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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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November 6, 2005, 7:18 am CST

I'm soooooo stressed

I need advice from someone, anyone, who's been in this situation.   

  

I'm the single parent of two teens, a girl age 18 and a boy age 16.  My fiance has been living with us for the past 7 years and has basically been their "stepdad".  I don't know if it's because we've been locked up with nowhere to go because of  Hurricane Wilma hitting our area so hard or if it's just testosterone gone crazy.   

  

Yesterday, my son was playing his Xbox Live and getting heated over the moves others were making during play.  My fiance yelled at him to cut it out an to stop banging the controller on the floor before he breaks it.  Before I know it, my son is screaming "you're not my father!" and my fiance is cursing a blue streak aimed towards my son.  When I tried to intervene I was told point blank to mind my own business.  Then the Xbox is taken away by my fiance and I was told that because my son disrespected him, no online play for a week.  My opinion was not heard nor were my protests.  

  

Granted, my son was rude.  But my fiance feels he doesn't have to apologize for what he said.  I never spoke to my children in that manner.  When I tried talking to my fiance I was basically told that I would allow my kids to walk all over me.  That I turned a blind eye to their shortcomings.  I know everyone has their shortcomings and I know which are my kids, but they're basically good kids who help when asked.  They don't hang out, don't smoke, don't drink, don't curse in front of me (with their friends that's a different story).  What the heck happened to my family?  My fiance criticizes them for everything.  They can't dress a certain way, they can't do this they can't do that.  Yet when I'm approached by my kids and asked if they can call a friend for example and I say yes, my fiance gets all bent out of shape and says who am I to give permission.  He says no and that's that.  I've lost ocntrol of my authority.  Short of giving my fiance the boot, what can I do? 

  

HELP!  

 
November 7, 2005, 7:13 am CST

Step-Parenting

Quote From: jikkedehaa

To me it sounds strange to want to split up 2 girls. The 2 are sisters and how does it feel to the younger if mommy doesn't want her anymore!!! And the other girl might think daddy doesn't want her!! Maybe it is more common in the USA (I'm from the Netherlands) but to me that sounds strange.  

I can imaging you don't want to parent a young child anymore, so talk to your husband and say how you feel about it. Make sure both of you make a choice you can live with. Taking in a child that young means parenting a long time.... I'm step-mom to a 17 year old son who is living with us for 5 month now. But I don't parent him that much, it's his father task, haha. I raised my girls (20 and 23) so my job is done as a parent .... But we get along very good and he is a great help.  

greeting from The Netherlands.. Jikke 

Thanks for your thoughts....  It is hard when you start to concider splitting up siblings and at first I wouldn't even concider it.  However I now see where it might sometimes be a better option than bouncing them back and forth.  And in our situation where we are in seperate states it's even more difficult, not to mention expensive flying them around.  Yes... they're seperated but they have so much more stability.  And it seems to be more common these days.  With their mom working, she has a very demanding job, and me at home my husband feels like why should he pay her so much money every month for child care expences when they could be here, home with me.  Not that it's all finacial... he really wants to parent them and honestly believes we could provide a better enviroment for the youngest.  However I feel like it's easy for he and his ex to make all these disicions when they're not the one's actually taking care of her.  I tried to talk to him about this before and it didn't go well... he feels I'm being selfish, for one he provides for me not having to work and also becouse my daughter is here and he is taking care of her I should do the same for his..... But it's not the same.  My daughter is older and although yes he is providing a home for her he's not taking care of her 24/7.  I do feel like I've already done that, the younger years, and I don't really want to go back there.  I also really feel like she's too young to leave her mom.... I cant fill that bond that is so important at this age.  But he feels that she's young enough to bond with me and adapt more than the 9 yr. old is.  It's a hard and less than ideal situation but what happens with divorce and remarrige.  Anyways... it's good to be able to vent... even if it's in cyber-space :)
 
November 7, 2005, 7:46 am CST

Step-Parenting

Quote From: lupe58

I need advice from someone, anyone, who's been in this situation.   

  

I'm the single parent of two teens, a girl age 18 and a boy age 16.  My fiance has been living with us for the past 7 years and has basically been their "stepdad".  I don't know if it's because we've been locked up with nowhere to go because of  Hurricane Wilma hitting our area so hard or if it's just testosterone gone crazy.   

