Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Stepmom Central Stepmom Central

Boundaries & Discipline

Posted by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 10:57 AM
  • 49 Replies

This post is a place for us to share advice, questions and personal stories about how, and where, to draw the fine line of boundaries between stepmoms and their stepchildren.

Here are some tips from the moms in this group:

  • Consider your position (are you custodial stepmom, coparenting with a birth mom or something else) and support the bio-parents
  • Let your spouse take the lead
  • Pick your battles; be positive, calm, cool and collected
  • Be accommodating and not authoritative
  • Stand up for yourself


bouncing mom

For more help:


Click here to see what stepmoms are talking about on the site today:
See Active Posts - Let's Talk!

Please share your best advice for those raising stepchildren below!

by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 10:57 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
kmur
by Bronze Member on May. 3, 2013 at 10:35 AM

BUMP!

Joyful_days
by on Jun. 15, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Ok so, I have an almost 6 year old from a previous relationship, his father is not around. I have a 2 1/2 step-daughter whom we share 50% custody of, we have her every other week. And together we have a 19 month old daughter. Things are just fine with my son, it helps that we don't have to share his time with another parent. We get along just fine with our 19 months old. However; where my step-daughter is concerned, we cannot seems to come to a common ground. I have never met her mother, she is unwilling, and there is near 0% communication between DH and her. My husband doesn't like to deal with "emotional outbreaks" or what have you, so he doesn't ever bring up anything. I'm at a total loss, the poor girl is struggling greatly inside on so many levels and it seems as though there is absolutely nothing I can do about it! I beg DH to communicate with her mother, to find some basic guidelines for her, in hopes of giving her some sort of consistancy to her life. He just doesn't seem to understand. I feel like he thinks im attacking who she is when I tell him what areas she's hurting in. I don't mean to attack, I just love her and I want her parents to work on their co-parenting skills!

Should I just stop? And let them continue causing her so much grief? I don't know how to make him see. I just wish her mom would talk to me, it's impossible to pass the message through DH, literally.

Cafe AmyS
by Head Admin on Jul. 3, 2013 at 12:58 PM

That's really hard.  I'm assuming you've tried talking to your husband, but maybe writing things down for him to read, like you did here, will help him understand that you're really coming from a place of love for your stepdaughter.  You might also suggest counseling for your stepdaughter.

Quoting Joyful_days:

Ok so, I have an almost 6 year old from a previous relationship, his father is not around. I have a 2 1/2 step-daughter whom we share 50% custody of, we have her every other week. And together we have a 19 month old daughter. Things are just fine with my son, it helps that we don't have to share his time with another parent. We get along just fine with our 19 months old. However; where my step-daughter is concerned, we cannot seems to come to a common ground. I have never met her mother, she is unwilling, and there is near 0% communication between DH and her. My husband doesn't like to deal with "emotional outbreaks" or what have you, so he doesn't ever bring up anything. I'm at a total loss, the poor girl is struggling greatly inside on so many levels and it seems as though there is absolutely nothing I can do about it! I beg DH to communicate with her mother, to find some basic guidelines for her, in hopes of giving her some sort of consistancy to her life. He just doesn't seem to understand. I feel like he thinks im attacking who she is when I tell him what areas she's hurting in. I don't mean to attack, I just love her and I want her parents to work on their co-parenting skills!

Should I just stop? And let them continue causing her so much grief? I don't know how to make him see. I just wish her mom would talk to me, it's impossible to pass the message through DH, literally.


misha075
by on Aug. 15, 2013 at 11:02 AM

My boyfriend's son has never had to deal with consequences for his actions.  Time and again he'll be defiant, disrespectful and just wrong and he gets his phone taken away for a day or 2 and that's it.  Most recently, he decided to sell a a $500 item his BM bought him as a gift for about 1/4 of what it is worth (originally telling DH that he sold it for less when questioned and pocketed the difference).  He's 15 and has been known to smoke marijuana quite a few times (again, not having any consequences when being caught), so it was thought that he was using the money for that, which he denied.  Now his father is finally standing firm with him and having there be consequences, including loss of planned outings, and going to family therapy with him and his ex.  What, if any, say do I have in any of this?  My boyfriend and I own a home together, so if he were to have drugs on him and bring them into my home, I would be extremely upset.  Not to mention, his father is at a point where he's feeling like he failed as a parent every time this kid messes up.  I do not trust his son at this point and feel he does need to work to earn it.

Cafe AmyS
by Head Admin on Aug. 17, 2013 at 6:43 PM
1 mom liked this

I don't think you really do have any say in it, other than to support your boyfriend and explain to him why you feel the way you do about your son.

