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39

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 ...


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 ...


9

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 ...


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 ...


8

You have a rebellious 14 year old living in your house, and she is testing her limits everywhere. Several things come into my mind as I write this. Why is she living with you? Where is her mother? Is she living with you against her will? How is her relationship with her father? Why were her parents divorced? Where does she get money to buy a new phone when ...


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 ...


5

Some of this is simply something you must work out with your ex-wife. What a child calls his/her parents, or any individual, is largely a matter of convention and personal choice; some people aver all such names and instead ask their children to use their first names. Others prefer "Sir" and "Ma'am" and very formal names. That's really up to you and ...


5

Let me take a stab at answering this from the opposite side of the situation: I am a full time custodial parent (mother) who found a new partner when the child was 18 months old, said partner is now my husband and a full time care giver ("daddy" in every way except biological) to the first child and two more of the child's (half) brothers (technically). Ok, ...


5

You ask if she is a bad influence on your twins. The answer is no, not at this point, because their powers of observation are not so sharp that they will learn behaviors from her.


5

It is possible for shaking a young child (up to five years old) to cause trauma. You should take Rose to a medical professional immediately. I sincerely hope that Rose is fine and my heart goes out to you. I know that you've been trying hard with your step-daughter and I am saddened to hear that her behavior has gotten worse. Assaulting her sibling is ...


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 ...


4

A related question is Teenage daughter and stepfather and reading that you can see that teenagers invoke similar emotions in the adults who have to deal with them, even when other things about the family are different. Let me suggest a few things for you to try: don't expect her to adore the new babies. You adore them, her father adores them, strangers on ...


4

You two are going through a lot recently... stay strong! On topic: I can see a bit where the "weird" comes from in your daughters mind (because to her, it certainly is weird, or at least strange), but where did she pick up the "dirty"? You said she picked up the meaning on the internet: what kind of sites did she find? Her first landing may have heavily ...



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