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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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September 16, 2005, 4:19 pm CDT

I cannot stand it anymore

My husband and I have married 1 year ago when my son, who lives with us, and his daugher, who lives with her mom and her new husband, were 5 years old. SInce the wedding, my husband always yells at my son. You can see that he loves his daugher, but hates my son. My son is not like all the boys - he is more quiet, loves to play with small stuff instead of with big cars; and that makes my huband crazy. It does not really matter what my son does, for my husband he always does it wrong! I tryed to talk to my husband millions and millions of times, but all I get is "your son needs a discipline, but you are making an idiot from him". He can yell at me infront of my son, but when I tell him to shut up, he tells me "You see, every time I want to educate your son, you are trying to work as an advocat. Do you think  your son is going to respect me later???".  

I'm just tired of that. I don't know what to do... 

 
September 18, 2005, 8:14 am CDT

Step-Parenting

Quote From: olgasc

My husband and I have married 1 year ago when my son, who lives with us, and his daugher, who lives with her mom and her new husband, were 5 years old. SInce the wedding, my husband always yells at my son. You can see that he loves his daugher, but hates my son. My son is not like all the boys - he is more quiet, loves to play with small stuff instead of with big cars; and that makes my huband crazy. It does not really matter what my son does, for my husband he always does it wrong! I tryed to talk to my husband millions and millions of times, but all I get is "your son needs a discipline, but you are making an idiot from him". He can yell at me infront of my son, but when I tell him to shut up, he tells me "You see, every time I want to educate your son, you are trying to work as an advocat. Do you think  your son is going to respect me later???".  

I'm just tired of that. I don't know what to do... 

Sounds to me as if some family counseling might be in order, ASAP. Stepfamilies can be difficult to navigate, especially for parents with preconceived ideas about how boys or girls SHOULD act. Every child is an individual, and should be respected for who they are, not degraded because they aren't behaving like a "normal" boy or "normal" girl.  
 
September 19, 2005, 5:18 pm CDT

Something I have learned

Quote From: karlamae

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 9 years.  He has a 13 year old son.  For the upmost part, he is a good boy – he just doesn’t pick up after himself.  I have led myself to believe this is probably in good part because of his mother doing every thing for him.   

 

  

 

I have never really said much to him.  It is hard to have conversations with him because I find he either just ignores me or mumbles a response.  This has led me to stop trying to make conversation with him.  I feel he is just uninterested in anything I have to say.  I know that he doesn’t like me – he has told family members that he would like to see his father with someone else.  I hate to ignore him.  The only things that I find myself saying to him are: “yes, please, thanks, no problem”. 

 

  

 

I am tired of hearing my boyfriend freak out at me for ignoring him.  I tell him that the boy can talk to me too – conversation does go both ways.  All he says is “you are the adult and he is the child”.  Shouldn’t children be taught to make conversation?  He says nothing to me, no hello or even a goodbye. 

 

  

 

Is there any advice that someone can give to help me try to make this work? 
 I am step-mom to six kids.  Most of them have grown, left home & are starting lives of there own.  Now they are friends, but in the beginning it was not so rosy.  At first I thought they were demons from hell & was amazed  how rude & lazy they were.  My parents were very strict & their Mom never had any rules. My husband is easy going & believes in choosing his battles & using love, & humor.  So we were at odds at first.  As they say, hind sight is 20/20.  Even though it seems like 18 will never come....six years really do go fast.  Right now your 13 yoa step son is dealing with raging hormones that trick his brain.  He doesn't know how to handle his own life, let alone deal with family life.  If you can, try to stand back & see what relationship you want  with him when he is grown.  My advice is just show him love.  Let him know you care about him as an individual.  Let him know that even when he makes mistakes you still love him, but you don't love the mistakes he makes. Not picking up after himself really isn't something to ruin a day.  My husband never will do that, but he does plenty of other things that are good.  Let your step-son know things that he does do well.  Focus on that.  Most teenage boys forget how to talk anyway.  No matter how smart they are.  It's alot of just being a teenager.  Use love, humor & choose your battles.  You & he will get along better.  Good luck.   Our 3rd son is in Iraq now. How thankful I am I learned to love & be a Mom & friend.  I fought with him the most & this year he named his ffirst child (a son) Westley, my maiden name.  That meant so much to me.  You really can do this, its tough, but really worth it.
 