Quoting misha075:

My boyfriend's son has never had to deal with consequences for his actions.  Time and again he'll be defiant, disrespectful and just wrong and he gets his phone taken away for a day or 2 and that's it.  Most recently, he decided to sell a a $500 item his BM bought him as a gift for about 1/4 of what it is worth (originally telling DH that he sold it for less when questioned and pocketed the difference).  He's 15 and has been known to smoke marijuana quite a few times (again, not having any consequences when being caught), so it was thought that he was using the money for that, which he denied.  Now his father is finally standing firm with him and having there be consequences, including loss of planned outings, and going to family therapy with him and his ex.  What, if any, say do I have in any of this?  My boyfriend and I own a home together, so if he were to have drugs on him and bring them into my home, I would be extremely upset.  Not to mention, his father is at a point where he's feeling like he failed as a parent every time this kid messes up.  I do not trust his son at this point and feel he does need to work to earn it.


whatIknownow
by Emerald Member on Aug. 17, 2013 at 7:29 PM
6 moms liked this

Cafe amy, are you a stepmom?

Where did you get these "tips" for stepmoms?

I don't necessarily disagree with what you posted. But your tips are very broad. And the last three seem to sort of contradict each other.

What is the purpose of giving five extremely generalized tips?

Also it's spelled 'ac·com·mo·dat·ing .' You are taken more seriously here if you spell correctly. I'm not really a spelling nazi but I do use that check-spelling button that your company provides, at least for an original post. I mean.. I don't know, that could explain why you have 5 replies since March.

othermomforD
by Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:08 AM

When my ss lived with us more, I would inform my dh when his son was acting up. My dh would be the one discipline him. If my dh would be at work and ss acted up, I spoke with him sternly and told him that his father will know what he was doing. SS acted up more after he was with his bm. They have joint custody and we had him usually 4-5 days a week. Now that bm lets ss do anything he wants at her home, he is very disrespectful at our home and at school with adults. SS went to live with bm full time cause she lets him stay home by himself, not do homework when asked, and basically do whatever he wants. He's 11 now and is autistic. DH don't take disrespect lightly and if bm wants their child to be a selfish, controlling/manupulating man like she is, ss is going to live a very lonely life. Being disrespectful is a learned behavior and ss has learned her bad habits and you can't tell him anything.

aetyson810
by on Apr. 9, 2014 at 4:50 PM

I have a question how much rights do I have as a stepparent when it come to knowing how my SD is doing in school, here parent teacher conferences, homework, conserens if she starts to slack in her work. SO has and wants me to be involved because he works long hours and can't be there during the week. So he as asked me to get information for him so he can know as well because BM will not communicate with SO about how SD is doing in school or other wise. And when she brings school work home that talks about family she only mentions her(BM, her father and the dog.) That is where SD lives for the most part but SO and I are a big part of her life as well. And for BM not to show that to SD a home I feel is wrong. We let SD know that BM and her GP is family too. And that SD has a very big family.. SO family and my family. 

I just want to know what my bounderies are as a SM

amanda_mom89
by Gold Member on Apr. 9, 2014 at 5:00 PM
So she primarily lives with BM? That could be why she drew her picture for school that way. Kids want to fit in and if all of her friends were drawing nuclear families then she probably did the same and drew her primary home. It's great that your family wants to include her but if she doesn't feel like they are family you can't force it on her?

How long have you been in the picture? Are you married? Be careful with the "we're your family too" message. If you and SO were no longer together, would you still be in her life? Would your family?

You don't have any rights. Custodial stepmoms have access to school info. That's it. Stepmoms do not have rights to children that are not biologically theirs. If your husband can't take a day off early to meet with his child's teacher there are other ways. Most teachers these days have an email. Best of luck!

Quoting aetyson810:

I have a question how much rights do I have as a stepparent when it come to knowing how my SD is doing in school, here parent teacher conferences, homework, conserens if she starts to slack in her work. SO has and wants me to be involved because he works long hours and can't be there during the week. So he as asked me to get information for him so he can know as well because BM will not communicate with SO about how SD is doing in school or other wise. And when she brings school work home that talks about family she only mentions her(BM, her father and the dog.) That is where SD lives for the most part but SO and I are a big part of her life as well. And for BM not to show that to SD a home I feel is wrong. We let SD know that BM and her GP is family too. And that SD has a very big family.. SO family and my family. 

I just want to know what my bounderies are as a SM

aetyson810
by on Apr. 9, 2014 at 5:12 PM

SD is 6 i came in to her life when she was 2.5 Got engaged to her father a year and half after dating him and married him last summer. 

I am listed as one of the emergency contacts for SD at school. The teacher knows the situation and is willing to answer questions we have. SO hate computers and will rarely get online to do emails to anyone. 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN