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Topic : Step-Parenting

Number of Replies: 809
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Created on : Thursday, June 30, 2005, 12:47:27 pm
Author : dataimport
If you are a step-parent, you deal with many frustrations and rewards each day that are unique. Share your story with us.

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December 18, 2008, 8:36 am CST

Call it off!

Quote From: esinmg

My boyfriend and i recently became engaged after five years.  My problems with his child started five years ago.  I should note that my sons are now 15 and 13.  Three years ago my future stepchild starting taking my children to churck on Wednesday nights.  When she arrived she would let the boys grope her breasts in front of my sons.  Then she started relating to them her sexual experiences.  This behavior has since escalated.  She is sending them perverse links on their my space accounts and I have recently learned that she is working as a dancer at an all nude club.


I have tried to relate to my future husband and his mom that this behavior is inappropriate for my children, but his mother thinks i should just let it go and explain to the boys that it's wrong.  They never really let her know that her behavior is wrong and I could give numerous examples of this, but I have stated to everyone that my sons would not be put in this position again and that since she has continued this behavior, that we would not be joining them, with her, for Christmas.  My future husband keeps telling me to pick my battles, because he doesn't want to stress out his 73-year old mother and I understand this, but my children are important and I feel as though this is the right decision at this point.


I would appreciate any comments.  I have struggled with this situation for a long time and I really feel like I need to protect my boys from any further contact with her until they're older or until she changes her behavior.

You can't put your sons in the position of being assailed with this young woman's sexual exploits and guided towards explicit websites.  I can only go by my somewhat limited experience but I wouldn't marry this man for at least another 15 years.  Your boys need to have the maturity and common sense and self-confidence to tell this girl to get lost themselves before you put them in a situation where they have to cope with her behaviour at any family get together. 

January 7, 2009, 7:27 am CST

I need Help

I remarried in June 08. I am very happy but I have 2 daughter from my previous marriage and they are with me and my wife everyother weekend.  My wife has two kids the kids get along great it is awesome to see. The problem we have is one of my daughters is a great girl. She is fine with her step mom sometimes, When I am out of the room and my wife askes her a question she ignores her the second I am around she acts different she then will not ignore her. The main problem is we have had to put a lock on our closet because my wifes pants shirts, jackets have been cut with scissors, jeans written on them (FATTY) chairs cut, dinner table chair carved fatty on them or fat butt written on things. I have talked to her extensivley about the problem she has denied all of it. I am scared because she has no remorse or not scared to do it. My wife is a great step mom she gives her alot of attention, Cooking, going to store, serving them hand and foot. My daughter rubs her back, hugs her, loves on her then turns on her like a rabbid DOG. My ex and I are getting her into a physicartrist but what can I do here when she is here with us. We love her and hate to mess anything up long term if we dicpline her in a wrong way. Please help me it is very stressfull when they are here and its staring to effect the other kids and my relationship with my daughter and I want to always be here for her but it is hard to support her when she lies to my face. PLEASE HELP
February 25, 2009, 7:04 am CST

Need Advice

     I became engaged to a man with an 8 year old daughter. He divorced his wife 5 years ago and gave up parental rights due to his job (railroad) and usually has to barter his time with his daughter. I do not interfere with his time with her, and the few times we have all been together, I am more concerned with his parenting than her behavior.

    He has a habit of getting her something from the store when she is "good", and once I suggested that maybe "daddy so get a prize for teaching you to be good". Her reply was her mother taught her to be good. He did not comment which suprized me. This past Christmas he had to leave her with Grandma for a total of 2 days due to the job. When he returned, his desk his deceased father left him had glitter all over it, toys were all over the bedroom, and downstairs didn't look any better according to him. When I called to make sure he got home okay, he said he would have called me that he arrived safely but he was upset about the  way things looked and that she did not want to clean up. I looked at the phone in disbelief and then told him to stop talking about it with her and get a large trash bag and scoop up all the stuff she didnt want to clean up including new Chrirstmas toys. When she decided she wants to clean she could take one thing from the bag. That seemed to work, although she didn't get all the stuff back and didnt seem to miss it.

