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What is a stepparent's role?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
What do you think a stepparent's role is in raising his/her stepchildren?

For example; parent/teacher conferences, trips to the doctor, extra-curricular activities, sick children, discipline, etc.
post #2 of 5
Absolutely! The key word in step parent is "parent". The more adults that care about a child the better.

I do have to say, that sometimes it feels like a stepparents role is to just shut up and sit out. :

But I try not to let other peoples insecurites bother me. I know my kids are all better off for having the 2 extra parents in their lives. (and then the 2 extra sets of grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins etc.)

What do you think of your role as stepparent?
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Same thing as you. It just feels good to know I'm not the only one thinking it.

I posted a legal question on a legal family law forum. I received a reply from a person that said I was overstepping my bounds by wanting to go to a parent/teacher meeting or field trip. He felt that this is something the "parents" can do alone. He didn't go far enough to explain his opinion of what a "stepparents" role was.

I think the role of any parent should be based on their amount of time spent with the child. My ex spends about 2% a year with our son. For that reason, he leaves all decisions making to me. He also understands and welcomes my husband's position in our son's life.

I spend a little more than 50% of the time with my stepchildren. The custody was 50/50, but with the holiday schedule it's actually 52%-dad and 48%-mom. I am actually alone with the children more than mom. When the children are in my home, I have no company to distract us. We socialize when the children are not home. When the children are with mom, she has lots of company and distractions. The children have time to talk to me about personal issues, etc.

Given this scenario, I don't think I should be kept in the dark with their childrearing.
post #4 of 5
No, you shouldnt be kept in the dark. The only person that "helps" is the parents own insecurites. It doesnt help the kids one bit.

My ex and his wife see ds every other weekend. He leaves the big decision making to me and dh but likes to be informed and have a say. Which we do. That being said, whenever something comes up like, I want to switch weekends, or have ds come home early for something, I always add, "talk to ----(wife) about it and let me know." And he does the same for me. We respect each other and the new partners role in our childs life. It takes a village you know?

Now, dh ex wasnt to keen on answering with, "let me talk to laura about it and I'll get back to you". But I think she finally sees that I'm not trying to take her place, I'm just augmenting the parenting group. Now she either calls me directly (since I'm the sahm and run the house) or calls dh and says talk to laura then call me back.

It took a long time (6years and counting) and things still sway back and forth. But I've learned my words can hold alot so I be sure not to mention things like "home". Ex, I would say, "what time are you bringing them back?"

Little things like that seemed to help change her attitude.

Good luck!
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
I do the same with my ex. Sometimes I'll call and ask if he can take our son for the weekend. He'll immediately say yes. I then ask him to speak with his family first & make sure they don't have any plans that he doesn't know about.

Six years eh? It's been 4 for us. I don't see mom acknowledging stepparents anytime this century.
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