September 28, 2005, 8:57 pm CDT

HOW CAN I HELP MY SON TO SEE WHAT HE IS HOW TO HELP??

I HAVE A 27 YEAR OLD SON.  HE MARRIED 3 YEARS AGO TO A WOMAN WITH A SON..  HE WAS 6.  AS TIME GOES ON HE REALLY IS VERY TOUGH ON HIM TO THE POINT OF BEING ABUSIVE, HITTING, SLAPPING AND KICKING.  I HAVE TRIED TO TELL HIM HE WASN'T RAISED THAT WAY.  HE REALLY NEEDS TO SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH HIM  HE NOW HAS 2 OTHER CHILDREN, BOTH GIRLS, WHICH ARE TREATED BETTER.  IT BREAKS MY HEART TO SEE HIM MISTREAT HIS STEP-SON.  HE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHY  (STEP-SON ) DOESN'T LIKE HIM.  WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP.  WORRIED MOM AND GRANDMA. 

 
September 29, 2005, 1:54 pm CDT

My duaghters friend

  

   MY daughter has a friend whos parents got a devorce when they did she gave him custudy.because of her work hours.He makde the kids call her by her first name after he remarrid.then took the kids didn't tell anyone wher he moved to and made the kids cut all tiey with lold friends and her relitives.my daughters freind call us up one day and said that she i with her mom know and has started to came and visit regularly.She said she tried to kill her self three times the third she was handed over to her mom.When she tells us about her life with her dad and stepmom it makes me cry.Youthink cinderalla was bad her strepmom was worse or is.one one suicide attmptte her stepmom told her to go ahead and do it they had her funeral planned that was at the hospital thats why the docters hanned her over to her mom.she is tring to get custody of the othet two.When she was living with her stepmom and real dad she was put on all sorts of meds by some doctor 7 i think her mom said .her dad covinced the doc she was crazy she told me she wasn't allowed to talk to the doc with out him present  he would get mad at her if she wsaid anything to him so she just sat.She is know off all of those meds and is doing really well she is very happy person know .The new doc siad there was no reason for her to be on all those meds.She hates her dad right know cause he told her she is daed to him and won't talk tto her at all.he did the samething to his olest son when her turned 18 and moved out and was talikng to his mom and would not call step mom mom any more.so he cut off his retationship with his son cause he said it wan't fait to him that he was close to him mom and wuold not call her by her first name and call h9isstep mom mom.Some devorces go so very wrong. why are some people out to hurt the other perso like it wont effect the kids. 

 
October 6, 2005, 10:08 am CDT

abusive step dad

Quote From: pdcbrown

I HAVE A 27 YEAR OLD SON.  HE MARRIED 3 YEARS AGO TO A WOMAN WITH A SON..  HE WAS 6.  AS TIME GOES ON HE REALLY IS VERY TOUGH ON HIM TO THE POINT OF BEING ABUSIVE, HITTING, SLAPPING AND KICKING.  I HAVE TRIED TO TELL HIM HE WASN'T RAISED THAT WAY.  HE REALLY NEEDS TO SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH HIM  HE NOW HAS 2 OTHER CHILDREN, BOTH GIRLS, WHICH ARE TREATED BETTER.  IT BREAKS MY HEART TO SEE HIM MISTREAT HIS STEP-SON.  HE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHY  (STEP-SON ) DOESN'T LIKE HIM.  WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP.  WORRIED MOM AND GRANDMA. 

I think you need to make your son see that it's his fault his stepson hates him. Ask him how he would feel if it was his daughters in this same situation. I canunderstand that he is probably really frustrated. I myself have a 9 year old stepson, they can be difficult, but it's the step parents job to be the adult. Your son needs to try walking away. My question is why isn't the mom doing anything about it?!? Does she know that her son is being hurt by her husband and if so why does she let it happen? My husband and I also have 2 other children now and my stepson is about to come live with us. I know it will be hard and I would NEVER hurt my stepson, but I am concerned with him having different discpline than our 2 kids and there have been times my stepson is mean and has pushed my 2 year old daughter. Maybe that has happened with your son and he feels he has to be tougher on his stepson in order to keep his girls safe. It is no way right what he is doing, but maybe he has some buried resentment towards his stepson that he needs to uncover. Whatever it is, he and his wife need to figure it out and SHE needs to step up and stop the abuse.
 