       We got engaged the day after Christmas. His daughter went with us, because he said she wanted to help me pick out my ring. I was floored, don't really need help with that, and said that if she went., so did my boys ( aged 17 and 16). He said no problem. Then we went to eat dinner, he wanted to pay for it, usually I do because he is making up back child support and alimony payments. He wanted to go to Red Lobster, she didn't want to. I suggested Olive Garden. The time was spent convincing her to eat and sit still. Not my ideal ring day, or spending it with the man I love, really didnt want my boys there either.

        He frequently tells her, "dont tell Mommy we did or didnt do this or that" which I think is unfair. I also think she tells her mom everything, including me getting my ring. Soon after he got an emal from her congratulating him and how nice that their daughter went to help pick out the ring. He did not tell the ex, and I sure didnt.  I think his daughter has learned quickly how to play these two and this mommy dont play that.

        Any advice I get will be appreciated, including critiqing me. I am not wearing rose colored glasses, but dont want to be unfair either.  Thanks!


March 4, 2009, 1:35 pm CST

Absentee parent returns after 28 years

My husband left when my youngest daughter was 2 years old.  Then I met my current husband who raised my girls and supported them completely.  My first husband never saw them or supported them.  My youngest, who is now 30, when pregnant decided to contact him and get to know him.  According to her, they have a loving, wonderful relationship which we think is great.  The problem is that my daughter continues to pick fights with me telling me that I have a problem with it because I've said some things over the last year when I found out she was involved with him.  At one point, he was ignoring her calls and she was very upsent - which is when I said some things.  She seems to be afraid that if I'm in the same room with him and his family, there will be too much drama.  Meanwhile, my husband and I are never included in anything now and when I mention it to her and ask her to just be fair, she says that I'm making it a competition.


Any ideas?

March 10, 2009, 12:21 pm CDT

Let the novelty wear off

Quote From: pac0923

My husband left when my youngest daughter was 2 years old.  Then I met my current husband who raised my girls and supported them completely.  My first husband never saw them or supported them.  My youngest, who is now 30, when pregnant decided to contact him and get to know him.  According to her, they have a loving, wonderful relationship which we think is great.  The problem is that my daughter continues to pick fights with me telling me that I have a problem with it because I've said some things over the last year when I found out she was involved with him.  At one point, he was ignoring her calls and she was very upsent - which is when I said some things.  She seems to be afraid that if I'm in the same room with him and his family, there will be too much drama.  Meanwhile, my husband and I are never included in anything now and when I mention it to her and ask her to just be fair, she says that I'm making it a competition.


Any ideas?

Two points - if the ex ignores calls from a daughter with a grandchild he's not pushing for a relationship and sooner or later your daughter will realise he's not as keen as she is on picking up the pieces of a relationship.  Also are you sure your daughter thinks the drama will come from your side if you and your ex are in the same room together?  How does the ex feel about your husband and his role in your daughter's life?  Is there a difficult ex MIL or second wife around?



In your shoes I'd make a weekly call to tell her your news and ask after her and your grandchild and issue an invitation to lunch or to some baby friendly place every two or three weeks.  When your birthday or your husband's comes around hold a party and invite the ex and his family as well as all the other friendly faces you can muster.  Tell the ex and your daughter upfront that you want to demonstrate that enough water has gone under the bridge for you to co-exist for a few hours at family events.  It either works or it doesn't.  If it doesn't then at least the disaster wasn't at one of your grandchild's important events.   

