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What are the boundaries of step parents?

My DH has his children everyother weekend. As the step mom I am the person carting them around to their activities and disciplining them, feeding them and dressing them. The Bio Mom has stated her desires in our household such as the food she wants them to eat, the clothes they wear, the activities the are allowed and are not allowed to participate in and weekend homework she assigns.

Since I am the person taking them to these activities do I have a right to request the schedule? Am i allowed to attend If it is not our weekend with the kids.

Am I allowed to ask about the kids well being?

Am I allowed to to have them do chores in my home?

What Are some things you would not want a step parent to do with your child?

What are some boundaries you would set up and why?

Looking for some good answers and input?

going through a rough patch with bio mom and seems no matter what i do it is wrong.


Answer Question

Asked by cmerc19 at 3:09 PM on Apr. 11, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 7 (167 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Yes you should go to their games and show your support, you should be given a schedule, because its rude to wait till the last minute when you are taken them, yes they should have age appropriate chores at your house, discipline of the children should be agreed upon by all the parents and enforced in the same manner in both households (thats for their wellbeing), yes you should be able to say hey hows the kids etc, the nly things I wouldnt' want a step parent to do with my kids are: talk bad about me or the way I'm raising them, call have my child call them mom..(but thats just me some bio moms dont care) undermine my authority such as ungrounding a grounded child when they get to their other home, and being mean to my kids. Any bio mom who would be upset over their stepmother, being kind to them showing concern, doing things for them abd teaching them to be responsible people has issues they need to deal with with a therapist

    Answer by rhonda111787 at 3:21 PM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • If you want a one on one I am here.

    1) you do have a right to know the schedule since YOU are the one doing the to and from. ( attending... I would take that time to do other things if it wasnt our wkend, just to keep down the drama)
    2) If you are more involved with the children than the father taking on the roll of parent - I dont see why not
    3)chores in your home: I think helps teach responsibilty, balance, guidance, and gives them a sense of accomplishments, helps them grow into mature adults..
    4)I WOULD NEVER PHYSICALLY SPANK A CHILD. If under my care.. issueing time outs is how I go, then allow the father to further the matter when he gets home.
    5) RESPECT. is my boundary. no sassing, back talk or raising your voices.
    6) again I too have a bio mom who is off the chain...LOL. so I do know what you are going through. SHE RUNS HER HOUSE.... NOT MINE!!!!

    Answer by kkbird at 4:03 PM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • i would think you would need the schedule or have your husband ask for one
    going to the events i would prob. only go on our weekends (im a stepmom too and cant stand bm)
    we have 11 yr old full custody so she does do chores at our house usually 1 per night after dinner and then her weekend chores which consist of HER laundry and cleaning her room.
    I do timeouts or send her to her room then let DH deal with it when he gets home

    Answer by tomsjennabean at 2:20 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • I hv been a step mom for 11 years to a boy and a girl. They are 12 and 15 now.

    Am I allowed to ask about the kids well being? Absolutey, I think that communication with your kids while they are with their bio mom is a way to establish a bridge between homes. A call or text to say Hi, ask about school or activites is great!

    Am I allowed to to have them do chores in my home? Yes, Yes, Yes! They are living in your home making messes and dirting clothes. They should have chores, its a good way to show respect to you and respect to them for thanking them for helping.

    What Are some things you would not want a step parent to do with your child? Here are a few situation that have come about. Secrets are difficult with step parents. As much as you want the kid to be close enough to you to share stuff It can be a real problem.
    Remember that you are still a parent and that comes before friend. Continued....

    Answer by Ihatelaundry at 10:40 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • The bio mom can be a problem. MY step kids mom is a nightmare! The really great thing is I do not have contact with her....ever. All conversation that have to do with the kids are between my hubs and his ex. If there is a situation in which I am in her presents like picking up dropping off kids, parent teacher conf. and things like that I might say hello . The most important thing is the well being of the kids. The last thing you want is a reason for bio to mention anything negitive about you or your behavior in front of the kids. Although you parent those kids while they are in your house doesnt mean that you have any say so at bio moms. THis was a very important lesson I learned .......
    You have no control over what happens in the ex home..unless the kids are in danger. So dont try to control bios household, you will fail and make everyone miserable. Same goes for your hubby.

    Answer by Ihatelaundry at 10:51 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • Also, hell yes you should be able to go to games, practices, conferences, concerts everything! you are a parent to those kids.
    Any more questions I will answer the best I can. I have ALOT of experience on this subject.

    Answer by Ihatelaundry at 10:53 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • I'm the bio mom. But Dh is a step father. I have full custody and my son does not even see the ex's new wife (they don't like each other). So, here's another perspective for you. My ex doesn't think my Dh should be called dad, or be the dad figure. However, my ex isn't it either. my ex maybe see's our son a couple hours a week. He rarely comes to any sporting events, and has never even been to our son's school (3 years now). My Dh has been there since my son was 3. Dh helps coach sports, attends EVERY sport or school event, takes care of my son as much as i do. So, the way i see it, he has as much say(well, maybe 49 to my 51%, i am mommy!) Becasue he is involved, a parent 24/7 with me, he is an intrigal part of my son's life.

    That said, it sounds like you want to be involved and support your step kids, so just explain to bio mom, that you will respect her wishes, but you also want to work with her, not for or against her

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:21 PM on Apr. 13, 2011

  • cont.

    try to explain to the mom that you love the kids (which i assume you do), and that you want to support them, and her. If she feels like you are not discounting her role, importance, or her choices, than you will work better together. If you don't agree with what she wants, instead of saying that, try "i'd like to understand why you do it this way so that i can support it in my home as well". If she feels like you are really supporting her, she'll open up to your ways eventually too (i would hope).

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:25 PM on Apr. 13, 2011

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