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Why shouldn't step-parents discipline their stepchildren?

Okay. so in this instance i am speaking of the custodial parents wife or husband. When Dad (for example) is at work and child gets in big trouble at school and stepmom has to pick the child up, shouldn't she have the right and the responsibility to tell the child to spend the rest of his/her day in the bedroom?
Or Mom is cooking dinner, stepdad takes kids to the park. Who's in charge? I mean, if something happens shouldn't the kids listen to the stepdad, including discipline?

Please keep in mind i'm talking about custodial parents. Parents who have full legal and physical custody and are married.

And i'm asking this question because i see so many woman saying that stepparents don't have the right to discipline their stepchildren. and i am NOT saying that ALL stepparents should have that right. I'm only speaking of those who are married to custodial parents.


Asked by Anonymous at 5:01 PM on Apr. 1, 2010 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (22)
  • step parents have every right as long as the bio parent agrees..its not anyone elses business

    Answer by shay1130 at 5:06 PM on Apr. 1, 2010

  • I agree. If the stepparent is w/ the child and the child acts up, they should have the right to discipline. Not anytype of spanking but sending them to their room. That is the ony way to build respect for the stepparent. The custodial parent should back the stepparent up so the child sees a united front and doesn't play them against each other.

    Answer by CorrinaWithrow at 5:06 PM on Apr. 1, 2010

  • My child knows what the consequences are for any inappropriate or dangerous action he chooses to do. He knows that if you do THIS, THIS will happen.. no matter if his mother or stepfather is there. There's no time and he's too young for the "you wait until your mother gets home" nonsense.

    Answer by ohsowonderful at 6:06 PM on Apr. 1, 2010

  • I think that if you married someone when you have kids you should expect your kids to listen to that person. Even if you are just in a long term relationship. I have expected my oldest son to listen to my boyfriend from the time he moved in. That was 3 years ago.


    Answer by JAIRATRACI at 6:22 PM on Apr. 1, 2010

  • I am a step parent and I correct them no differently then my own, BUT I have had them since they were very young and I am their mom.

    There are things being confused here, if a child needs to be corrected for an immidiate action then by all means correct the child, consequences should be agreed upon by both parties and the step parent should follow through, this should be a united front between bio-parent and step-parent and agreed upon before they even become married. Punishment for anything that wasn't pre-thought of or is a biggy should be left up to the bio-parent, there is nothing wrong with saying "go to your room till your mom/dad get's home".

    My feeling are that step-parents are not step-neigbours or step- friends they are there to help parent the child, and should be allowed to parent the child, as long as it isn't abusive or way over board.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 7:25 PM on Apr. 1, 2010

  • My Hubby is step father to OUR 3 boys, he loves OUR boys like they are his own, so in turn he will hold them accountable for their actions. We back each other up, if I'm giving out discipline, he will reinforce, and I do the same for him. If we let them think that only one of us has more authority they will use that against us. My Hubby and I are a united front and they know it. It's a level playing field, and we feel that's the way it should be....They also choose to call him Dad, which to him is the biggest compliment to his parenting he could ask for...

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 7:58 PM on Apr. 1, 2010

  • my house my rules. even if my kids have friends over i have the right to dicipline them if they are being bad. if my step-daughter even came for a visit (ever.... highly unlikely), i would dicipline her if she was being bad. i'm not going to beat them to death or anything but i will tell them to knock it off and if they don't listen they will be in time out. . . . and if their parents have a problem with that then they are not allowed back over to my house. that's that.

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 10:22 PM on Apr. 1, 2010

  • okay i dont know who said it but as a step mom it is NOT my job to be my SKs FRIEND. I am a parent to them whether anyone else likes it or not.

    Also i take offense to the statement that step parents tend to be harsh and irritated much of the time. I know that the OP didn't say all that so i am not talking to them. but i think someone needs to understand that there are all types of people....some bio-parents are that way....but you dont see me generalizing all bio-parents as such.

    if a child is in my care, they will follow the rules i have established and show me respect. my SO backs me up and we are on the same page when it comes to rules and discipline. we do things a little different, but with the same ideals...

    i think its ridiculous to say a step parent shouldnt discipline. that would be like saying a teacher shouldn't discipline....ridiculous!

    Answer by aly38914290 at 11:25 PM on Apr. 1, 2010

  • It's a hard call I know- I'm in a situation like that with some family members. I used to be one that would administer discipline, then it got to where it was such a mess I just decided 'why not be the one who the kid just has fun with?' a lot of it came from the parents taking on a form of discipline that is controversial and I wouldn't participate in that.

    I do think that if there are certain people that will have the child in their care but don't discipline, then the kid is going to figure out really fast that when they are with that particular adult, they can do anything they want.

    I think the custodial parent should have the final say on what type of discipline to use, and the spouse should do as they wish in that area. otherwise, they shouldn't discipline.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:07 PM on Apr. 1, 2010

  • Well I let my son's stepdad discipline him the way he sees fit. We share in the discipline, I don't "overrule" my dh. He raises our son and accepted him as his own so why shouldn't he have an equal say in how he is disciplined? If dh is constantly having to defer to me on how to take care of a situation, our son won't respect him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:13 PM on Apr. 1, 2010