March 11, 2009, 9:33 am CDT

One Upping

My husband has a daughter from a previous relationship and we have a son together.  We have done the every-other-weekend and 3 weeks on 1 week off in the summer for visits.  In the beginning this was not easy; everything was at her mother convenience.  If she had something going on then we just wouldn't be able to have her that weekend.  That went on for over a year.  The last 4 1/2 years has gone a lot smoother.  Her mother has since had two other children with two other men- now we are up to 3 kids, 3 dads all together.  She is recently married to the 3rd dad.  As soon as she had the 2nd child things got so much easier for us to get our daughter, then it got even easier after the 3rd.  She used to play the victim, poor me, poor me, he got me pregnant and ruined my life- now she can't really say that anymore.  Our houses are run very differently.  At her mom’s house there has always been a lack of consistency, there are always material items given out to keep the kids happy, there have been a few instances of bad judgment on her mother and stepfather’s part (we always document everything).  My husbands daughter- lets call her Maddy acts completely different at her mom’s house then she does at ours.  She throws fits, she gets her way because of throwing fits, she doesn’t listen to her mother, and she has a major attitude there.  I know this because not only has her mother told me about things like this and used my husband as “ammo” but I can see the change the second I drop her off with her mom.  Maddy knows what she can get away with and she knows how far she can push her mother. What I just explained above it not even the half of it.  

Now, at our house there has always been consistency from the beginning.  The rules never change, and we never change.  We are not overly strict, we just run our house as we are the parent, and they are the children.  When Maddy is at our house she is an angel, she does everything she is told, she doesn’t throw fits, she doesn’t ask for things at the store and then throw a fit when she is told no, she listens, she goes to bed when she is supposed to, she has table manners- although we have literally been working on this for the last 3 years and for about 2-1/2 of the 3 years we had to re-teach her to chew with her mouth closed and wipe her face- I think she has it down now at least at our house.  So there is some background on what all goes on.  All of those things we just deal with, the inconsistencies with her mother’s parenting and all of the “crap”  that we have had to put up with for the last 6 years just to see her on a regular basis.  Our child support has never been a day late and on top of that we don’t claim her on taxes, ever.  Like I said, all of that stuff sucks but we have been able to get through it.  There is not a court order for visitation yet, when they went to court for child support the judge said he wanted the two of them to work together if they could.  And like I said, it has gotten easier the more kids she has had.  Last summer was the first one that we had her for more than a week at a time which was really nice for Maddy and for us.  This summer we wanted to have her the whole time and she could visit her mother every-other-weekend like she does with us the rest of the year, but that will not happen without her mom throwing a fit. 

The latest things that we have been dealing with have happened just in the last few weeks are the things that have made me so mad and I want to say something to her mother but I don’t want to rock the boat.  Maddy lost her first tooth at our house 2 weeks ago.  The tooth fairy came and left her 2 dollars for her tooth that night, she woke up and was so excited and happy about that. Her mother asked me to give her the tooth so she could put it in her baby book.  I gave it to her, then she asked how much the tooth fairy gave her- I told her 2 bucks.  Maddy just had her 6th birthday yesterday at our house.  We had a lot of people out and just had a normal, fun child’s birthday party.  Her mother has been asking me for weeks what our plans were for her birthday.  Again I told her.  Now, here’s the part that pisses me off. I picked up Maddy Friday night, her mother tells Maddy to tell me how much the tooth fairy brought her at her mom’s house, Maddy said “SHE BROUGHT me 3 DOLLARS!!!!.”  I am mad about this, first of all she lost her tooth at our house, and the tooth fairy came and gave her money for her tooth.  This in my mind was something special that took place at Dad’s house.  Her mom made up a story about how the tooth fairy gave her the tooth back so she could come and get it again from her house. There has to be a time when enough is enough!!  And for the birthday party- her mom is doing Disney on Ice, chucky cheese, she is having a sleepover, and she is getting her at 300 dollar present.  Can we say that is over the top for a 6 year old that already gets 2 parties, 2 Christmases, 2 Thanksgivings, 2 of all that so why not give her more?!  Her mother is not thinking of the well being of Maddy, she is just being selfish and trying to make sure that everything is going to be better at mom’s (material wise).  My husband and I have talked about this and we have just decided that we are no longer going to tell her mom the fun things that she gets to do at dads, we are not going to play this selfish game because this is about raising a child- not about winning and buying love and loyalty. 

April 16, 2009, 3:53 pm CDT

Step parenting a teen?

I have been a step mum for a little over 10 years running.  My step son is now 13 and now more than ever I am concerned that we are loosing him.  Let me back up a bit and mention that my husband and I live several states away from his son (he lives with BM), and we have lived about this distance away since the beginning.  My husband had been in a government job for about 11 years so this has kept us from his son.


