stepparents and parent-teacher conferences - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 10-20-2005, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Question...

What do you think about stepparents going to parent-teacher conferences.

My husband has 50% custody. So that makes me with these kids 50% of the time (1 week on 1 week off). I actually spend more time alone with my stepchildren than their mom because when they are with me I give them my undivided attention. mom is a social butterfly that tends to invite friends with kids over so the kids can play with hers and she can gossip with the friend.

BTW Mom and I are both stay at home moms & our spouses work.

Anyhow, I play a big part in the children's education. I almost always help them make up work that the didn't complete at their mom's house. The teachers say let them get an "F", but I have a hard time with that. I don't feel the child should fail to prove a point to mom.

I have always attended parent-teacher conferences with their father. My husband has encouraged their mother to take her husband with her to her conferences because he is also involved with the children 50% of the time. She has never done this and resents the fact that I go with their father. She wants to have one conference with each teacher rather than two (one for her and one for me) and she wants she and my husband to have the conference rather than me.
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#2 of 16 Old 10-21-2005, 04:19 AM
 
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If the teachers don't mind to 2 different conferences, then I don't understand her problem with it. Its not like your going and she can't or anything. I say just keep doing what your doing. The more that ALL the parents are involved, the better. Its for the kids not her.
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#3 of 16 Old 10-21-2005, 11:24 AM
 
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If your husband is the type of person who will stand up for you being most comfortable, I would have him notify the teacher that there should be two different conferences. The two of you could let the bio-mom decide if she wants to meet with the teacher first or second. This has always worked in my situation, but my step-son's mom usually doesn't even show up for hers.

If your husband doesn't want to cause any conflict with the bio-mom and is making a big deal about it, I would personally let them meet at the conference together and schedule another time for myself to meet with the teacher whether it be by myself or together with my husband.

The third option doesn't sound feasible, which would be for all three of you to go in together and meet. That certainly isn't a good idea if things could become confrontational!!! And I think that's why most teachers are so willing to set up two different conferences for their students living between two homes!

Good luck!!
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#4 of 16 Old 10-21-2005, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The teachers have never had a problem with it. In fact, they say they have done this with other parents and are okay with it. My husband has a current restraining order against mom and everything she does with us continues to be confrontational.

Even if it were just the two of them, I know the focus would go away from the children's responsibilities and move on to which is the better parent. She cannot accept equal parents, she must be the better parent. We have so many emails stating that.

I just wanted to hear that there is nothing wrong with me meeting with the teachers.

She seriously thinks that a stepmother is nothing and shouldn't get involved with the children. This is how things are with her husband. She and the children live a separate life than her husband and they all live in the same house. Crazy.

Thanks
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#5 of 16 Old 10-21-2005, 12:04 PM
 
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From this and your other post, it sounds like our husband's exes are (sadly) very similar!

When we lived in the same city as her and the kids (we moved away two years ago), we always had separate parent-teacher conferences from her, and I attended with dh. The teachers had no issue with this at all. They're not the ones with the stepmother 'issues,' and they appreciate parental involvement. There were sign-up sheets in front of each classroom, and we and she both just picked whatever times worked for us.

So far as her wanting dh and her to go together, I'd suggest to him he just remind her that he has a restraining order against her and is not comfortable attending with her. Beyond that, it's his and your business if you attend with him.
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#6 of 16 Old 10-21-2005, 12:09 PM
 
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If there is a restraining order involved, they shouldn't be meeting together anywhere. Wouldn't that be a violation???
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#7 of 16 Old 10-21-2005, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The restraining order states "except for peaceful contacts regarding children". Of course mom can be very fake in front of people she wants to impress, but eventually falls apart due to the pressure of being nice to me.

It's good to know that others have the same idea that I have.

I've always thought the people helping the child with school work at home should have the right to address concerns to the teacher. My sister's babysitter used to go to parent-teacher conferences because she had my nieces after school and helped with homework. No biggy with my family.

