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How do I ajust to step parenting when I've already raised my children (my youngest is 20) and I'm starting over again with an 8 year old ? I'm overwhelmed!!

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Asked by AndreaLorain at 11:27 AM on Mar. 18, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 3 (19 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • Just try to be a friend and step into when parenting and guidance are needed and Dad isn't available at the moment. Just be patient. You will probably do just as good if not better this time around since you have already experienced a lot of the things that he will be doing or going through.

    Answer by coala at 11:29 AM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • Again a topic I can relate to. My children are 20, 18 and 17. Yes one is still around enough for me to give guidance but for the most part not a lot needed as shes a good kid. My SO has 2 children, his 20 year old is away from us but he also has a 4 year old daughter that I am struggling with certain issues that are coming up. Its hard to know when to say something and if its ok. Me and my SO are going thru some issues as we speak that I have brought up on here. I started talking to him about a few, one issue we shall see how it goes this weekend as we have her, but on another I don't see things changing for various reasons. I feel for you, its such a difficult thing when yours are older and you have to start again and try to see where you fit it. I am sure I will be venting on here more as more time goes by,lol!!

    Answer by CopingMom33 at 12:13 PM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • I recently told my SO that I was feeling overwhelmed and thinking about the freedom I gave up to marry him. I don't want to leave or get a divorce. We've only been married 5 months. I love him and for the first time, I'm with someone that is good for me. But the step parenting part I wasn't prepared for. He's not a bad kid. It's not about that at all. I'm about to be a grandparent of twin boys in June. Being a grandparent is something I've looked forward to. Loving them, spoiling them and not having to raise them lol. Here I am all of a sudden starting over. At least he's 8 and I'm not changing diapers or potty training. I'm going through the motions of doing everything I did for my own children with the exception of not feeling comfortable to mold him or discipline him the way I did with my own kids. My SO and I have different ideas of what's minor and what's major.

    Comment by AndreaLorain (original poster) at 12:38 PM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • How long did you date before you got married? This should have been something you two talked about before. Anyway, you and your husband need to define what your role is going to be in his life. He isn't your son, so you may have to just look the other way and go wtih what your husband wants to do. If he is not being disrespectful toward you, you might just have to bend on what is major or minor, try to guide him as you did with your own children, but choose your battles. I hope things improve for you soon!

    Answer by khedy at 12:27 AM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • I view step parenting different then most. I believe you are a step mother not a step friend, you are there to help raise the boy and that means you and your husband have to be on the same page with what is acceptable and what isn't. Is your husband afraid his son won't come over if he is hard on him? Does he shrug it off and say "he's a boy"? Do you get along with the mother? What does the mother think your roll should be?

    Answer by tazdvl at 1:01 AM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • I have started over also, but witha 2 y/o great granddaughter. (She's 4 now). It is overwhelming, but can also bring great blessings to your life.Try to have a positive attitude, and you may find you enjoy parenting more the second time around.

    Answer by elasmimi at 9:12 AM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • talk with your DH and work out a parenting plan

    Answer by Ashlynnsmommy07 at 2:55 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • How long were you engaged? Did you meet the eight-year-old during your courtship? What does the eight-year-old think of you?

    When I married my husband, I knew he had another child, a son. I met his son as soon as able (he was my daughter's age, 4, when I met him; he'll be 12 in May) to help our bonus parent/kid bond. I despise the term "step" so I adopted the term "bonus" in its stead. He's my bonus son and he's such a wonderful kid.

    Answer by _Tam_ at 12:43 AM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • I appreciate all the responses. I agree with tazdvl. I'm a step Mom not a step friend. There's a huge difference in being a friend and being a parent. That's not to say we don't get along, because we do. My SO has custody of his son. It's just been the two of them for 6 years. Now there's a female in the house. Me!! And yes, my SO shrugs his shoulders and says he's just a boy. I'm well aware of how boys are. I raised 2 boys and 1 girl. I'm a clean and organized person. That's how I was raised and I raised my children the same way. I'll give 1 example of the issues I'm dealing with. My step son is not required to lift the toilet seat or close the door. If he urinates on the seat (which he does every time because he in a huge hurry ) he has been told by his Father to wipe the seat off with toilet paper which he does not do. I know from experience if you don't stay on top of your children with the rules. My SO does not do this.

    Comment by AndreaLorain (original poster) at 10:31 AM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • continued..... I'm am a homemaker. My SO wants me to stay home so his son doesn't have to go to day care. That's fine. Day care is expensive. I'm the person who stays on top of all the housework, shopping, budgeting, etc. That's all fine and good. I don't on the other hand agree with my SO on this issue. Frankly I'm tired of cleaning urine off the toilet, the walls and the tile. I didn't tolerate this kind of behavior with my own sons. If I caught one of them not lifting the seat...I made them clean the entire bathroom. It's disgusting behavior. I believe children should be taught while they're young. I don't blame my step son for being allowed to do this. But now the battle is on. This issue just scratches the surface. There's so much more.

    Comment by AndreaLorain (original poster) at 10:48 AM on Mar. 21, 2011

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