So the distance has been a factor in our parenting, and I believe could be a bit of the reason why his son tends to not have the respect for his family that we believe that he should.  We understand that his mom is raising him one way and we are raising him another, and apparently he does not like our way because whenever we have a visit there is always confrontations.


Moving we are lucky to hear from him once every two weeks and he has used the Internet as one of his emotional outlets to get at us.  My husbands son has accounts on the Internet that we are able to see that he uses to say negative things to us.


Are these things normal teen things?  Is this normal step children things?  How do you parent a child that is so far away?  When they come to visit, how do you stay consistent with them when you do not get significant parenting time with them?


Very frustrated and confused:(

May 12, 2009, 5:32 am CDT

my husband and son

me and my husband have been married for almost 3 years in october.

we dated for 4-5 years before we got married.

at the time my son was about 4 1/2 almost 5 when we started dating.

my son is now 10 almost 11 and does not talk to my husband his stepfather alot.

i have to actually tell him to say goodmorning or hi when my husband says it first.

not sure why this is happening and seems like my son always wants to be around us all of the time where we are and we don't really get any time alone together.

what do you think the issues are?

i have tried to get some counseling for all of us but that is very pricey even at churches.

any advice for us?

plus my son is very disrespectful and never does what he is told to do.

can there be help for us?


thank you


July 3, 2009, 2:55 am CDT

Living with a bully

This isn't necessarily about me being a stepparent, but this was the closest category I could find to put this post.


My mother remarried a man she had been dating for 8 months almost 4 years ago, and everything up until they got married was great. He seemed like the perfect guy, he was so nice to both me and my younger sister (ages 14 and 12 at the time). However, after they got married things changed for the worse. We were renting a house from my father at the time, and my stepfather felt like he had no say in how my sister and I were being raised, so he had us move. We've been in this new house for two years this September, and things have only gotten worse. I honestly don't know what happened, but he's just gotten so angry, and "bully" is the only suitable name I can slap on his behavior.


It started out as him wanting me to start paying rent and cook for him and clean the house. I would have gladly paid rent (for the sake of my MOTHER) if I could afford it, but my part time minimum wage job in retail just doesn't cut it. I made barely enough to keep gas in my car and pay for my college tuition at the time. It slowly progressed to him picking fights about the smallest things, and eventually I got so tired of hearing him talk that I stopped coming out of my room except to go to work and school unless he wasn't in the house. This strategy of mine helped me avoid conflict with him, but he would always complain to my mother anyway, and she never stood up for us.


So little over a month ago, after an epic text message argument (the man is 45 years old and he's sending rather cruel texts to two teenagers, come on!), my sister got fed up and decided to move in with my dad. My stepfather said a few more very cruel words to her, and then told her not to let the door hit her on the way out. This drove my mother over the edge and they argued a lot more, and so my stepdad finally said he was moving as well. So they're "separated", but barely. In the beginning, there were 11 missed calls on the house phone and 10 or so on my mother's cell phone on a few occasions. Whenever my mother suggested marriage counseling, he said they don't need it and he just yells at her all the time, and it's really frustrating for me because I never wanted this to happen. For whatever reason, he's an angry man, and it probably has to do with all of his medical problems, but he's only making it worse for himself.


But he just doesn't understand the meaning of separation, because he keeps calling my mother and getting mad at her because she doesnt call him, and keeps saying he's feeling ignored. I'm only 18 years old and I haven't yet had the pleasure of dealing with this sort of problem, but aren't you supposed to be separated to cool off for a bit? I don't know... but it's got me up at night worrying about how my mother and I are going to make it in this house we cannot afford without his help, and he keeps saying that we owe him something. He's angry that he didn't receive any father's day cards from me or my sister...Hm, I wonder why?


Anyway, has anyone else had this problem, or who can give some advice on how we can get it through to him that he's going about this all wrong? He had never been married before or had kids, so he clearly doesn't understand that like it or not, children come first. I'm not even close to being a parent and I can figure that out on my own. Any comments or advice is certainly welcome... Anyway, hope everyone else is doing well, and have a good weekend!

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