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Please help me understand... Step parenting

I really don't understand (and maybe someone can help me here) why step parents aren't allowed to ever have an opinion about how their step kids are raised. They are expected to love and care for their step kids just like they were bio kids (sometimes even more) but they aren't allowed to have a voice or opinion as to how those same kids are raised. My brother was raised by my dad (his step father) and there was no difference between us. If Dad said boo then the answer was boo. There was never any "you're not my dad you can't tell me what to do". My dad respected and raised and loved my brother and in turn my brother loves and respects my father (has called him Dad since forever). How are step parents supposed to actually have a good parent/child relationship if they aren't allowed to actually parent? It seems that they are only allowed to love and shower with attention their step kids but not actually have any real impact in that child's life. Seems to me you're setting the step parent up to always be on the outside and never really give the kid a chance to form a healthy relationship with them.

I hear the bio parent arguement of "it's not their kid" but if they are in the step parent's home then they are part of the family. If the step parent is good enough to marry why aren't they good enough to help raise the kids? Especially if there are kids that are half siblings. If there are house rules then everyone in the house should follow them and both parents should be working together to create and enforce those rules.

I have the same problem with the phrase "wait til your father gets home". It sets one parent up to forever be the "bad guy". It's not fair to that parent. If DS needs correcting and I'm the one around then I'm the one that corrects him. If DH is the one who is around then he's the one who corrects him.

I'm really not trying to start anything I've just never understood this way of thinking and figured you ladies might be able to enlighten me.

Answer Question

Asked by terpmama at 11:40 AM on Dec. 4, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 11 (577 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • Not all step parents are created equal. Some are good & some over step their boundaries. Some step parents are not given the chance and some are and they blow everything out of proportion. Some will work with you while others want to run the show. I think it's more of an individual thing.


    Answer by Shines3 at 11:52 AM on Dec. 4, 2010

  • Step-parenting is a tough job, in my household if my husband and his ex have a conflict of interest my husband and I discuss it but ultimately the decisions are theirs, however I am to be respected at all times, I love my husband therefore I love the children he brings with him and vice=versa, all the children are expected to follow the same rules, and responsibilities no favorites, and of course children WILL pit parents against each other for whatever reason that"s why communication is important, fortunately for me, my husbands ex and I get along well, for the kids sake that way there is no pittiing against one another, in OUR house our rules the children are going to be treated the same. My husband discusses with me and its a joint decision with the ex what to do, It's about respecting each other, unfortunately this isn't always the case, this works for us! Good Luck,

    Answer by StressedOut107 at 12:11 PM on Dec. 4, 2010

  • My stepdad didn't come on the scene 'till I was 13. I frequently tossed at him the you're not my parent card and he told me I was right, he was bigger becuase he CHOSE to be my parent and that he'd never do what my father had done, in the end though I was mainly raised by my grandmother so it wan'st such a big deal.
    In my husband's family his step mom took over the role of mom when they were with her. They call her Mama instead of mom though and three of the kids chose to go live with their dad and with her. Since she never was able to have any kids of her own there was only the three boys. She since has gotten the chance to adopt but all the kids are adults so yes there is a difference between them all, but it's not a big deal.
    I'm sorry for your troubles.

    Answer by JadeRDragosani at 12:35 PM on Dec. 4, 2010

  • You should come join my group:  Support Group for Stepmoms

    I have a "Stepmom Bill of Rights" on there that feels so right for stepmoms.


    Answer by texassahm at 9:53 PM on Dec. 4, 2010

  • My belief is that both Parents step or not has to be on the same page for discipline, if they are not then no steps should not discipline. But then again we have bio parents that don't know how to parent and the step does so it goes either way.

    Answer by hodgkinrus6 at 10:05 PM on Dec. 4, 2010

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