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4 Bumps

Isn't a "mean" step father better than no father at all?

My 11 yr old daughter says my husband (her step dad) is mean. I admit, he is pretty strict but not overly mean. I am equally strict but she knows better than to complain. She is just in that stage where if we aren't giving her permission to do whatever she wants, then we are mean.

Her birth father hasn't been around (but support is taken from his check) since she was 5 and my husband has been in her life since she was 7. So my husband has been her main father figure. When she complains how "mean" he is, I say her birth father could have potentially been just as "mean."

Should I tell her that a mean step father is better than no father at all? For some reason, it doesn't sound right to say. But it is how I feel. She should be grateful even having a father figure. I grew up without a dad and would have loved to have a father figure in our home.


Asked by keisha613 at 1:31 AM on Sep. 11, 2010 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 26 (26,906 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • I wouldn't put it that way to her.. I would instead remind her that his rules are YOUR rules too. As you said it is a stage.

    Perhaps reminder her instead that it's better to have a father figure who loves you enough to be strict because they care, than someone who is selfish and not even in their life.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 2:03 AM on Sep. 11, 2010

  • as someone who was raised with a mentally abusive step father I would have rather been fatherless. There are things that he has done or said that I still can't get over today and I resent my mother for it because I've been hurt by him since I was about 7.

    Answer by onemellowmom at 2:38 AM on Sep. 11, 2010

  • Mean and strict are two very different things. Maybe you should explain the difference to your daughter.

    Answer by Syphon at 7:14 AM on Sep. 11, 2010

  • No, my relatives used to say that but no not really.

    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 1:37 AM on Sep. 11, 2010

  • If you don't think he is mean than that is the wrong thing to say. I personally don't agree with it anyway. A GOOD father figure is what is important.

    Answer by Liansmommie at 2:06 AM on Sep. 11, 2010

  • I wouldn't phrase it that way no. You are in essence verifying that he is mean. He might be strict but he wants the best for her. While having to follow the rules sucks right now she will be a more responsible and disciplined person later in life and this will help her with school, college, careers and just in being a better person all around. I know its nearly impossible to understand that at 11 but she will definitely appreciate it later in life. Maybe help bridge the gap by talking with him to set up a "Free Night" where she doesn't have to do chores and can instead enjoy free time. then try to have him volunteer to take her girlfriends to the movie so she can see that he is supportive of having fun too but she has to earn it.

    Answer by GoldenLinds at 2:59 AM on Sep. 11, 2010

  • no its like staying with a bad BF because you don't wanna be alone and at least a bad BF is better than no company at all.

    I had a bad BF before I got married and I stayed because sadly he was my whole social life and someone to do things with on weekends. Without him, I was alone and bored (and no sex life)

    Answer by Zoeyis at 6:25 AM on Sep. 11, 2010

  • I don't see any harm from what you stated.

    Answer by mamaofficer at 7:03 AM on Sep. 11, 2010

  • No, a mean step father is not better than no father at all. Mean is always worse than just absent.

    Could it be that he comes across harsh or angry when he is telling her what or how to do things? If you have the same rules and she doesn't react that way to you, maybe it is in how he is interacting with her rather than what he is saying. Maybe the whole family needs to spend more happy fun times together without rules, like family game night or family activities like picnics or hikes.

    Answer by Gooberzilla at 7:12 AM on Sep. 11, 2010

  • I wish my husband was that mean! I could use some backup, kids hate their stepdad's because it's not their real dad..having kids see mom in a relationship that is healthy is more important then none, kids need that and they will appreciate the strictness when they are older. my husband is not up for rules and he doesn't do jack with my kids, he is not their dad and their dad is not in the picture. my kids don't have much respect for their stepdad because he doesn't parent them, he is just another mouth to feed.

    Answer by wheresthewayout at 4:02 PM on Sep. 11, 2010