October 7, 2005, 6:42 am CDT

Stepson Nightmare!

I am the step parent of a 17 year old boy. He is a sweet, funny, and smart kid, but has no discipline in his life. He skipped school so much last year that he failed some classes. He signed up for summer school "online" but then never completed it. We have caught him in numerous lies over and over again. He is waiting to hear if he is going to be charged with a felony. A friend of his and he decided it would be a funny joke to tie a girl friend of theirs up to a pole and throw water on her. The girl's mother did not think it was such a funny joke, hence she pressed charges.  

He came to live with us last year for 3 months. It was a struggle every single day. When we were finally getting somewhere with the discipline, he asked his Mom if he could move back and she let him! 

What do I do as the step-parent? I have virtually no "control" over the decisions made regarding him, but I have to suffer the emotional and financial consequesnces of his lack of discipline. My husband is reluctant to discuss this with his ex in any great length because she becomes defensive and angry when he does. He left her for me after we met on the internet. She is not our biggest fan, but we have managed to be cordial and have talked briefly a few times.  

My upbringing was pretty strict, and it drives me crazy that my husband and his ex can't see that their  lack consistency in discipline is the number one contributor to their son's current and future demise.  

Please help! Any advice on what I should do would be appreciated. I am tired of being the heavy, but I know someone has to be. 

Thank you. 

 
October 7, 2005, 11:20 pm CDT

Joint Custody??

I have been a step-mother longer than I have been a mother to my 4 yr old. daughter.  At first, I got along with my 2 stepsons' mother.. that is, until I was about 7 1/2 mos. pregnant with my daughter.  She had full custody of the boys, and decided to move them out of state.  She was planning to do this secretly, but we were tipped off by some of her family that were concerned about the boys.  We immediately got a lawyer and a Status Quo Order to stop her from moving until custody modification could be determined.  We (my husband and I) and she and her husband sat down and decided on joint custody.. a six month split.  (They were 4 & 5--preschool and kindergarten.)  The boys would move with her, but come back to live with us for 6 mos.  This did split up their school year, but we had an agreement that if they were doing better in one school over the other, they would live full time with the parent in which school district they were doing better in.  Hands down, they were doing better with us.  After going back and forth 3 times, we had filed for full custody.   

  

Things got pretty ugly in court.  But in the end, she got full custody because she had a son from a previous relationship.  The judge thought it would "detrimental" to the oldest son if his brothers didn't live with him.  The judge did not even take into consideration that the 2 boys have a relationship with a sister on our side.  By the time we went to court, their sister was 3.   

  

The thing is, we were able to show how the boys didn't miss any school when living with us, while missing on average 12-16 days out of HALF of the school year when they lived with her.  We were able to show stability, only moving once in 4 yrs, but had been at our current residence for 3 yrs; while she had moved 7 times in the same time period.  We were able to show we provide a heathly and educational environment for the boys, while she admitted to taking the boys to R rated movies, and buying them M rated video games.  The judge had said of the movies and games they watch while with their mother, "that's the way kids are these days."  By the time we had gone to court, her husband had been incarcerated on felony charges from before they were married, and she brought her new boyfriend to court to testify on her behalf!    

  

THE SYSTEM FAILED OUR FAMILY BIG-TIME.  We went to court without the benefit of mediation, which is mandatory in Oregon.  Both sides had wanted a custody evaluation, but when we did not chose her lawyer's best friend who happened to be a family/ custody evaluator, they stalled until the judge would not allow us to proceed with the evaluation.  We did not even get the benefit of family counseling or parenting classes, which were so badly needed in this case as my husband and I and the boys' mother have such different views of parenting. 

