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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2005
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    Red face I'm going to be a stepmom soon. Any tips? Advice?

    I think the title says it all but here are some details. My fiance has an adorable 6 year old daughter. She and I get along very well and she says she is excited for me to be her stepmom (the feeling is mutual! ). I know I will never be her mother nor do I want to replace her mother. I have talked to my fiance and we've discussed my "role" with his daughter, views on punishment, etc. Does anyone have any tips or advice from their experience that they would be willing to share?
    ***Honorary Member of the "What is BOSS?" Cult...er...CLIQUE***
    ***Prominent Member of the 'Irrelevent Posters Clique'***
    CrayolaPosse ~ Bluegreen



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2004
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    Yonder, USA
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    Default

    Keep talking to her father and, if it's all all feasible, both of you should be talking to any other adult who'll be involved in raising her (such as the mother). Most of the friction I've observed in blended families (both as a step kid and now a stepmom) has been differing expectations amongst the adults (but mommy lets me do x, y, and z! Or, worse, you and your husband not being on the same page). It takes a lot of work to keep good communications going, but you'll be rewarded with a much healthier relationship all around.

    Enjoy her--she sounds like a doll!
    ---------------------------


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    Jan. 27, 2004
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    Yonder, USA
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    Default

    double post
    ---------------------------



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2006
    Location
    VA
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    815

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    Does DD live with you or Mom? I have been with my now husband for 10 years, but we just got married in Sept. So I got 2 new DSD and he got 2 new DSS. Here is the way we look at it and how we explained it to the kids (age appropriate of course)
    A step parent is just another good guy on your side. Some people are better at dealing with some things than others, and step parents just give you more options. So if there is ever anything you think a step parent may be better at handling than Mom or Dad it is just fine to come to them with that problem.

    Discipline hasn't been to tricky, but I think the fact that both of us have kids helps. We just treat them like our own, so no one thinks it strange if I get after a DSD for cleaning up her clothes, because I get after DS for not cleaning his up. So all the expectations are the same. I say just like training someone elses animal, tact, patientce and most of all steadiness is needed.

    Congrats on your upcoming wedding!


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2004
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    Piedmont Triad, North Carolina
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    I am a step-father to two daughters. Met them at 4 & 6...Married them at 6 & 8. They're 31 & 33 now!

    After 25 years, we can see what we did right and wrong (All parents start at novice level ! )

    First thing we did right was children are "OURS" for loving, for discipling, for support, for saying "NO", etc. ... EVERYTHING just like bio parents. If not... The child will always be a step-child. And you will always be the Step-Mom" In my case, the daughters are my children. We are close, I feel awkward saying "step-daughter" to new people. It's obvious to see that no bio-link is there. I just say "daughter". I sense they're a little conflicted too. They'll say step-father and father alternately when introducing me.

    I have seen the other side of "Ours" to "his or hers", several times in other families. The child suffers, the marital relation suffers, the child-adult relation suffers.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
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    As a stepchild (on both sides, no less), my only advice is that she may not always like you, just like any teen... but will eventually come back around.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2002
    Location
    Northern KY
    Posts
    4,461

    Default Make sure you and Dad are on the same page

    and be prepared for the BM to change when you and Dad are finally married. At that point, the former wife realizes that he has actually moved on.

    Before DH and I got married his then 10 yr old daughter was my best buddy. After? Her mom did everything in her power to make both us and her daughter miserable. To the point of telling DD that she didn't have to listen to either her father or I and if she didn't like the rules she should "call 911 and say you are being child abused". Her house had zero rules. As in eat junk food, don't brush your teeth/hair, change your clothes, bathe, etc.


    I wish you every luck, we spent thousands on child psychologists and counselors with zero cooperation from the Mom. We lost, child lost, I guess her Mom won, but small comfort to us. We do not have a relationship with his now adult child and haven't for over 10 years, her choice. God knows we tried.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
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    3,317

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    The BM of my stepdaughter changed the moment we said we were having a baby. I don't think there is anything we could have done differently.

