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How do I successfully step parents teenagers that have no rules, discipline, or manners?

I love them, but the things they say, do, and watch get under my skin sometimes. Their mother is clueless and doesn't really parent them. She would rather them be her best friend and just cares about them being happy all the time. It's completely delusional. I am having a hard time figuring out where I stand and when and if I should bite my tongue about some things such as lack of manners. Please offer some feedback.

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Asked by lbuckland at 12:57 PM on Jul. 5, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Level 2 (6 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Honestly I treat my SS just as my own, discipline and all. Why single him out, and make him feel different? But then again he isn't a teenager yet either. Have you talked to their father?

    Answer by yesmaam at 1:00 PM on Jul. 5, 2011

  • Sounds like you have no kids of your own...

    You can set rules/boundaries in your own home........such as curfews, chores, and manners. Your stepkids will learn that if they want X then they must Y.

    Other than that you can't make the mother follow YOUR rules in HER home. Live and let live.

    Oh - and you need to get hubby onboard with you. Otherwise the kids will have four different sets of rules. One for bio Mom, one for you, one for Dad, and one for Dad when you are not watching. But kids are perfectly capable of understanding and following two sets of rules.

    Answer by Mom_to_Skyler at 1:17 PM on Jul. 5, 2011

  • Dad should be setting some house rules, as agreed upon by both of you, and they he needs to enforce them. If they disrespect you or your home, Dad should follow up with discipline. 


    Answer by ochsamom at 1:17 PM on Jul. 5, 2011

  • I have this issue a bit a my house. I have a hard time letting my SO co-parent with me. My 17-year old daughter can be disrespectful toward him and I need to let him set more rules for her (for her own good). A step parent has rights too! I need to stop over-ruling and respect him as a co-parent! Do what you feel is right and stand by it - the child will respect you for it in the end when they look back and know that you were looking out for their best interest!!!

    Answer by isismoon3 at 2:07 PM on Jul. 5, 2011

  • I agree with pp, partner with your SO on this issue. Children aren't stupid; they will learn your house, your rules. You just have to be diligent about enforcing the rules and making sure there are consequences to not following them.

    Answer by Molly4630 at 2:18 PM on Jul. 5, 2011

  • As they are teens, you are dad's wife, that's it. You really aren't there to parent at that point, just be there.

    Answer by JLS2388 at 4:56 PM on Jul. 5, 2011

  • You are not their parent. Your role is to reinforce the rules set by the parents.

    Answer by rkoloms at 9:49 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

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