  

Yesterday, my son was playing his Xbox Live and getting heated over the moves others were making during play.  My fiance yelled at him to cut it out an to stop banging the controller on the floor before he breaks it.  Before I know it, my son is screaming "you're not my father!" and my fiance is cursing a blue streak aimed towards my son.  When I tried to intervene I was told point blank to mind my own business.  Then the Xbox is taken away by my fiance and I was told that because my son disrespected him, no online play for a week.  My opinion was not heard nor were my protests.  

  

Granted, my son was rude.  But my fiance feels he doesn't have to apologize for what he said.  I never spoke to my children in that manner.  When I tried talking to my fiance I was basically told that I would allow my kids to walk all over me.  That I turned a blind eye to their shortcomings.  I know everyone has their shortcomings and I know which are my kids, but they're basically good kids who help when asked.  They don't hang out, don't smoke, don't drink, don't curse in front of me (with their friends that's a different story).  What the heck happened to my family?  My fiance criticizes them for everything.  They can't dress a certain way, they can't do this they can't do that.  Yet when I'm approached by my kids and asked if they can call a friend for example and I say yes, my fiance gets all bent out of shape and says who am I to give permission.  He says no and that's that.  I've lost ocntrol of my authority.  Short of giving my fiance the boot, what can I do? 

  

HELP!  

Maybe your husband is feeling out of control becouse of the effects of Wilma and is overcompensating with controling you and the kids.  I can't imagine how stressful your lives have been.  Did these troubles start since then?  If they've been there all along you still have time to deal with them before you commit to marrige.I've been in this blended family situation less than a year and my husband and I struggle everyday with the "I'm not hard enough" and "He's too hard" issue.   What we do is try to lay down detailed ground rules of what our roles and expectations are.  And through trail and error we know what eachothers limits are with the others kids.  He has expectations of their behavior and if those expectations are being met I can manage the day to day activities and such.  Discipline is harder... anything major we discuss and then each hand out the consequence to our own kids.  I strongly believe that you are the prime authority with your kids and that a step parent should not be allowed to treat them in a way that you are uncomfortable with.  Get on the same page and if you can't maybe you should rethink your plans.  Communication is what works for us...   I hope you can get him to work with you instead of against you soon.
 
November 7, 2005, 9:30 pm CST

First of All

Quote From: lupe58

I need advice from someone, anyone, who's been in this situation.   

  

I'm the single parent of two teens, a girl age 18 and a boy age 16.  My fiance has been living with us for the past 7 years and has basically been their "stepdad".  I don't know if it's because we've been locked up with nowhere to go because of  Hurricane Wilma hitting our area so hard or if it's just testosterone gone crazy.   

  

Yesterday, my son was playing his Xbox Live and getting heated over the moves others were making during play.  My fiance yelled at him to cut it out an to stop banging the controller on the floor before he breaks it.  Before I know it, my son is screaming "you're not my father!" and my fiance is cursing a blue streak aimed towards my son.  When I tried to intervene I was told point blank to mind my own business.  Then the Xbox is taken away by my fiance and I was told that because my son disrespected him, no online play for a week.  My opinion was not heard nor were my protests.  

  

Granted, my son was rude.  But my fiance feels he doesn't have to apologize for what he said.  I never spoke to my children in that manner.  When I tried talking to my fiance I was basically told that I would allow my kids to walk all over me.  That I turned a blind eye to their shortcomings.  I know everyone has their shortcomings and I know which are my kids, but they're basically good kids who help when asked.  They don't hang out, don't smoke, don't drink, don't curse in front of me (with their friends that's a different story).  What the heck happened to my family?  My fiance criticizes them for everything.  They can't dress a certain way, they can't do this they can't do that.  Yet when I'm approached by my kids and asked if they can call a friend for example and I say yes, my fiance gets all bent out of shape and says who am I to give permission.  He says no and that's that.  I've lost ocntrol of my authority.  Short of giving my fiance the boot, what can I do? 

  

HELP!  

Hi, I am a stepmom of 2 teenagers, but they do not live with us full time. When they are here my huband and I have established rules and expectations. We got clear about them before we even told the kids of them. You have to be on the same side and look like a team when disciplining.  

In those situations where an immediate incident needs to be dealt with, WALK AWAY. Meet the other spoue in the other room to talk and plan the move. The few minutes will cool down and the other person gets to be involved with the discipline. The kids sit and fret because "something big is gonna happen!'  

It should work both ways for you and your fiance. 

