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Old 12-29-2010, 10:55 AM
 
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Have any experience in either? Both? Something that you would never recommend, or was it ultimately gratifying?

Is it inherently more difficult to be in a step situation, on either end? Or is it a matter of chemistry, or lack thereof, regardless of bloodline?
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:07 AM
 
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It depends on the people involved. I have two wonderful stepchildren. I've been in their lives for a few years. My DH has primary custody. We have combined our family sucessfully. We respect every one's opinions and their right to express them. We respect every one's right to privacy and sense of space. We do not make the children compete with each other nor with us against their other parents.

Also age is a big factor. It is easier to blend when the children are younger than when they are 10-14. Figure out what place you want in the child's life and work towards it. Realize that you will never have the 'power' that a biological parent has, but if you approach it correctly, you will have the respect.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rockinmomma View Post
It depends on the people involved. I have two wonderful stepchildren. I've been in their lives for a few years. My DH has primary custody. We have combined our family sucessfully. We respect every one's opinions and their right to express them. We respect every one's right to privacy and sense of space. We do not make the children compete with each other nor with us against their other parents.

Also age is a big factor. It is easier to blend when the children are younger than when they are 10-14. Figure out what place you want in the child's life and work towards it. Realize that you will never have the 'power' that a biological parent has, but if you approach it correctly, you will have the respect.
Such a great take you seem to have, and congratulations on successfully navigating the step situation. So, you do not have biological kids that you brought into it?

I think our problem arose because of my wife's reluctance to discipline. She is a good mother in so many ways, but by nature not very heavy handed. This has left the disciplining, and I use the word loosely, mostly to me.

I was also a step kid, and I clearly remember the knee-jerk resentment that I had for my stepfather. It was a good thing he was pretty hands off and my mother, she never shied away from discipline.
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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I am sorry, I should have made sure I listed that I do have a bio-son.

I also have had a stepmomma and two step dads. Technically, I think I have had at least one more step mom, but since my father isn't involved im my life, I never met her. The stepmomma that I do remember was fair and a diciplinarian. I was so eager to be accepted by my father, I was estatic that my stepmomma treated me just like she did her own 'blood' daughters. Also, my stepmomma was indian (native american) and she made sure I was accepted into her culture, even though I was 'that little white girl' to most of her family.

Step father #1 was a lousy excuse for a human being. We will just leave it at that.

Step father #2 is a jewel. Of course, by the time he came along, I was grown. But he is the most gentle, kind man I have ever met. He makes my momma happy and that is all I could ever ask for.

I have never been too heavy handed with my kids (bio and step), but we do use dicipline.... usually of the natural consequence kind. I do not believe spanking is effective after kindergarden age. My DH and I talked about dicipline before we married. We agreed to back each other up and to discuss behind closed doors when we disagree with a punishment. One thing that has excelled for us, also excells for traditional families..... consistancy. If you say you're going to do something.... do it. this is how children learn to trust their surroundings, plus it eliminates the bargaining and/or arguing about punishments. You will need to get thir mother to back you up. I would not allow her to use you as the 'bad guy' and make you the punisher parent.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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I have both a MIL and a step-MIL. (You may all groan in sympathy now.) I get along better with the "step" than my DH does.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:13 PM
 
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Mr. Humble, my husband and I chose to learn how to blend a family BEFORE making mistakes. My husband and I attended step-family seminars before we started parenting together. I highly recommend it. We never had any problems being a step family. We were just like a normal biological family from day one. I think the fact we were both committed enough to attend a step-family seminar ahead of time contributed towards our success. It's never too late to attend these seminars. There were couples at ours who weren't new to step-parenting.

DewDropInn, I'm growing in sympathy for you! I hate inlaws as it is. I couldn't imagine dealing with step-in-laws too!
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Humble View Post
Have any experience in either? Both? Something that you would never recommend, or was it ultimately gratifying?

Is it inherently more difficult to be in a step situation, on either end? Or is it a matter of chemistry, or lack thereof, regardless of bloodline?

This really depends on the people involved. A close friend is a Step-Dad (SD) to two girls since they were around 3. They're in their 20s now. He and his wife have two children together. The stepdaughters adore him. He was a great father and treated them like his own. His wife also allowed him to discipline and be a dad to them (scouts, school, homework, ...). BioDad, granted an arse, did not intefere (friend was 6'5 325lbs which helped in that regard).

I have another friend that married a woman who had a son. They had a son together. She never allowed him to discipline or be a dad to his step-son. As such SS never got respect nor bonded. It also created difficulties with his son in that he was disciplined by the dad (my friend), but not his step-brother. Also, BioDad would get his son to do "things" to the house, my friend's dog, step-brother, ... because my friend had no authority over the SS. They eventually divorced.

IMO, the key to blending families is for all parties to be on the same page, and that includes the non-custodial parents.
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:06 AM
 
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My husband is my older son's stepfather, until he adopts our son in 2011 anyway.

It depends on the dynamics of the family as to what role a step parent takes. My husband is my son's father. He has been in his life since our son was just 2 years old. Our son doesn't know the sperm donor (sorry if that offends but that is exactly what the guy has proven himself to be). He has never met his bio and never will if I can have a say about it. That ship has sailed.

My husband and I also have a son together, biologically. We do not think or refer to the boys as half brothers. They are brothers, through and through.

But like I said, the whole thing truly depends on who is involved, how much they are involved etc. There is no one size fits all approach.
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Old 12-30-2010, 07:59 AM
 
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My situation is a little different, my step daughter lives in a different part of the country and comes to visit about a week at a time 3 or 4 times a year. I do not dicipline her much 1) it's not usually needed, she's a very good kid and 2) since we spend so little time together so I try to be the good guy and not the evil step mother as much as I can. Ocasionally I do have to say a little something to her just as I would to ANY child who is in my house and does something wrong, but big problems get redirected to DH or I ask her to call her mother.

In the begining our relationship was a little akward but it's really blossomed into a nice friendship and I've become a loving adult in her life that she can confide in and ask for advice when she's uncomfortable asking her parents or if she wants to understand where they are coming from.

Dew Drop--I too have a MIL and a step-MIL, although my step-MIL is a lovely lovely woman, unlike MIL who is a very bitter pill. I guess I got lucky at least one is a welcome addition!
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by icibiu View Post
Dew Drop--I too have a MIL and a step-MIL, although my step-MIL is a lovely lovely woman, unlike MIL who is a very bitter pill. I guess I got lucky at least one is a welcome addition!
Both of mine are very nice women in their own ways. I can't complain at all. One is "old school" manners and actually has dinner parties. The other is a godless Communist. (She's the one who is the most fun. Once you get used to the fact that she has no mute button and is going to tell you exactly what she thinks.)
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