    My advice would be to enjoy every single good moment.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2004
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    Piedmont Triad, North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinz 57 View Post
    As a stepchild (on both sides, no less), my only advice is that she may not always like you, just like any teen... but will eventually come back around.
    Yes ... From my experience ...Lose them at 13 get them back at 21 (maybe)



  10. #10
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    Mar. 6, 2002
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    Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by hosspuller View Post
    Yes ... From my experience ...Lose them at 13 get them back at 21 (maybe)
    Pretty much. I'm 25 now, and do have some guilt about the things I put my stepfather through. Fortunately, he's a resilient man and managed to treat us as his children, regardless.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  11. #11
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    Sep. 11, 2008
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    Snohomish, WA
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    So much depends on the x. You can have the best of intentions but if the x wants to play sabotage its tough. You have my sincerest best wishes.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
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    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
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    Being a stepparent is the hardest and best thing I have ever done.

    I am not sure I was all that good at it, so I will limit my advice to: go slowly when it comes to policies and discipline, make sure the lines of communication between yourself and DH stay open, and have a sense of humor

    My DSS lived with us from about the age of 12 on. He's now in college and doing very well, (and coming home to visit us for his winter break tomorrow!) but the early years were admittedly hard on all of us. At the time, I would have said DH and I were on the same page about discipline etc, but when push came to shove, he was guilty over the divorce and tended to be a LOT more lenient than I was. We eventually figured out compromises; bedrooms could be private - read messy - spaces, which living rooms and other public spaces had to be picked up. (Sounds simple, doesn't it?)

    I agree that the ex in the equation can make a huge difference in how things go. Hopefully you will have one that puts her kid first and behaves like an adult when it comes to the inevitable conflicts that arise.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2007
    Location
    small town, Ohio
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    I am so relieved to read some of these posts. Last night my husbands facebook account was up when I fired up the computer. I read a drunken four-letter word rant from my stepson about how we could all go to hell and it was all MY fault. Mind you we havn't heard heard from him since he drunkenly crashed my sons 6th birthday party 4 years ago.

    It really does have everything to do with how the ex behaves. My husbands ex was the most materialistic woman I've ever met. My husband was nothing but an ATM to her and she taught her son to be also. So when we hit hard times (really hard, like rolling change for gas to get to work) she told him that his dad didn't care about anything but his new wife. Child support was ALWAYS paid on time, BTW, even when our mortgage wasn't. We did eventually lose our house.

    The most mature thing I ever saw my husband do as a father was when my stepson showed up with a letter from his mom listing all the things she thought he should pay for (outside of the child support arrangement). He sat the child down with his paycheck stub and our bank account statement and explained how much his mom was getting out of it, how little we had left to live on, and why we couldn't pay $600 for a field trip to DC, especially since he had just been suspended for a week for calling a kid and effing n-word.

    And all Hell broke loose when my son was born. "Your dad has a new kid and doesn't care about you anymore."

    Anyway, I could go on and on for days.

    All I can say at the end of it all is that you are not in control of how it goes. There are so many main players and honestly you are, for now, a minor one. The child's first loyalty is to the main players: mom and dad. All you can do is your best and don't blame yourself if things go wrong that are beyond your control.

    My stepson is an adult and I'm still beating myself up over that Facebook post I read last night, even though I know I did everything I could.
    Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway



  14. #14
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    Mar. 6, 2005
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    Thank you for all the advice, everyone. Luckily, he and his ex-wife are great at putting their daughter first. Having their line of communication open and on good terms will be important. He and his exwife currently share custody and she spends one week with her, one week with him. We know that situation will not work forever and that she will want a "permanent" home at some point; she likes the situation now because she loves spending time with her parents.

    I don't have any biological children so the whole parenting thing is new to me. I love spending time with her. I realize it won't all be roses but I do love when she says things such as asking if she and I can have a special party, just the two of us, each year on the day we met to celebrate our friendship anniversary. On Christmas, I overheard her telling my fiance that this was the best Christmas ever because they got to spend it with me. I should ask her to write it down next time she tells me that we are going to be best friends forever; that way I can pull out the paper and remind her of that statement when she is a teenager!

    My fiance and I have discussed my role and I am taking things slowly. My parents were divorced when I was young and I grew up with stepparents. I lived with my mom and stepdad but have a strong relationship with my father and stepmother. I've talked with soon-to-be-DSD about how I will never replace her mom. I've also told her how my stepmom is not my mom but is a good friend that I can talk to if I have problems and want to discuss them with her. I have also talked to my mom about becoming a stepparent as my stepfather had a daughter (stepfather passed away a decade ago). I've also talked about it a little with my stepmom. I think they will be good resources, too.
    ***Honorary Member of the "What is BOSS?" Cult...er...CLIQUE***
    ***Prominent Member of the 'Irrelevent Posters Clique'***
    CrayolaPosse ~ Bluegreen



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