Thanks for the advice. I know I should stick to my gut instincts, but sometimes that woman gets me to second guess myself sometimes.
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#8 of 16 Old 10-23-2005, 03:13 PM
 
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I just got married a month ago, but of course have been in my sc's lives for longer than that. The split is also 50/50 between our households too. We switch on Mondays. I asked to have separate parent teacher conferences because I feel like I contribute greatly to the sc's education. Every day after school I spend an hour with them studying. This shows because on the weeks we have the babies, my ss will get an A on his spelling test. He fails his tests on the weeks his biological mother has him. Their mother cannot stand the thought that I am a part of their life now. I am a very nonconfrontational person. I only want what's best for all our babies. Of course she can't stand to be one-upped, so she calls my husband at 9:00 at night and is just starting to study with them (they are 5 &7 and are always in bed by 9 at our house). It is just so frustrating and I just wanted to say that I understand what you are going through. I think it is very appropriate for step-parents to ask for different conferences. All I can say that as long as we continue to do what is best for our children, that is the best we can do. It hurts to know that his grades are suffering because she does not take the time to study with him and he is too young to know the value of studying by himself. Keep working hard, they will thank you for it in the end.
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#9 of 16 Old 10-23-2005, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's good to know I'm not alone.

My husband just recently went back to court because his ex wanted full custody. One of the reasons is because my stepson received a low "A" on his report and he could have received a high "A", but I messed it up. She said I was competing with her.

My husband had an email from the teacher stating that hardly any children received "A's" and he should be proud of his grade. It contradicted mom.

My stepson rarely does his homework at his mother's and she never discusses her concerns with the teachers. She then attacks me via email (the restraining order we have on her prevents otherwise) stating that she doesn't want me involved in their education.

Guess she's afraid that I may "look better" as a mother than she does. It's so crazy. I've never tried to compete with her. I'm just being myself.

This is her insecurity. One day she will work it out on her own.
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#10 of 16 Old 10-24-2005, 08:39 PM
 
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All parents should attend parent teacher meetings. Whether you're bio/step/custodial/non-custodial. I mean, like a pp said, the more parents involved, the better. Its a no brainer.

That being said, we make separate appointments. It works much better that way. We got tired of the hostility. One time (it was the first meeting with the teacher) dh introduced himself (name and role) and then me (name and role - stepmom). Dh ex flipped! "shes not his stepmom, shes just his wife I'm _____, his real MOTHER " And the big kicker? Dss lives with us full time.
There were many others where she made a scene, made dsd cry once. All very sad. So, we stopped and made our own appt. Funny, she doesnt go anymore.

We asked my ex if he would prefer to go on his own and he said yes. No hard feelings, his schedule was very different from ours. He has no problem with dh going to p/t meetings. He never has.

Hang in there,
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#11 of 16 Old 10-24-2005, 08:45 PM
 
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I've yet to go to one of dss's parent/teacher conferances, but this year I will. SO usually invites biomom, but she doesn't go, no reason or anything, just never shows up.

This year, I'm with him more than anyone else, and help with homework, and notice some issues he has (emotional, mental, etc) before anyone else. So, I wanna be there to talk to the teacher myself personally.

We'll see what happens. Conferances are coming up in 2 weeks.
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#12 of 16 Old 06-17-2007, 10:35 PM
 
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Teachers rarely mind. They usually prefer it. (And I'm speaking as a preschool teacher, as well as a Mother and a StepMother.) It's the BioMom in my case who threatens to "make a scene" if I show up.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#13 of 16 Old 06-18-2007, 05:12 PM
 
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It sounds like you do quite a lot of parenting, even more than you husband, so I think it would be highly beneficial to everyone involved if you were to attend.

As long as the teacher has enough time for two separate conferences, I think that would be a great idea.

Mama to A born 8/7/99
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#14 of 16 Old 06-18-2007, 07:06 PM
 
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I would handle this by having the separate conferences like you do now OR having one combined conference where she, her DH, your DH, and you are all able to be there. Yes, it makes for a big conference but it is not okay to push you out of the equation just because you are not a bio parent. After all, you do give half of the parenting to her children. It's okay for you to help raise them but not attend conferences?? Not okay!
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#15 of 16 Old 06-20-2007, 03:59 AM
 
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I bring Prolific Poster to parent/teacher times whenever we can. I know my X brings her SSP, so why should Prolific Poster miss out? She spends time with the kids doing homework and stuff too...

Don't overanalyze. You will drive yourself nuts trying to not tread on the X's toes. Live your life and let the chips fall where they may.

BTW, y ou are VERY lucky to have your skids 50/50.

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#16 of 16 Old 06-25-2007, 07:12 PM
 
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Sometimes I am the only parent at dss's conferences, so I think it is fine.


As a teacher, I have NO PROBLEM having two conferences for one child. We used to do that in the past, but when bm stopped showing for hers, we do the only one now.
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