesnt understand separation?!

    Answer by NessGuinness at 12:11 AM on Mar. 14, 2010

  • This probably isn't going to be the answer you want to hear, but... They're going to do what they're going to do, and you're going to do what you're going to do. If you have issues, just try to be an adult about it. That's all you really can do. Just tell them what you have concerns about & why, and you would appreciate it if they would do ____, without being rude or snarky. If you act like a crazy lady, they're going to treat you like a crazy lady.
    The other advice I would give you is to keep the communication with your daughter's dad. If she treats you like a joke, then cut her out. It's NOT her child, even if she does help parent your DD. Your ex can be the medium, taking into consideration what you both want, & balance the two. HE is the one getting remarried, so he created the situation, in all reality. Make him man up & deal with it!

    Answer by emslala at 4:59 AM on Mar. 14, 2010

  • My Ex encourges all the problems, he actually had her text me to tell me "mommy" is giving her a bath because she likes it better when "mommmy" does it.

    Answer by D.Tetz at 1:23 AM on Mar. 15, 2010

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