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A question about step parents

I've seen some reference to step parents having no say in what goes on with the children. What do you mean by that? Where do you draw the line.

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layh41407

Asked by layh41407 at 8:49 PM on Jul. 26, 2010 in Parenting Debate

Level 36 (79,415 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • I am a step parent to 3 children.My son also has a step father and a step mother. When it comes to big decisions, like who will get custody and so forth...a step parent is NOT asked to take part in the custody hearing. Yeah, the step parent is there and will be a part of the childs life...but as far as custody goes..the step parent has no legal matter over the situation. Only way that happens if for some reason they legally adopt the child or they are granted guardianship over the child. If that is the case..then the step parent has to file personally for this in the courts.
    Now, if the parents get along..great...thats better for the child if the bio's and the steps decide to go in together to make big decisions for the child, but primarily...it is only LEGALLY up to the bio or cutodial parents.
    kimberlyinberea

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 8:56 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • i think it depends on the age of the children, and how long the step parent has been a part of the child's life.
    happy2bmom25

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 8:57 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • So you are talking about just for legal issues that the step parent has no say?
    layh41407

    Comment by layh41407 (original poster) at 8:57 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • I feel that both you and the step parent should agree on who or what is best for the children. I also think the step parent should be a friend and not push them self on the child as the person to do the punishing. I do feel they can be of some help raising the child-children. I do not feel that a step dad should have the childern call him dad, I feel they should call him by his name. If there father is dead it might be a different thing.
    SassyDee01963

    Answer by SassyDee01963 at 8:59 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • Well, yeah..legally step parents just don't have a say. If all the parents agree to work together..thats great, but they don't have to. For example..my ex husband is married to a dimwit, however, I keep my opinions to myself.If I need to discuss our son, I call his father, he and I discuss whatever situation, we handle it...not my dh..not his wife. If my ex wants to talk to his current wife about it after I get off the phone with him..fine..whatever...but its not going to change anything if shes decides shes going to disagree with my sons father and I already have decided for him. Same if I talk to my dh about it.
    My current dh and his ex discuss thier children together.If he would like my input, I will talk to him about it and tell him what I think..but I don't expect him to go and walk over thier mothers toes if I disagree with a parental decision between the 2 of them. Its not my place.
    kimberlyinberea

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 9:03 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • i guess, op---what exactly is your question/ situation?
    i see often where steps over assert themselves and create a rebel situation with the child and anger, resentment and competition with the biological parent.
    ideally, the biological parents will have already had a good parenting situation worked out before any step parents come into the picture. if this does not happen, then problems will occur.
    happy2bmom25

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 9:07 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • It's not my situation any more, but for 10 years, I had two step sons, their mother only saw them occassionally and their father was away on business frequently. Their father had custody because their mother didn't want custody anymore, she "wanted a f^¢king life" (her exact words). I was responsible for running them to soccer, going to parent teacher conferences, (their dad worked and if I didn't go, no one would have gone) taking them to the doctor, attending school concerts. I took them to the ER when a neighbor kids threw a rock and hit one in the head, I taught them to tie their shoes and I cleaned up their puke when they were sick. I held them when they cried. If I didn't do these things, they wouldn't have gotten done. I never told their mother what to do or how to act, I made their dad deal with her, but I did what I needed to do for them. Some comments just made me feel like annoyed.
    layh41407

    Comment by layh41407 (original poster) at 9:14 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • it sounds to me like you handled things right. all situations can be sooo different. consider the source when on here...if a mom is saying the step mom has no say, then maybe that mom is far more involved than the bio mom in your situation.
    i think it is always very smart to have the biological parents deal with each other!
    i hope the boys that you parented are grateful, and if not now, hopefully in the future!
    happy2bmom25

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 10:19 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • There are many households where the step parents aren't allowed to punish the children when they need it. In my house with my step-dad, he wasn't allowed to hand down the punishment for my sister or I and my mother wasn't allowed to for my step-sister. They did however discuss the punishment but it had to be biological parent that handed it out.
    coala

    Answer by coala at 10:20 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • Not with my daughter. Her father and I divorced when she was 2 and we've both remarried. All four of us raise her and all four of us discipline her when necessary. We're a team (just like DH and I are a team in raising our son) and man, she doesn't get away with much with four parents on her case! LOL She's 13 now.
    deadheadjen

    Answer by deadheadjen at 9:06 AM on Jul. 27, 2010

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