|View Poll Results: Should StepParents Discipline?|
|Yes - if there is behaviour to be redirected, why not?||70||59.83%|
|No - the bio parent should always do it; no matter what||11||9.40%|
|Sorta 1- Bio parent should be notified first- then step can go ahead||9||7.69%|
|Sorta 2 - both parents (bio or step) should do it together always||27||23.08%|
|Voters: 117. You may not vote on this poll|
Anyway, on 2 separate occasions he told the stepmom (who lived with kids full time btw) that she should never discipline. She should support her husband when he does it, but it can NEVER be her.
I thought it was kinda strange. I mean, so, if jr is jumping on the couch, I go run and get dh? Huh? If I leave my kids with babysitters/aunts/uncles/grandparents/teachers they have the right to but I dont because I'm a step parent?
What do you guys think?
p.s. I dont mean discipline as in spanking/hitting or any form of abuse. I'm talking about the consequences of actions stuff.
However, Dr. Phil isn't a god and is not always right. Even he realizes that and that each ramily is different. If it works without undue tension, do it.
In his book he also says that if the kids are really young when the step gets involved then kids can readily accept discipline from them. My dss will always have memories of me and my disciplining him since I was apart of his life since he was a baby, so I don't worry about it. If I catch dss doing something he shouldn't, dh and I are often sending him to time out at the same time. lol, that happens a lot when there are two people who are actually consistent with a discipline plan. If dh isn't here, then I definately discipline dss. Since dss takes all disicpline so personally, it works really well with him. THANK GOODNESS!!
There is no such thing as bad weather. Only bad clothing.
Coming from a divorced family as a teen, my steps didn't discipline, they just complained to the bioparent. So any punishment was seen as a result of bio being nagged at-not from whatever I had done.
Originally Posted by SillyTreeFairy
In his book he also says that if the kids are really young when the step gets involved then kids can readily accept discipline from them.
I was 12 when my mom married my stepfather. From the beginning I never liked the man (still don't) - we always had a horrible relationship. He was demeaning and condescending. To this day I get mad when I remember him disciplining me. I felt like my mother didn't even try to talk to me and shoved everything off on him. I resented him and felt that he had no right to discipline me. The resentment and hatred I felt towards him did not stem from him disciplining me but they did grow because of that. There were also other issues caused these feelings. To this day if I never saw the man again then I would be happy.
Whew, where did that vent come from? : Bottom line, I think it depends on how the relationship is between the adult and the child.
Chaotic mama to 5 plus a bonus one on the way.
As an adult in the home, I think the step-parent should be included. It would be his/her couch in the home, too.
My fiance, who isn't actually a full-fledged step dad yet, disciplines my kids all the time. Disciplines in the way I would, and it is fine.
My ex's gf also disciplines my kids, as does every other mature adult who has my children in their care from time to time.
For serious issues, we always discuss with each other first what should be done, even go so far as to also talk to my ex, so that we are all on the same page, but for the little, every day things, if redirection is needed, he handles it. Case in point..we went out to dinner for Mother's Day, and my 4 year old started spinning around in line, it was very crowded as we waited for our seats, with wait staff walking back and forth. Jeff bent down to face level and told Rick "Stop spinning. You are in a restaurant." This worked for a little, but when he got fidgety again, Jeff took him outside and let him run around a little bit.
I think if it is done in a way your own principles do not agree with, then yes, you may have to be the only one who handles it, but I would hope in a marriage situation, you know enough about each other's ideals to be on the same page as far as discipline is concerned, or at least respect how each other parents.
I think the notion that stepparents and discipline don't mix comes from a different idea of 'discipline' than we have in our family -- sort of an [ominous music] "it's discipline time" idea, as opposed to guidance and natural consequences. After all, natural consequences would seem pretty unnatural, if they came as "wait until your father gets home, then there'll be a natural consequence!"
Where appropriate, I suppose I "disciplined" solo with my stepkids, in that I responded to their behaviour when I was the one who was present for it. When issues came up, dh and I preferred to deal with them together with the kids, to discuss and come up with solutions - but that's not because I was a step, it's because that's just how we do things in our family, with any of the kids.
Originally Posted by mammastar2
I think the notion that stepparents and discipline don't mix comes from a different idea of 'discipline' than we have in our family -- sort of an [ominous music] "it's discipline time" idea, as opposed to guidance and natural consequences.
Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013. If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!
I agree with having the same plan but I can't go get my husband everytime dss doesn't clean up his dishes or something, of course. Dss was 5 when we got married and he was very accepting of me. He has never (YET) said that I 'm not his real mom or something since that wouldn't help. Dh as always been clear with him that an adult we leave him with is in charge so of course that means me, too.
