View Full Version : New at step parenting
02-06-2008, 10:42 AM
Hello. I could use some advice on an issue that I am having since I am a new stepmom. I have one child who is 7 and we are now living with my husband and his children (3 of them, ages 11, 9 and 2). He has the 11-year-old son full time and the 9-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son part time. My daughter lives with us full time. Recently, my daughter and his daughter have started fighting, A LOT. I hear his daughter tell him that she hates my daughter. My husband has now become more critical of my daughter and criticizes her more than he praises or encourages her. This is a new development that I want to stop soon. I have told him this and he is aware and admits it. He also has begun babying his daughter because she feels left out since she is only her part time. When I ask him to, he does spend time with my daughter one-on-one, and they get along much better for a day or two afterwards. However, his daughter gets jealous and starts picking fights with my daughter and telling on her to get her in trouble. I love his daughter and we get along fine. I spend one-on-one time with her every day because I don't want her to feel left out. I need some advice on what to do with this issue before it gets out of hand. I am also having some problems with my 2-year-old stepson. We get him for a week at a time, every other week. The problem is that I am the one that stays home with him all day while my husband works and the other kids are at school. While he is with me all day, he is perfect. He hugs, kisses and wants me to play with him. He's also started calling me "Mommy" which he picked up from my daughter. However, when his dad or brother gets home, he cries for them and wants nothing to do with me. He will not let me get anything for him and he doesn't want me to touch him at all. Is this normal? It bothers me because I don't want him to hate me, and I don't know what to do to fix it. Thank you for any advice you could give.
02-07-2008, 09:43 PM
This is really common. I am assuming you were smart enough to go to pre-marital counseling given the very complicated dynamic of your family. Did you discuss these types of issues? Is that counselor available for further counseling? I woudl stop this before it gets out of hand.
02-10-2008, 02:30 AM
Sounds to me like normal behavior, the kids are testing boundaries and unless you and dad are on the same page with all the kids they will keep playing you two, and don't worry about the two year old sounds to me like he loves and trust you but when daddy comes home he wants daddy, plus if you give him any sort of attention over it he will keep it up just down play it ,(very loving) oh daddies home I'm going to go do this now because I've spent all day with you and you need some daddy time and walk away, oh be sure to greet your husband at door first before you do this. as far as the girls go unless one is hurting the other physically they need to work it out on their own they are wanting parents to take sides and doing so can hurt a marriage, if they are fighting over a toy and come to you with the problem just take it away put it up on a shelf and tell them you girls are old enough to share and since you came to me I’m taking it away that’s it no discussions none, if they keep bombarding you with, but she did this then hand them a piece of paper and a pencil each, and let them know I'm not able to hear this right now but feel free to write about it, and dad and I will read it tonight, it will simmer the petty fighting real quick if they know they can’t just harass you both (“ but most of all be consistent and on the same page with your husband do this and anything can work”)
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03-28-2008, 12:55 PM
I agree, The most important thing to do is stay intuned with your husband. Especially when the children are not in ear shot. discussions on how to raise the kids should be private.
Being a step parent, I know how the kids can use the leveage to get there way. Heck even non step kids do that.
Set your rules, stick to them.
It is hard for kids that are bounced back and forth to adjust. If you set the rules of "Your House" and stick with them, they will learn that is what is expected of them in your house. What happens at "Mom's", you cannot control. The closer they are in age, the more they will fight and argue.
As far as the 2 year old. He does not make rational descions of my dad, I am acting out for him etc...... He just wants Daddy. The younger they are the harder it is to go back and forth and realize different rules.
The optimium would be for all the adults to discuss and work out similar rules. But if that were done, they probably would not have split up. there for less ex's out there.
My daughter and her ex seems to work things out well finally. They do not have issues about I can do this at dad's and I can do this at moms, They communicate better know than when they were married. There house rules are similar and that makes the back and forth easier on the kids. Do they fight and argue with the step and half brothers and sister, of course but a lot of it is cut, because of cooperation of the adults involved.
Just stay consistent with all the kids, with a mixed family you cannot look at it from the point of few of my kids his kids, etc.... It has to be our kids.
03-28-2008, 03:30 PM
I am not a step mom....but I have one and I LOVE her to death. My situation was similar to yours, but it was my sister and I and her son that SHE had to deal with. Being on the the other end of the spectrum, I would say the best thing that worked for us as kids growing up with step siblings that live together, is to make sure you and hubby are on the same page. If you guys have the same rules and boundries then the kids will know that they can not get away with more from one parent than the other. It helped us growing up becuase believe me we tried pushing boundaries but didn't get far. It is good to spend one on one time with each child. I am sure it makes it hard when they are not living with you full time but things will work out. Good luck.:)
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