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is this healthy?

Posted by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 6:58 PM
  • 61 Replies
Should a parent tell there child that they don't have to obey their stepparents?
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by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 6:58 PM
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TempestRayne
by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 7:26 PM

 I would say no. It is not healthy. However, it is why stepparents should take a step back and let bioparent do all the work.

Derdriu
by Gold Member on Sep. 21, 2012 at 7:30 PM
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Ah, I can't wait to see some of the answers to this one.

I would say no.  I don't think a wise parent encourages their children to disrespect any authority figure or other adults in their lives.  If an adult poses a problem for a child and/or makes requests that the child is uncomfortable with, either the parent can intervene or (often) they can instruct the child how to respond respectfully without inciting a problem. 

With steps, you're adding issues of jealousy, insecurity, protectiveness... a lot of different emotions that cloud judgment when the other adult is in any way parental.  The same BP who tells their kids to disobey a SP might flip their lid if the kids disobeyed a teacher.  However, some SPs do overstep boundaries by miles. A SP asking a kid to pick up their toys should be obeyed.  That's a perfectly reasonable request.  A SP demanding that a kid call them mom/dad is not only overstepping the boundaries of SP but also violating the kid's comfort zone and bond with the BP.  So in that case, BP can contact the other BP and complain about the SP and/or instruct the kid to hold their ground, in which it is technically disobeying but also enabling the kid to maintain their own boundaries.

savingtheworld
by Bronze Member on Sep. 21, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Wow..nope not that kind of step parent..I don't call the shots between husband an bio mom I dont do drop off or pick ups....I do go to soccer games..but I don't go to court hearings etc..but at my house I do expect kids to follow the rules..bc its my an my husband house..but apparently bio told kid that she doesn't like me an she doesn't have to listen? Seriously
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PROGENITOR
by on Sep. 21, 2012 at 10:38 PM

no

Derdriu
by Gold Member on Sep. 21, 2012 at 10:42 PM
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It sounds like bio feels you're in parental competition. Your DH's job is to then to clarify for kiddo that we need to show respect to others regardless of our feelings. He has the tough role of actually labeling BM as wrong, but if he plays his cards right, he can make her okay in her mistake also. Kids tend to readily accept excuses for parental misbehavior.


Quoting savingtheworld:

Wow..nope not that kind of step parent..I don't call the shots between husband an bio mom I dont do drop off or pick ups....I do go to soccer games..but I don't go to court hearings etc..but at my house I do expect kids to follow the rules..bc its my an my husband house..but apparently bio told kid that she doesn't like me an she doesn't have to listen? Seriously

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savingtheworld
by Bronze Member on Sep. 21, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Yes, thats what my husband told me..I don't want to b in competition! Bio can have what ever bio is trying to win! But how or Wut do I say to show kids that its wrong to do this?
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savingtheworld
by Bronze Member on Sep. 21, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Just a little detail..iv been divorced for 8 yrs an so has my hubby..I went thru this when I first divorced but me an my ex r on the same page now..but hubby an bio? Not so well..he said bio never did this till me? My problem is hubby is being ran over by bio an kid..
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Derdriu
by Gold Member on Sep. 21, 2012 at 10:57 PM
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You continuously support their relationship with BM. When they repeat something nasty BM said, you give BM an "out", and instruct the kids to love her extra hard the next time they see her.

A mistake a lot of SMs make is trying to outdo BM or prove themselves better, but it can't be done. If the kids are in a position to choose, they will choose BM. If SM is competitive, it validates BM. SPs in general need to neutralize themselves with regard to the BP. If you want the kids to breathe a sigh of relief and relax, you must support the relationship with BPs and actively diffuse the insecurities. It's tough! But it can be done.

(Tip: Pray for BM. I was told by many people that it's almost impossible to remain hostile and angry toward someone you pray for, and they were right.)
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savingtheworld
by Bronze Member on Sep. 21, 2012 at 11:23 PM
That's actually a good idea..may b I should pray for her? I try really hard an also I don't speak poorly about bio, I try to show kid I support who bio Is an Wut she does..try to set an example..maybe? It's not working..iv tried talking to her once..but that only made it worse..so I backed off..but if she can't get a hold of hubby she text me? But tells me its none of my business? Is it wrong to think bio is putting things n kids heads?
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Derdriu
by Gold Member on Sep. 21, 2012 at 11:39 PM
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No, it's not far fetched. BM and DH both tried to use me as a go between, but everything I did - including specific requests from BM - resulted in being attacked for stepping on her toes. The last straw was being asked to talk to SS's teacher about something and then being chewed out because she felt it was her job. I learned to tune out and ignore all communications from her at that point. I didn't answer the phone, respond to texts, or respond to emails. I did pass messages along to DH, but I didn't follow up with him about how they were handled. I made myself not care. And life became a lot less stressful as a result. Now, oddly enough, she is very respectful in her communications with me and we're able to talk about some things. I'm still very guarded, but it's nice to be able to help her out and get a thanks vs getting my head bitten off. She has also since apologized for taking things out on me.

So, I'd say your having some growing pains. It's easier sometimes for BM to contact SM, but there's still resentment that she has to. It's really all about DH anyway, so find a way to back out of the middle. If he's not communicating something you feel is significant, tell him and be done. Don't do the communicating for him. Until the dust settles and they learn how to co-parent with SPs in the mix, SP is too easy a target to blame for frustrations and disagreements.
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