  

I wish Dr. Phil would highlight the problems with the family court systems in America.  I don't understand how most states would presume that each partner in a marriage gets 1/2 of the property, but one parent usually ends up with the children.  In OREGON, where I live, Joint Custody in never awarded unless both parents agree to it.  This is presumed to be that both parents need to work together and be on the same page when it comes to joint custody.  I think that states should be encouraged to put joint custody on the books as a 1st resort.  Parents should be made to attend parenting classes and counseling to make it work.  While I believe that it is better for the boys to be living with us, I cannot believe that it is better for children to live with one parent than to experience life with both parents.  When one parent has the children for on average 25 days a month, and the other only has 4-5 nights parenting time, something is fundamentally wrong with that. 

 
October 9, 2005, 10:26 am CDT

Your lawyer wasn't good enough

Quote From: kimmyj76

I have been a step-mother longer than I have been a mother to my 4 yr old. daughter.  At first, I got along with my 2 stepsons' mother.. that is, until I was about 7 1/2 mos. pregnant with my daughter.  She had full custody of the boys, and decided to move them out of state.  She was planning to do this secretly, but we were tipped off by some of her family that were concerned about the boys.  We immediately got a lawyer and a Status Quo Order to stop her from moving until custody modification could be determined.  We (my husband and I) and she and her husband sat down and decided on joint custody.. a six month split.  (They were 4 & 5--preschool and kindergarten.)  The boys would move with her, but come back to live with us for 6 mos.  This did split up their school year, but we had an agreement that if they were doing better in one school over the other, they would live full time with the parent in which school district they were doing better in.  Hands down, they were doing better with us.  After going back and forth 3 times, we had filed for full custody.   

  

Things got pretty ugly in court.  But in the end, she got full custody because she had a son from a previous relationship.  The judge thought it would "detrimental" to the oldest son if his brothers didn't live with him.  The judge did not even take into consideration that the 2 boys have a relationship with a sister on our side.  By the time we went to court, their sister was 3.   

  

The thing is, we were able to show how the boys didn't miss any school when living with us, while missing on average 12-16 days out of HALF of the school year when they lived with her.  We were able to show stability, only moving once in 4 yrs, but had been at our current residence for 3 yrs; while she had moved 7 times in the same time period.  We were able to show we provide a heathly and educational environment for the boys, while she admitted to taking the boys to R rated movies, and buying them M rated video games.  The judge had said of the movies and games they watch while with their mother, "that's the way kids are these days."  By the time we had gone to court, her husband had been incarcerated on felony charges from before they were married, and she brought her new boyfriend to court to testify on her behalf!    

  

THE SYSTEM FAILED OUR FAMILY BIG-TIME.  We went to court without the benefit of mediation, which is mandatory in Oregon.  Both sides had wanted a custody evaluation, but when we did not chose her lawyer's best friend who happened to be a family/ custody evaluator, they stalled until the judge would not allow us to proceed with the evaluation.  We did not even get the benefit of family counseling or parenting classes, which were so badly needed in this case as my husband and I and the boys' mother have such different views of parenting. 

  

I wish Dr. Phil would highlight the problems with the family court systems in America.  I don't understand how most states would presume that each partner in a marriage gets 1/2 of the property, but one parent usually ends up with the children.  In OREGON, where I live, Joint Custody in never awarded unless both parents agree to it.  This is presumed to be that both parents need to work together and be on the same page when it comes to joint custody.  I think that states should be encouraged to put joint custody on the books as a 1st resort.  Parents should be made to attend parenting classes and counseling to make it work.  While I believe that it is better for the boys to be living with us, I cannot believe that it is better for children to live with one parent than to experience life with both parents.  When one parent has the children for on average 25 days a month, and the other only has 4-5 nights parenting time, something is fundamentally wrong with that. 

Is there any chance of  you and your husband finding jobs and moving a mile or two from the ex-wife?   

  

The thing is that although you and your husband are the more responsible parents the geographical separation has caused the problem.   Fairness to parents becomes unfair to children once the two homes are much more than 10 miles apart in my view.  

  

Leaving aside the merits of each home - the  judge's view is that the ex-wife hasn't behaved so badly that custody is out of the question - whatever happened was going to disadvantage 1 child - your daughter or the ex-wife's eldest son.  In his/her view a better case was made for favouring the ex-wife's eldest son than your daughter ie the ex-wife's lawyer was smarter than yours.  Your lawyer couldn't establish the ex-wife was a REALLY poor parent.  Her lawyer played up the relationship between your step sons and their step brother.   