As he gets older though, I do difer to dh a bit, step back a little. I don't know if this is 1. that his mom is back in town and is engaged so it seems like he has enough parents around here or 2. my fear of upsetting this balance. Of him actually resenting me when now we get along so smoothly. I feel lucky that he doesn;t pull that "you're not my real mom" thing so I shouldn't push it. Of course, if I'm home alone, I'm in charge but if dh is home, I kinda poke him in the shoulder and nudge him on.
Again, our family lives very differently from DHs ex.
Originally Posted by mammastar2
After all, natural consequences would seem pretty unnatural, if they came as "wait until your father gets home, then there'll be a natural consequence!".
If spanking or other undesireable disciplinary practices were involved, I'd say "hell no" but then no one should be treating *anyone's* kids like that anyway.
Gentle Discipline, almost by definition, can be used by *anyone* reagardless of the "pecking order". Hell, my daughter uses it on *me* from time to time.
(Coming from a blended family and having had a wretched step-mother...or two...)
OT: I can't believe I didn't notice this forum before!
yes, if the child lives with them. I don't think a step parent should discipline if the child only comes to their home for visitation, unless the step parent is babysitting the child alone.
If, on the other hand, the child is a very young child or infant at the time when the relationship begins, I think it's totally appropriate for the stepparent to discipline. Although it should definitely be in line with what the bio parents desire(assuming BOTH bio parents are still involved).
But if the stepparent came into the child's life at an older age, they really need to step back and have more of a friend relationship. My stepmother never had kids of her own and tried to force her own agenda on us. It doesn't work.
I think parenting is a very messy, challenging commitment. . . . but step-parenting is even more challenging because the step parent (if disciplining their step child) would have the same responsibilities and challenges but without the very important aspect of unconditional love. I am a birth parent and a step parent, my dh is both, as well, and I can tell you that from my research and personal experience -- the feelings you feel for bio dc are just different than the feelings you feel for dsc. For a long time, I felt guilty that I didn't feel the same exact way about my dsc as I do about my birth dc. Then I learned that it is normal. Also, watching my dh with my own dd (who is my dh's dsd) over the years, I've learned that, no matter how much he loves her, it is not the same. The degrees are just different. The degree of unconditional love, the degree of self-sacrifice as a parent, the degree a parent is willing to stretch and grow to meet the changing needs of the dc. Also, the degree to which a parent has the child's best interest at heart.
On a certain level, I think the dc are always aware of these vested interests/ variations of interests of the parent vs. the step parent. That is why it is human nature for the dc (or the bio parent!) to feel violated or resentful of the step parent -- the child can actually feel the step parent crossing their boudaries! My dd was actually a toddler when we became a family; she was very open to my dh being 'daddy' right away. I was the one who was having the problem with him, though! I had been a very passionate mother before we met, leaving no stone un-turned in my quest to be the best mother I could. So, even though he had known her since she was born and loved her, his feelings toward her were not quite the same as they were for his own blood. So when he responded to her and her needs, behaviours, etc. his thoughts and intentions were not running as deeply as mine would under the same circumstances. Well, I felt offended by that. I felt he needed to just back out of the controversial role of parenting and be more of her friend, as you put it, Bri276.
Than being said, of course I believe the step parent should have some authority. But, as a pp said, I like the idea of the step parent only having authority over simpler, everyday things. I like the idea of the birth parent being the one to make the difficult decisions and meet the more complex discipline needs. That is what took years of experimenting-with for us to conclude for our family.
Also, one other thing. . . .
I have witnessed an interesting thing in this area of step parenting/discipline. You know how people who've never had dc often think they know better than parents how to parent/raise dc? (Until they have their own, of course. ) Well, I've seen step parents 'step' into children's lives and try to re-direct the flows of energy and tell the bio parent what's best for the child. I'm not quite sure what to label that behaviour, but my intuition tells me it's wrong -- no one knows a child and that child's needs better than his/her bio parents.
I think the challenge will be when the baby comes (due 9/7/05). That will add such a new dynamic to our family it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
I guess my long winded answer is that I would expect my DH to disipline my DS within the guidelines we have agreed upon. Fortunately there is great respect between the two of them so usually just a correction is all that is necessary.
On the one hand, I agree, step back and be a non-parent authority like a camp counselor/teacher/aunt, but if you plan to raise kids together and those kids will live with this dsc. . . . I don't know.
But, again, we only have visitation and that's if she shows up.
In my case, I certainly do - I didn't at first since it was all new to me (being step parent to these particular children that is - I grew up raising all kinds of kids - my siblings/cousins etc) , but I started to notice that there was this mentality that developed of things they wouldn't do around dad, but would around me... So I started stepping up things a bit more, and now we've got it down to a pretty comfortable zone. Though I still notice sometimes if I tell one to knock off a certain behavior - there's a sly glance at dad to see if he's paying attention.
I think though, that in some circumstances a step parent disciplining can be a rocky situation - say like an abusive step-father and a young girl...
It's all pretty case -dependent.