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any step parents out there?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by moggycat, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. I have been with my booyfriend nearly 3 years. He has small 3 children, I get on reasonably well with them and have made an effort to build up a relationshp. I do however worry about possible difficulties in the future. I wondered if anyone was in a similar position. Please don't respond to this thread with comments such as 'not worth the time' or 'its too much hassle and , what have you let yourself in for?'! As a teacher I see many step famlies, some not particularly happy and I don't want that to happen with us!
     
  2. apologies for mistakes in this!
     
  3. What kind of problems are you envisaging?
    I am not a step-parent (have been, but to an adult) but if I knew what kind of problems you are worried about, I could give you answers from "the other side", so to speak, as I am divorced with children myself.
     
  4. Well I have a very supportive partner and he has explained to the children that we expect them to follow our rules when with us, they do at the moment...I guess I worry that they may start to turn against them when they are older. We are firm buut fair whereas at home we get the impression rules are quite relaxed.
     
  5. That is simple - when they are with you, your rules apply, when they are home, the rules of that home apply. The same thing happens with grandparents, it is very common.
    As long as they know what is expected of them in each home, they adapt very well to that.
    The only time you need to be really worried is if major differences occur (I am talking drastic things like one parent allows them not to do homework, or stay out until the early hours of the morning, etc) - but that is the job of your OH to sort out with his ex.
    Unless your ex has joint custody, most things will be decided by his ex anyway - but that does not mean that you cannot enforce your own rules in your own home.


     
  6. inq

    inq

    I became a step mum to my step-daughter when she was 5 - she's now 26. We have got on, for the majority of time, as well as I have with my own daughters. All of the children have (had) to follow our rules in our house regardless of rules that were set by other parents in their houses. I have never pretended to be her mother - her own mother lives locally - and she has always called me by my christian name although my 3 children call her dad 'dad'. It's never been an issue or a problem. My children consider her to be a sister and she is particularly close to my youngest who is now 20.
     
  7. Oh, and btw - as children get older they rebel against most rules per se, no matter whose rules they are [​IMG]
     
  8. Some good advice was given to me which I still regularly remind myself of. You won't bond with a stepchild immediately, it will take as many years as the child is old. If your step child is five when you join the family, expect it to tale five years to form a meaningful relationship. This was completely true in my case.
     
  9. Another thing I would like to mention - the child builds up a relationship with you. If you do separate (God Forbid) then try to retain that relationship with the child.
    I have two ex partners who are still there for my children, despite us personally parting. I am eternally grateful for that, as is my ex (and his ex partner is also still there for my kids).

     
  10. I don't think that is applicable in all cases. In fact, despite it working for you, I think - sorry to be so direct - that it is a load of humbug.
    The older a child gets, the longer it may need to adapt, but certainly not measure in the years of age of the child.
    Very much depends on how all adults involved handle the situation - and ideally, all adults should have the children in mind. Don't expect to be called Mum - they already have one. Don't expect to be called Dad, they already have one. Don't try to take the place of the other parent - you are an addition, not a replacement.

     
  11. Met my step son (who has learning difficulties) 30 years ago when he was 6years old. Best advice I was given was to become his friend BUT never take sides against either his mum or dad. Dad and I have 3 teenagers, mum has a teenage daughter. All the teens regard him as "Big Brother." They all have their own unique relationship with him and as a man now of 36, he in turn has his own unique relationship with his siblings.

    He has always called me by my first name and all the teens know"where he fits in!"

    It has not always been a "smooth path!"

    Best wishes.
     
  12. As a step-child myself - I always call my step-dad by his first name. Unless I am speaking OF him, and then I refer to him as Dad.
    And he always gets a Father's Day card from me, where I thank him for being a great Dad.
    My children just call him Grandad.
     
  13. btw, these are very wise words.
    That is why I love my "Dad" so much - he was just there, always, and still is. He didn't but in, make demands or pretend to be anything other than my step-parent.
    But he is the best Dad I could ever have wished for. He was so patient and so loving and I love him to bits [​IMG]
    He IS, to me, my Dad.

     
  14. bumblingbee

    bumblingbee New commenter

    I wouldn't dream of it! I met my (now grown up) step children when they were three and four so, in many ways, it was easier to get to know them and to build a relationship. Nowadays they can't remember a time when I wasn't around. It hasn't always been an easy path but my relationships with my step children are amongst the most important in my life. I've always said that I got to have four children for the price of two pregnancies - bargain!
    One thing I would say is not to try to be their parent. They already have a mum and they (and she) probably won't take too kindly to it (I'm also a step child so know how it feels from the other side too). I've always been called by my first name by my step sons and have never tried to replace their mum but have become, over time, like an extra mum to them both. I certainly regard them as my children.
    It can be tricky juggling two sets of children if you then go on to have your own but patience, perseverance and a good sense of humour helps a lot.
    Sadly I broke up with their dad some years ago but my relationship with them became, if anything, stronger. I'm very lucky.
    Now I'm embarking on a whole new set of step relationships as the lovely Mr Bee has two teenage children so I now get to have six children for the price. Even bigger bargain!!
    Good luck!
    Bee
     
  15. Many thanks for all the replies. It's nice to hear some positive stories. I guess at the end of the day I also worry about their Mum and am concerned that in the future she may try and undermind us. I only say this because she dropped the children off last night and then made some comment saying "Daddy is in a bad mood" just because he answered her back (not rudely) about something she had said. I thought this was unacceptable in front of the children...
     
  16. I think (and from personal family experience), it is the reaction of the extended family that can make a difference to it being successful. Your parents must accept his children as part of the family as does any of his other family - aunts, siblings etc. My cousin had two children when she first met him (they are now married). From the outset ie the first time we met his children.we treated them as children of our family and as if they were her children. We spent as much on them at Chritsmas etc as we did on any other child of the family. Her parents gave them pocket money down to the same amount on the same day as they did their "biological" grandchildren. The only people who made it very difficult was his mother who encouraged the children to behave as foul as possible to her as they could. Oddly enough their biolgical mothers mother kept in touch with him AND when he had a child with my cousin treated that child as if he was also a grandchild of hers and when giving pocket money to her "biological" grandchildren gave to him as as well.
    If all the grown ups show a untited front then the children should settle more easily with you.
     
  17. Sorry, he had two children when he met my cousin.
     
  18. All your answers are very helpful...BUT has anyone got any advice with the appropiate way to deal with it if my parners's ex wife does try to undermine his rules? I'm a worrier : ((
     
  19. "

    Yes, politely point out to mum that she has "her rules" and Dad has his "rules." Dad does not interfere in mum's rules and mum should not interfere in Dads rules = happy child/ren going between 2 homes where they know the acceptable standards, morals and values. You - stay well out of it - you will be "the blame guy!" When the proverbial "sh@t hits the fan!"

    Best wishes
     
  20. Becoming a step-daughter at 19, I would say that my relationship with my step-father has it's ups and downs. He has been a better father to me than my own father, but I have never been able to call him dad, simply because he isn't. However, my daughter does call him grandad.
    As he gets older, he is becoming increasingly intolerant of divorce, regularly stating that divorce is the cause of all ills in society, forgetting that my mother has been divorced twice! I, of course, want to defend my mother, which causes friction because she understandably doesn't want us to fall out. Very difficult, and no easier in my mid 40s than it would have been in my early 20s, although now I merely choose not to rise to the bait, and go out for a walk, whereas in my younger years I'd have argued back.
    And Starlight, rules will always be undermined: by kids, partners, ex-partners, grandparents and so on - take it as it comes, you'll find a way to sort it if the situation arises.
     

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