 
October 13, 2005, 8:59 am CDT

Boyfriend jealous of my son

I moved in with my boyfriend about a year ago.  There is a 15 year age difference between him and I.   I share custody of my 16 year old son with my ex, and I cant help but get the feeling that my b/f is jealous of the relationship I have with my son.   My son does his own laundry, cooks, and with a little pushing will clean up after himself as well.  I went from seeing him everyday while his father and I were together to now only seeing him half as much. (Two weeks with me, two with his dad) 

  

My son was always involved in basketball, and I really enjoyed the 3 nights a week of practices and weekend games etc... that it involved.  I was very active in fundraising etc... for their team and loved the interaction with the other parents as well.  Due to an injury, and surgery, my son was unable to continue with basketball and no longer plays.   (He hasnt played since I have been involved with my new hubby)  Any time that my son and I talk about his basketball days, my boyfriend generally has comments about how wrong it was for me to have spent so much time and money catering to my son.  He thinks that kids are to be told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it and that kids are not to be catered to at all.  He thinks that because we were so involved that he was a spoiled rotten "only child".  He has 3 older children from a previous marriage who have told me that living with him when they were younger was very difficult. 

  

Last year my son had gone through a stage where he was testing his limits , (missed curfews, smoking, a couple of missed classes) but never anything serious.  Even though my son has done really well in the last year, and hasnt gotten into any trouble, my b/f always brings up the mistakes that he made.  My son has never talked back to my boyfriend, or me in a disrespectful way.  My son and I have had a couple of arguments over what he can and cannot do, and we have both said some things that we have regretted, but all in all, my son and I are really close. 

We have two completely different ideas about discipline and communication.  I believe that by asking my son nicely to turn a light off that he forgot to turn off, he is more likely to do it without  us getting frustrated with each other.  My boyfriends idea is to allow my son to leave the room, wait until he is either busy doing something else, or sleeping and then tell him to get his ass up and turn the light off.  I know that my son is not the only teenager out there who leaves lights on, forgets to hang a towel up, forgets to rinse a dish out etc.... and I really dont think screaming and hollering about every small thing is the answer.   

  

The last straw came last week when my son forgot to turn the light off in his room, he had been sick for the previous two days, and this time instead of asking him to do it himself, which is what I usually do, I did it for him.  That is when my b/f started screaming that I was spoiling him rotten, (in front of my son and this wasnt the first time) that I might as well spoon feed him.  He then brought up the fact that I was too affectionate with my son, and that it wasnt healthy.  What he was referring to is a month before, my son had come home after playing football, and said that his back was really sore, he asked if I would rub it for a minute in hopes that it would make it feel better.  I did it, which I really dont think there is anything wrong with.... I'm lucky that I have a teenage son who will let me get within 10 feet of him.   At least once a month I make it a point to hug him, and I dont go a day without at least telling him once that I love him.  Sometimes, my b/f makes me think that I am crazy for trying to keep my relationship with my son a close one.   He has also made remarks in front of my son and his own 3 kids, about him (my son) being a sponge (when he was 15, and not yet allowed to get a job), spoiled, catered to, and just like his father.  I am really ready to throw in the towel as I dont want my son to start believing that he is a bad person.   

The other issue is with the way that his kids and grandkids act when they visit our home.   The basically do what they want, when they want.  When I ask why they can come into the house and do what they want but if my son leaves a light on a war breaks out, he says that when his kids were his age, they had to tow the line.  He says that he cant control how they act etc... now that they are grown and on their own.  He says that if I have a problem with how they act, I am to confront them when they are doing it.  I love each and every one of his kids, and I generally dont mind when they come around.  I just dont like when my son gets singled out as the only one to do things wrong.   

I have told him time and time again that I wouldnt be so touchy about him criticizing things that he does wrong if only he could once in a while also give him some positive feedback about something he may have done right.  He never has! 

  

I really love him, and he can be a very nice, funny romantic guy.  I just dont know if I can continue walking on eggshells when my son is around, scared that if he does something wrong, he will again be belittled.  I would love to hear feedback, good and bad from anyone....   

  

Am I crazy?  Am I being too overprotective?  Is he jealous?   

 
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