May 4, 2012 at 6:16 pm #23947
Hi! I don’t have any personal experiences to share – no kids, no significant other, no step parents. But I love all the advice up above. And this, “I think’s its time for me to be backing him up, not telling him he should just back me up.” I say back him up! It sounds like you have a really good guy, lbh. Does he have a hot brother? Ok, just a brother? Ok, a single brother?May 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm #23954
All this over a stupid fake tattoo? No, seriously. The utter insignificance of this issue is paramount here. HE is the adult. And he IS making a mountain out of a molehill. He is NOT the parent. You know, my aunt was a stepsister through two very different marriages — and she was so popular with the kids she had unofficial frequent visitations with the two from the first marriage when they were teenagers right after that divorce. She still is the stepmother to the daughter from that marriage.
She didn’t try to be their mom. She didn’t make up — or even enforce the rules. Oh, she let her husband know if the rules were broken. But she didn’t merit out any punishments. And she CERTAINLY didn’t try to push for punishments regarding gray areas… and this whole stupid temp tattoo issue is the textbook example of gray.
He is overstepping bounds. Worse, he is making it look like to his daughter that he is OUT to get her. As a casual reader, it sounds to ME like he is out to get her…May 4, 2012 at 7:03 pm #23956
Typo: I meant to say that “She is still the stepmother to the daughter from her third marriage and has lunch with her thirty-something stepdaughter all the time, in addition to the time the spend together as a family…”May 4, 2012 at 7:12 pm #23960
See, i dont think he’s overstepping his bounds, mostly because they havent been set yet. until that happens, it’s all gray area. If the bio dad is still involved, then it should be discussed with all (if that’s possible, i get i have a unique situation and we do that).
The temp tattoo thing is definitely gray. but it’s just a tiny thing in a bigger issue. and totally subjective. heck, when i was a kid i did whatever i wanted, wore what i want. now i look back and think ‘omg why mom, why did you let me out of the house with a sequin glued to my forehead??” lol.May 4, 2012 at 7:19 pm #23965
I think he IS overstepping his bounds. LBH explained that her daughter was not supposed to write on herself with a pen. Instead, she came home with a temporary tattoo and he says she has now somehow defied him and the pen rule?
Sorry, I just don’t get it.
Look, I can’t even begin to tell you how many people I know grew up with step parents, but I can count on ONE hand the few that actually liked their step parents. He is going out of his way to make himself the bad guy here. Hey, if that’s how he wants to play it, fine. But then don’t be surprised if she becomes increasingly less and less fond of him…May 4, 2012 at 7:29 pm #23969
um, actually the kids in my relationship love both step-parents. when they’re at our house, i am their caregiver. they have been drawn to me since they were very small. at home, they adore their stepdad. i get that not all mixed marriages have the same results, but you’re showing your bitter.
and actually, lots of step kids and parents in my family as well. again.. the majority (not the minority) of step parents are loved and respected. maybe i should just count myself lucky.May 4, 2012 at 7:43 pm #23970
Or it could be that the step parents that you know and are actually do the right thing. Having heard all the horror stories, I honestly don’t think any of my friends were being petty in their dislikes, sadly. Too many stop parents go out of their way to be unpleasant…May 4, 2012 at 7:50 pm #23972
Thing is, unless you specify “no temporary tattoos”, it’s a non-issue. Writing on yourself with a pen is completely different than a temporary tattoo.
With kids, they are going to manipulate. I have four kids, and two of those kids have their own half-siblings (with other half-siblings). My oldest has two half-brothers from his father. The older half-brother also has a half-sister. My 2nd son has two half-brothers and a half-sister. The oldest half-brother has 3-4 younger half-sibs, the 2nd boy has two half-sisters and the sister has 4 half-brothers and sisters. I have an older half-brother, a younger half-sister (with 7 half-sibs of her own) and a full blood younger sister (not to mention my adopted brother). Trust me – kids manipulate.
Unless you specify temp tattoos, it’s a 100% gray area. Your guy does need to understand that. If she disobeys a directive (i.e., continued to draw on herself after he told her to stop), then that’s different. The punishment needs to be discussed with you though, until he gets the feel/rhythm of punishments for your daughter.