Be careful you do not fall into the trap of indulging your children to make up for what you feel your shortcomings might be.And do not do it to make up for the behavior of the fiance.  

If you can't come to an agreement, that both of you think is reasonable, on curfews, chores, clothes, going out, etc., then by all means you will have to make him a non issue and handle it alone. They are your kids and you have to think about them first. 

Does your fiance have control issues? 

 
November 8, 2005, 8:24 pm CST

HELP NEEDS 911

I need help bad. I am a mother of 4 and my fiance has a daughter. His daughter doesnt want to share her room with my daughter. She lives in between here and her moms house. She is an only child and very selfish. She is 7 and so is my daughter. They play good together as long as they arent playing with his daughters stuff. She wont even let my daughter go in her room, but yet expects to be able to play with my daughters stuff.  

His daughter called tonight and said she doesnt want to share her room she wants to move her stuff to her moms house and my daughter can have her room. My thing is no you are gonna share your room. You both are gonna respect each others space and thats how it is gonna be. She needs to learn to share.  Easier to learn it now then later. Her mother is encouraging her behavior and i think its wrong. I need a few options to give her as choices. How can they share a room and each have their own space? How can i present to her the benifits of a family when she has never had one? SHe only sees she is losing out.  

  

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

 
November 9, 2005, 2:04 am CST

Try being in your step daughter's shoes

Quote From: akamommyx4

I need help bad. I am a mother of 4 and my fiance has a daughter. His daughter doesnt want to share her room with my daughter. She lives in between here and her moms house. She is an only child and very selfish. She is 7 and so is my daughter. They play good together as long as they arent playing with his daughters stuff. She wont even let my daughter go in her room, but yet expects to be able to play with my daughters stuff.  

His daughter called tonight and said she doesnt want to share her room she wants to move her stuff to her moms house and my daughter can have her room. My thing is no you are gonna share your room. You both are gonna respect each others space and thats how it is gonna be. She needs to learn to share.  Easier to learn it now then later. Her mother is encouraging her behavior and i think its wrong. I need a few options to give her as choices. How can they share a room and each have their own space? How can i present to her the benifits of a family when she has never had one? SHe only sees she is losing out.  

  

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

For 7 years your stepdaughter has had a space to call her own in her father's house.  Now you come along she's expected to give it up and share with a girl she doesn't know and play happy families with 3 additional step brother's she doesn't know either.   

  

Your 4 children have had years together to bond and have ways of relating to each other which your stepdaughter doesn't understand.  Your stepdaughter doesn't feel as if they will move over and make a space for her in their group and is too young to understand that it will happen in time. 

  

Five extra people to learn to live with all at once is enough to make anyone turn territorial.  I'm not surprised your step daughter is clinging to her toys.  

  

Personally I think you and your fiance need to have a good look at your living arrangements.  Maybe there is a way of rearranging the house that could give the girls separate bedrooms or affording an extension.  Otherwise I think you need to take on the extra car journeys involved in your stepdaughter only making day trips to see you until she feels happy to share a room.  Insisting she stays overnight at this stage will only give you trouble later on.    

 
November 9, 2005, 7:37 am CST

Step-Parenting

Quote From: akamommyx4

I need help bad. I am a mother of 4 and my fiance has a daughter. His daughter doesnt want to share her room with my daughter. She lives in between here and her moms house. She is an only child and very selfish. She is 7 and so is my daughter. They play good together as long as they arent playing with his daughters stuff. She wont even let my daughter go in her room, but yet expects to be able to play with my daughters stuff.  

His daughter called tonight and said she doesnt want to share her room she wants to move her stuff to her moms house and my daughter can have her room. My thing is no you are gonna share your room. You both are gonna respect each others space and thats how it is gonna be. She needs to learn to share.  Easier to learn it now then later. Her mother is encouraging her behavior and i think its wrong. I need a few options to give her as choices. How can they share a room and each have their own space? How can i present to her the benifits of a family when she has never had one? SHe only sees she is losing out.  

