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Step parenting question?

Everything I have read says that the step parent should not be the prime disciplinary. However, my question is: What if I, the step mother, am the primary caretaker of the child? He is 6 years old and is with me all day while his father is at work. He doesn't listen to me and he knows the rules. Part of the problem is because his father doesn't have set rules for him, therefore, doesn't always back me up with mine. I feel that since he is with me all day, he should still follow the rules I have set when his father gets home. It's not fair to him or me to change the rules when the clocks hits 5. What do you suggest to get this problem solved?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:45 PM on Feb. 21, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (8)
  • You & DH need to sit down & have a SERIOUS talk. He needs to understan that YOU are at home with the child all day. The importance of consistent discipline has to be stressed. Otherwise, you will end up raising a conflicted child who has no idea about following rules later in life.

    Answer by specialwingz at 1:48 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • I suggest that you and DH have a LONG talk. Inconsistency is a huge problem when dealing with any kid regardless of step parent status.

    IMO, if you have the support of the bio parent in discipline, then it shouldn't matter if you are the parent or step parent.
    My SO and I have set rules when it comes to the kids (each have 1 from previous). We don't play favorites and the kids know that no matter who is there, we both have the right to give punishments. We don't undermine the other persons authority and if we do disagree, it is done behind closed doors. We are a united front to the kids.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 1:49 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • IMO if you're a parent of the child on a full time basis, then you should be considered a primary caregiver/disciplinarian as well as the bioparent. My Husband is Step father to all 3 of our boys, but if I said he couldn't have a say in discipline then our boys would walk all over him, and that's not going to happen in our house. They are the children, WE are the parents, and WE are a UNITED front. They all 3 know this, and have as much respect for him as they do me, and that's the way it should be.
    You should have a talk with your Husband, and resolve this now, or the 6 yr old is going to make life more difficult than it already is....
    You can't raise a child by what a book, or the internet says. You have to do it by being an active parent.

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 1:53 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • Now you know how teachers feel...they have kids all day long and can do nothing with the kids that won't listen. Talk to your husband and his son and maybe set up a plan. like a chart for good and bad behavior. so when his dad comes home his dad can see if his kid has been good or not or inbetween

    Answer by wheresthewayout at 1:55 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • DH must set rules with sd. And DH must establish with sd that YOU have dh's support and permission to enforce these rules and give punishment/consequences. Dh must establish punishment with sd (best way to do this is talk about this with you before hand) and then explain this to sd with you present so sd knows that you are hearing dad's lecture too.

    Answer by pioneergirl10 at 2:28 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • You guys have to be on the same page, discipline-wise. DH has to let his son know that you are on the same level of respect as your DH is, and that you have the same authority as well. Your dh has to be in your corner, or the ss is going to know that he can play you. Hope you guys can sit down and talk this one out. Good luck, Mama!

    Answer by lovingmy4babies at 2:35 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • If your S/O wants to have a disciplined child in the future, he needs to get on the same page as you, NOW. If he doesn't, it will bite him in the ass as he gets older. Yes, you should be able to discipline him if you have him all day. Your S/O should be glad your helping raise someone else's child. But, don't do it mean, say it mean, but mean what you say.!! Remind him it's his child your helping to raise and discipline, and get with the program before it's too late, otherwise he'll eventually play you against each other.

    Answer by MyAngel003 at 4:30 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

  • Not much you can do with kids that are not yours if they won't listen to you, having step-kids around is kinda like babysitting other people's kids, not much you can do, but your DH needs to back you up tho and support you, and make his child respect you & listen to you or it will cause friction between you & DH.

    Answer by Honda309 at 4:44 PM on Feb. 21, 2011

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