In blended families how important do you think it is that the step parent also be involved in the step child's upbringing? Is it just up to the mother and father to make all the important decisions or should the step parent also have some involvement and say?
By upbringing I also mean being in the loop about what goes on with the child outside of the step parents home, like doctors appointments or any important school things. Basically anything that has to do with the child that benefits the child or effects the child, not how the child is raised at the other house hold.
Trying to make this not completely personal but if you need more info on what I am talking about I will give more info if that helps you answer any questions.
I think it depends on the age of the children, how involved the non-custodial parent wants to be, and how involved the stepparent wants to be. My general thought is that the more people who love a child, the better, but that's only if the adults can get along. My daughter has a friend who has two moms with the same last name that I'd assumed were a lesbian couple; turns out it's a biomom & stepmom, the biomom & biodad swap weeks. I have friends whose stepkids live with them & are treated as their own children; the biology doesn't really matter as far as schools & doctors are concerned, whoever is available, takes them & just reports to the others.
Important decisions need to be made to benefit everyone, and that includes the stepparent. If mom & dad sign Junior up for soccer & expect you, the stepparent, to take him to practice every Wednesday, then you should be in on making the decision. If Junior needs to see the doctor this afternoon & you're home, you should take him even though you're the stepparent. If there's a meeting with the teacher & you're an active part of his school life, then you should be there.
My first stepdad was actively involved in our upbringing. He took us to school, he came to meetings with teachers, he dropped us off for playdates, he knew all our friends & their parents just as my mom did. My dad wasn't interested in being a hands-on parent; he'd come to our piano recitals & plays & other special things, but otherwise just wanted a report on things that happened on his off-time. And my second stepdad came along when I was teenager, I could already drive myself to appointments & meetups & such, so he was much less involved in my "upbringing" than my first stepdad who was around when I needed more hands-on parenting.
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I guess it depends on the situtation. Generally speaking, if both bio-parents are in the childs life, then I think the stepparent should not have any say in the childs upbringing aside from the menial day to day things like what's for dinner and stuff like that. The child did not ask or have any say in their parents divorce or their parents remarriage, so it is not fair for someone new to come into that childs life and start acting like that childs parent.
I am sorry if I hurt anyone feelings, but as a child of divorce parents, I have very little tolerance and sympathy for the parents in a divorce and all my empathy goes towards the child. Just the way I fell and have always felt.
I think that the bio-parents should probably have the ultimate say in the child's life, but I also think that it's unreasonable to expect a step-parent to have zero say in the child's life if they are expected to care for them, spend time with them, make a family with them. If DH had a child from a previous marriage that spent time in our home, I would expect to treat that child like my family too, as my husband's child, and as a sibling to my son. But I would also expect some sort of input on the house rules, being up to date on the health of that child, et cetera. If they are living in my house at least part of the time, I would expect to be involved.
-Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)
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The mother on the other hand thinks that I should have zero say and even when she tells the father she thinks I should not be kept in the loop because I am not his mother or father..
Now if I am crazy for thinking that their should be an open communication and everyone be on the same page for the sake of the child then I would gladly just let it go.. but for someone who plays a huge part in the childs life I find it hard to deal with the fact that I am supposed to sit back and do nothing except take care and nurture the child when they are in my home but anything above that or medical stuff I should be blind to.
I think it depends entirely on the situation and the people involved. I think that there are ways for step parents to be involved that work really well. There are also ways that don’t work at all! I think it is important for the step parent to have a relationship with the step child that is of their own making. A child shouldn’t have to have a close relationship with the step parent if they don’t want to. That said, there are of course day to day things that a step parent has to be involved in.
A step parent should never take the place of the bio parent though! DH’s ex would rather her new partner be DSD’s primary dad figure and not DH anymore. To me this is wrong in so many ways.
When I first got together with DH, my step daughter and I had a really good talk. I promised that I would not try to take the place of her mom, but that I would love to be her friend. We just went from there and let our relationship evolve. I didn’t get involved in the big parenting issues at the start but would send my input through DH. Now she wants me to be her step mom and be involved. (Especially now that we have given her a little sister.) When there are minor issues whichever parental is around will deal with it. If there are bigger issues we discuss them as a group with all 4 parental and DSD giving input. DSD is happy to have me there. I am not sure if she is happy to have her step dad there though. She never got a choice with him. He was just in her life as a dad figure and she didn’t get to have any say. Her mom just decided that was the way it would be. Needless to say, DSD is not overly fond of her step dad and they fight all the time. She had no choice and I think she resents that.
My main thing with kids and blending families is that everyone involved acknowledges that children do (should imo) have the right to be involved in the decisions that affect them. They should be able to dictate what their relationships will be like with their step parents and not have that forced upon them.
I have avery strict and conservative view points when it comes to marriage and families. I don;t want to go into my POV on divorce and remarriage because I don't want to hurt someone's feelings.
Open communication is the best for everyone. A child needs consistancy from all of their parental figures and if those adults are not talking then it is no good for the child.
I also feel that you knew what you were getting in to. You chose to be apart of an existing family unit (even though the parents re divorced). Part of that is realizing that you will be around someone elses children and be in thier life, but not be the parent. That's just the way I see it. I'm sure I am alone on this one, but that's just my opinion.