Not all step-parents are considered evil by the kids. It truly does depend on the dynamics at play, the age of the child(ren), and the attitudes of everyone else. While kids can be manipulative, they can also be manipulated. Very easily.
A good rule to institute would be “never punish when angry”. To walk away for a few minutes while a child is sitting quietly, to consider all aspects, hell – to come up with questions to get to the bottom of the situation, anything to make sure that you are all calm and rational when figuring out the punishments.
If too many issues of punishment come up – go to a parenting class together, or go see a family therapist who can help you all establish rules/guidelines. Not just for the child, but for yourselves as well.May 4, 2012 at 7:52 pm #23973
i like to think i know people who do the right thing. i dont understand not doing it i love my step kids very very much. i knew what i was signing up for when i got together with my fiance, and we had many discussions. it’s about the kids, and we as the adults have to do what’s right for them. they didnt have any say in how their lives were rearrangedMay 4, 2012 at 9:06 pm #23982
Though I’m not quite a step-parent, I’ve known my boyfriend’s son since he was 3 years old, he’ll be 9 this year (eeeeeep!) I am in no way his parent, but as Michelle.Lea said I am his caregiver. When he’s with me I am in charge. We’re lucky he’s such a well behaved kid, but there are rules that we all (his mum, his step-dad, my boyfriend and I) know and stick to. The consistency is what makes it work. The grandparents have never quite managed to stick to the rules, but I suppose they are allowed to spoil him
LBH, I reckon you and your partner should agree on the basic rules and repercussions, making sure your daughter understands. Anything out with the basics can be discussed on a case by case basis and dealt with. Since you care so much I’m sure you’ll all be fine!May 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm #24550
Hey again. Just wanted to reply to BGM and ML’s comments on stepparents generally. I have 2, so I am well aware of good and bad stepparents. My situation (not to sound like all the updating LWs) is a little different in that my stepparents came into my life when I was a teen and I had 2 “real” parents in my life already. As some of you may have missed in my first post, my daughter doesn’t have a dad, never met him, she’s also still pretty young and my SOs been in her life forever, first as a friend of mine, then boyfriend who was nothing more than the “fun uncle.” Now we live together and plan to marry/take on a parenting role without actual adoption. Even though she is young, she seems very happy with the idea of having him as a stepdad playing an active role as a dad. I am too.
Because of these things, I feel that its a pretty different situation than just some dude coming in and bossing her around, so to speak. She very much seems to respect him, love him and see him as a father-figure. So maybe that clarifies the situation for you guys a bit.
Finally, I did talk to him and her separately and together and it went really well. Actually, when I got home, there was a wrapped gift waiting for me with a note about me being a wonderful mother and SO, thanking me for allowing him into our lives. Very, very sweet. (early Mother’s Day gift from him was a Kindle Fire!) Thanks again guys for all the advice.
PS Yes, I’m far too excited about AKChic saying I have a good boyfriendMay 8, 2012 at 12:26 pm #24556
It does. But I definitely STILL think you were right in your initial posting here. (Which as you must know, must pain me to say.) I really do think he was way out of line here with regards to his silly overreaction to a temporary tattoo… Is this a fatal flaw? No, far from it. That said, if you start to notice this sort of behavior again and again, I would then seriously re-examen things a bit… Just because somebody is a great boyfriend, doesn’t mean they are a great step parent…May 8, 2012 at 12:29 pm #24557
lbh, does your BF have a brother? Seriously.May 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm #24561
@bgm, Yes. I plan to continue to keep my eyes open for ANY questionable behavior or patterns. Luckily, he’s been both a great bf and great to my kiddo so far, the latter being more important in my mind. I’ve never thought there is such a thing as being too cautious with bringing or continuing to allow someone in your kids life.
@ap, noMay 8, 2012 at 12:49 pm #24564
My suggestion to you is to look around & see if you can come up with any step parenting classes that you could both go to. As your daughter gets older & approaches teenagedom you will be glad you did and that all 3 of you are on the same page – even though you will have to take out your eraser & make some changes along the way.
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