  

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Hmmm... You are in a tight spot... literally :)   I think her reaction to have her life/space invaded is pretty normal and to expect her to just get over it probably wont work any time soon.  If you are really using all the bedrooms as effectivly as possible and there are no other options for doubling kids up, and his daughter is there part time is.... You might think it's crazy but here's goes.... Get a tent, a really cool one, make it a big deal just for her (the other kids will be sooo jealous) and put it either in her step sisters room or in a part of the house that has extra floor space.  The novelty will wear off eventually but it might buy her some time to adjust on her own. Or you can purchase a couple of those dressing screens, they're popular now, and divide the room they share.  Or if you have any attic or basement space make that into an extra room, more money but it will give you long term benefits.  Or another option, that my friend with 5 kids does, is to make one room, either a bedroom or one of the "formal" living areas most people usually rarely use, into a tv/play room, that holds all the kids stuff, and the left over bedrooms are just for sleeping and none of them get any personal space or their own rooms.  The downside to the last option is it forces then to play in one room together and they'll probably fight more and you wont have anywhere to send them to entertain themselves alone.  Look at all the space in your house and think what can be transformed into an area that gives you more space for the kids.... Not ideal but might buy some time till you can upgrade the size of your house.  I hope this gave you some idea's... Good Luck!
 
November 9, 2005, 8:08 am CST

Step-Parenting

Quote From: stompkins

Hmmm... You are in a tight spot... literally :)   I think her reaction to have her life/space invaded is pretty normal and to expect her to just get over it probably wont work any time soon.  If you are really using all the bedrooms as effectivly as possible and there are no other options for doubling kids up, and his daughter is there part time is.... You might think it's crazy but here's goes.... Get a tent, a really cool one, make it a big deal just for her (the other kids will be sooo jealous) and put it either in her step sisters room or in a part of the house that has extra floor space.  The novelty will wear off eventually but it might buy her some time to adjust on her own. Or you can purchase a couple of those dressing screens, they're popular now, and divide the room they share.  Or if you have any attic or basement space make that into an extra room, more money but it will give you long term benefits.  Or another option, that my friend with 5 kids does, is to make one room, either a bedroom or one of the "formal" living areas most people usually rarely use, into a tv/play room, that holds all the kids stuff, and the left over bedrooms are just for sleeping and none of them get any personal space or their own rooms.  The downside to the last option is it forces then to play in one room together and they'll probably fight more and you wont have anywhere to send them to entertain themselves alone.  Look at all the space in your house and think what can be transformed into an area that gives you more space for the kids.... Not ideal but might buy some time till you can upgrade the size of your house.  I hope this gave you some idea's... Good Luck!

Something else to consider....  Be careful how much power the adults give her when deciding whether or not she should continue sleeping over.  It's not her decision....  I feel it could set the stage for her to call the shots on how much she's willing participate in her new family.  She definitley deserves a lot of consideration to ease this adjustmentment period but she is still just a child that shouldn't have that much control over the whole families lives. 

 
November 9, 2005, 3:13 pm CST

I understand..

Quote From: stompkins

Something else to consider....  Be careful how much power the adults give her when deciding whether or not she should continue sleeping over.  It's not her decision....  I feel it could set the stage for her to call the shots on how much she's willing participate in her new family.  She definitley deserves a lot of consideration to ease this adjustmentment period but she is still just a child that shouldn't have that much control over the whole families lives. 

She has been calling the shots with him acting like she was parent he was child. I have been dealing with that. With him and her. Its hard when you get your way all the time and then i come in the picture and all that is not acceptable. She use to hit him in anger when i first came on the scene. I understand what she learns now she will use in her adult life. Trying to get him to get past her manipulation is hard. She is using manipulation and trying to say i'll just move my stuff to my moms, as a bargaining chip. She needs to learn that isnt going to work and thats not how families function. She has never had a family and doesnt know what it looks like. I need ideas to get her excited about family. She wanted bros and sisters and now she has them. She wants things her way and unfortunately we cant add on, my 3 boys will have the other room and the girls need to share. My kids are here 2 days a week and every other weekend like her. They dont live here full time either. Do i move my daughter in the boys room and say in 1 month my daughter is moving in your room? Will that give her time to accept it? There is a win/win some where and i need to find what works for my family. Any ideas? 

THanks for your replies. 

 
November 10, 2005, 7:36 am CST

how can I get my husband to trear my son with respect.

I have been married for 1 year, but in a commited relationship with him for allmost 6 years.  It has gotten pretty bad at home.  MY son is going to be 14 yrs old and I worry that all the negativity will harm him as an adult man.  My husband yells and curses and trully says some hurtful things.  This last week we got into a very heated fight, where he made the statement that he did not want to be a father to my son.  There is 80% of me that wants out of this mess for my sons sake, bu of course the though of ending my marriage is frightening for many differnet reasons.  Is it at all posible to get this man to respect my child?????????????
 
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