I am in relationship with a woman with a 6 year old son. I entered his life when he was 4 and so far we have had a very close relationship. He seems to listen to me, enjoys activities with me, and also he takes orders more from me than his mom. I am not married to this woman yet. I really love her and she is a great woman.

But I'm not sure if a step father and step son relationship ever turns out well. All the examples I have heard or seen were awful. Has anyone ever heard of a step son was respectful toward his step father and them getting along with a great relationship?

Please tell me if you personally know of any case that turned out well, and how well.

  • 12
    You never hear about the good ones because they work. A good step-relationship generally doesn't get pointed out because there is no useful need to highlight it. Bad step-relationships are frequently (wrongly) blamed on the fact that it's a step-relationship, and poor relationships are more "noticeable".
    – longneck
    Commented May 1, 2013 at 18:58
  • 1
    Just the fact that you are considering how to make it work well and if it can shows that you are being considerate and likely to make things work as well as any first-time Dad would. Mistakes get made in any parenting relationship, but kids are actually amazingly forgiving when they know you love and respect them. Why shouldn't it work? Commented Nov 1, 2013 at 3:29
  • Listen to longneck! Bad news travels, good news just is.
    – Marc
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 19:12

4 Answers 4


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 (several of my friends fathers, and several of my friends who married women with children from previous relationships).

I have a better relationship with my step father, who married my mother when I was 37, than I do with my biological father.

As to what you can do to make it work... it sounds like its simply a matter of continuing to do what you've been doing. You've been introduced to the boy at an age where he's much less likely to harbor resentment towards you, or view you as a "replacement dad". You've established a close relationship already.

There's no magical advantage to a biological relationship when it comes to parenting.

Step parents... adopted parents... it doesn't matter. If anything, you've got an advantage because you would be taking the step of becoming a parent not only willingly, but knowing ahead of time what your son will be like.

For some additional insight, you may want to look through the answers to this question.


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. Do not expect them to treat you with respect, but they probably will anyway.

There is one moment that will rock your world - that is when you get the response I don't have to do anything you say - you're just a friend of my mum! Plan your response early to avoid unnecessary grief. I answered You are absolutely right! and walked away. :)

I look at it as though I skipped all the yucky nappy changing stuff and got to the good bits early on, although a free pass through the teenage years would have been nice. :)


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 distaste, but he did what I said when it was warranted. He accepted (may not followed) my advice when he needed it. And one day, before he turned 18, we worked it aaalll out. Ever since then, it's been, I think, what we both always wanted.

You're psyching yourself out. If you keep telling yourself "this is going to just blow to smithereens any day now" then it will.

Bottom line: just be the best dad you can be and the rest of that crap will fall into line.


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.

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