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37

I was brought up by a stepdad, and yes, "You are not my real dad" is an "ultimate defense" used to hurt, and only to hurt, when you feel wronged, and you feel you have no more arguments left to why you should not be allowed to do something/forced to do something. It's the equivalent of saying "You are stupid". He will not change his mind about how he feels ...


18

He may very well feel a little protective of his dad. Six-year-olds are more perceptive than most people give them credit for. He knows his biological dad probably isn't the greatest, and he knows that you're awesome comparatively. He's probably looking for ways that his dad "beats" you to put it in 6-year-old terms. His dad is taller than you and has ...


16

Teenagers are hard to live with when you've known them all their lives. It's harder still when you've only met recently. Step-parents often don't know that the teens are sulky and stroppy to everyone, and assume it's a specific reaction to them. A house rule that nobody is allowed to swear or yell at anybody else might help. At this age, you really need ...


13

As someone who was adopted at four my advice is to ask why the child feels that way, does he feel you are treating him differently than any other child in your family? And then ask what exactly constitues being a "real father". Then I would explain the best you can that you are his real father, you are the one raising him, you took the legal and financial ...


10

Can a step father have a good relationship with a step son? Absolutely! I know of quite a few step-father/step-son relationships that I would consider to be good ones. They range from rather cool mutual respect (two brothers I was friends with as a teenager, towards their step-father), to indistinguishable from any biological father/son relationship ...


10

I agree with Chrys that relationships with teens can be very complicated. They are not adults - parts of their brains are not yet fully developed. Sometimes they act very adult-like, and we start thinking that they are more mature than they are and we set our expectations too high. While stroppy behavior needs correction, it is age-appropriate. You ask what ...


9

My mom died before my kids were born. My father remarried after my kids were born. We struggle with the question of names too. I think to answer this question you need to first ask yourself how important names/titles really are (some would say it's just a name) and then ask yourself how important the person is and how this name would make them feel. My ...


9

As Lennart says, he may say it just to hurt you, but whether it comes out or not, it has nothing to do with whether or not he'll obey you. If you were his biological father, he'd just find some other biting remark. That said, by the time he's a teen, doing the right thing (mostly -- we all make mistakes) should be the result of his good judgement, not ...


8

I've never been in that situation but the first response that comes to my mind is to say "Thats true, and I love you anyway. But you still can't ..."


8

So Far, So Good Seems to me like given the circumstances, things are already looking up and pretty great. I wouldn't recommend asking him to treat you like a father, because you just aren't his father. You do, however, deserve that he treats you with respect just like he should treat other people with respect, and just like he should treat authoritarian ...


7

A resounding YES!! I am a step-father of nearly 20 years now. The youngest is now in his early 20s and we get along exceptionally well. I am good friends with all of the kids - as far as is possible. I can only offer very simple advice which probably applies whether you are a step parent or not. Treat them with respect and they are likely to do the same. ...


7

Tell him: Father is not only a title, its a job. You may not be his biological father by title, but you have the job of his being his father and you plan to do it as well as you can.


6

If he behaves like a grampa, I think he deserves to be called grampa. We call my stepfather grandad (even though I call him by his first name). It can be more complicated if the real grandfather also is around and resents sharing the title with the step-granddad. In that case I would let the real grandfather have a veto.


6

I think that you are doing a great job by keeping this kind of posture: not telling that his dad is a looser, that he is lucky to have 2 dads, etc. He is in a delicate situation: he has a biological dad, he knows him, he likes/loves him, and he is understanding why you replaced him. To know why you are in his place, he will make some comparisions, trying to ...


6

They covered this situation in some depth at our foster parenting and adoption classes. Unfortunately, they don't have step-parenting classes. The key points are: Love is not a zero-sum thing. He can love his biological father significantly without reducing one iota the love he has for you. His biological father is a part of him, a large part of his ...


6

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Child Welfare Information Gateway, adopting a stepchild is actually the most common form of adoption. From my understanding, the primary purpose of adopting a stepchild is to sever all legal ties to the absent biological parent. According to this factsheet, after the stepparent adoption occurs, ...


5

I might say it depends on how much it's affecting your kids, and I would be more worried about the girls than the boys. Your sons probably feel slighted, but your (soon-to-be?) daughters are getting constant affirmation of "You can have anything you want, whenever you want it." At 4 and 8, this is will spoil them quickly. If it were a grandparent or uncle ...


5

I used to live with my stepfather and my mom for many years and at one point I told my stepfather "you are not my real father" in response to him trying to discipline me. I think it was hard for him and he let my mother do the disciplining part. That didn't work either. I think as a stepfather you are in a very disadvantaged position, especially if the ...


5

While your situation is complicated and difficult, it is great to see how far you have come with your and your partner kids. I have the following suggestions: Consistent Response to Child's Action Child should always receive the same message of approval or disapproval for a given action/behavior from all care takers. For example, if a child wants to eat a ...


4

I'm in pretty much the same exact situation you are in (except for my son being 7 months old, which does change some aspects pretty significantly). My mother and her husband sent my wife and I lists of names they were considering, and honestly, we hated most of them. I strongly feel that the parents should be the ones coming up with the list of potential ...


4

Let him know that you love him very much and that you have rules for his betterment. Also, If you feel hurt by that statement you should tell him. It is important that people in general understand when they have hurt someone. If he knows how much you love him and realizes that he is hurting someone that loves him by saying that then he may start to think ...


4

I don't think the name that your kids use for him is going to have a major impact on how they view him. If your mom is worried that your kids do not seem to accept him as warmly as their grandpa as she does as her husband, you should probably have a frank talk with her about that issue. If your kids already love him, then chances are that "Mr. Joe" is a ...


4

Oh heavens! You're doing great with this child already. I gained a step-father late in life, after the passing of my own father. Things were standoffish at first on my part... but the important thing was, my stepfather was THERE for me, was GENUINELY interested in the outcome of my life choices, and TAUGHT me things as a father would. And you know, I never ...


3

Answering the question: Yes. Stop watching television and movies for relationship advice. They typically have dysfunctional relationships that are written by someone that is a great writer because they were in a dysfunctional relationship. I hooked up with my current wife when her son was 5. I couldn't stand that kid until he was about 18. We had a mutual ...


3

I'm not sure if I have an answer per se, but I do have a point of view based on my own experiences. When I was a pre-teen, my mother remarried to a man who had a temper problem (no physical violence) and felt the need to control every situation. One day I was having an animated conversation with my mother. My stepfather walked in to the room at the end of ...


3

What people call each other reflects their relationship with each other. It neither adds nor takes away from their relationship or their memory of anyone else. It seems like you're the only one who has a problem with it. I can understand that. My mom divorced and remarried when I was over 30. Since I never lived with my stepdad I don't feel like he ...


3

If the stepfather has a significant amount of time as her stepfather (~8 years or more) then my advice is for him to be the adult. If he has less than that, 5-7 yrs at the most, then I fear this situation will never get 'better'. She will always remember "that time before Rick" as the best time ever then Rick came along and just got in the way. Of course ...


2

My step dad is a very good. I respect him to the fullest. Everything can work out. I am 13. I trust he has my back; no matter what, I love him a lot. I have only known him for six months, but it feels like I have known him for my whole life.


2

I am amazed at all the different advice given on this subject of what to call a step parent or step grand parent. I was a widower who remarried a widow with three daughters. I had three sons, all were grown with children of their own. On my side of the family there was no biological grandmother, on her side there was no biological grandfather. We have been ...



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