Questions tagged [step-parents]

Questions regarding the relationship dynamics between a step-parent and a child.

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138 votes
10 answers
47k views

My girlfriend has mentioned disowning her 14 y/o transgender daughter

My girlfriend's 14 year old daughter came out to me as a girl on a bike ride when her mother wasn't there. I fully accept her and gladly refer to her by her chosen name ('Emily' for the purposes of ...
  • 1,196
57 votes
12 answers
20k views

My husband, who is my teen daughter's step father feels bad that he can't have a closer relationship with my daughter

Four years ago, I divorced my ex after 26 years of marriage. He was extremely manipulative and abusive. He kept track of every mile I put on our vehicles and had to explain if I was ten minutes ...
  • 519
53 votes
15 answers
30k views

How should a stepfather respond to "You are not my Father!"?

So the situation is that I'm not the real father of my son. I call him my son since I love him very much, but he is my girlfriend's son from her previous relationship. I'm afraid though... He does ...
  • 1,767
30 votes
9 answers
81k views

How and when should I tell my son that his amazing father isn't his biological father?

My son is going on 5 and starting to learn a lot about how we're created. I've been with my husband for 10 years, but nearly 6 years ago I had no other choice but to move 1000 miles away and after ...
  • 309
30 votes
6 answers
4k views

In Rural India; 14 yo daughter broke her friendship due to her feelings on homosexuality. What to do?

How do I help my daughter understand that being lesbian or gay is normal and as acceptable as being straight? I have a 14-year-old step-daughter who has come here 20 days back to visit us. We live in ...
  • 834
20 votes
3 answers
13k views

Teenage daughter and stepfather

I have a 16-year-old who has no respect for her stepfather. They hardly communicate and each time he says something she snaps or makes a stroppy or contradictory comment. He sometimes loses his temper ...
  • 201
16 votes
3 answers
1k views

Too many variables at play -- troubled "son"

So, here's the story. My ex-girlfriend, whom I have an 11 year old son with, had a son before ours with a man who has never seen his son past the age of one. He's now 16. He grew up a generally happy ...
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15 votes
7 answers
7k views

I love my step son so much but it irritates me when he compares me to his dad

My step-son keeps comparing me to his biological father, and I don't know why. I've been in a relationship with this woman for almost 3 years. She has been married previously and has a 6 year old son....
  • 153
14 votes
4 answers
15k views

Can a Stepfather and Stepson relationship work well?

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 ...
  • 191
14 votes
4 answers
3k views

When is the right time to tell my daughter she's not my biological child?

To try to keep the story short... I got divorced almost 4 yrs ago and I have a 11, 12 & 15 yr old. Now I had my suspicions, but I guess I wanted to look the other way and not find out whether it ...
14 votes
5 answers
1k views

How do I handle when my step kids parent buys them everything they want?

My fiancee and her two daughters (8 years old and 4 years old) live with me and my two sons (7 years old and 10 years old). Six people is quite a houseful :) The girls' father sees them once a week ...
  • 241
13 votes
20 answers
66k views

What should children call a step-grandparent?

My mom remarried to a great guy who has been absolutely wonderful to my kids. Ever since my mom and he were dating my kids have called him Mr. Joe. Lately my mom has been bugging me to get the kids to ...
  • 241
12 votes
7 answers
9k views

I don't know if my step-son hates me, is scared of me, or likes me?

My partner and kids have had issues in the past with previous partners/father figures, being abusive, selfish etc., which has left a mental scar on the 3 of them. I have not pried into it yet, as they ...
  • 611
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

8-year-old stepchild pulling away from his father

I'm the stepfather of an 8-year-old child. He spends every other weekend at his biological father. Ever since they moved in with me, he's been increasingly reluctant to spend weekends at his father. ...
  • 646
12 votes
4 answers
3k views

My sons biological dad moved 6 hours away and wants to split commute times

My wife has a son from a previous relationship. He's lived with me since he was 1. His biological father has always lived about an hour from us. We have always split driving responsibilities for any ...
  • 323
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

How to explain the "fun parent" phenomenon to a 5-year-old?

I'm a step-dad to 3 girls under 6. The eldest is still fairly enamored by bio-dad and while I won't go into the details; he's a man-child. The 3-year-old just follows the eldest at present, but I'm ...
  • 223
11 votes
5 answers
9k views

How should an infant refer to its biological father and step father?

Ex-Wife and I separated when our only child was two. She quickly found another partner and they are now living together as married. I still have regular visits and sleepovers with infant. ...
11 votes
5 answers
46k views

How to stop a (seven-year-old) child from constantly making silly, nonsensical noises and actions?

I am step father to a seven-year-old boy (let's call him H). H's father is very much involved in his life. He sees him every night for a couple of hours and they (Mother and Father) alternate weekends....
  • 2,090
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

How should we support 16 year old step sister who ran away from home

We're in Canada, if that's relevant. My partner and I live by ourselves (late 20's), and my partner's 16 year old step-sister has recently fled an emotionally abusive home life (no physical abuse so ...
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

As a step parent, what should be my role in dealing with a volatile five year old?

About a year and a half ago I met a woman who was going to school full-time and raising a 5 year old little girl. I really just fell in love with both of them and we all bonded relatively quickly. We ...
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

What to do when a 12-year-old boy has defeated behavior management program (Kazdin method)?

I am in a six year relationship with a woman who has two kids, a 15-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy. We have moved a lot. The child's father has been incarcerated for most of the child's life. ...
10 votes
3 answers
5k views

How do I introduce my sons biological father to my 4 year old when my fiancé has taken that role and is called daddy?

My sons biological father and I have been separated since my child's birth. He wasn't on the birth certificate and hasn't seen him. My fiancé has been in my sons life since he was 3 yrs old and has ...
  • 101
10 votes
2 answers
5k views

My 5 year old step son has started crying about everything and wanting to go to moms

Alright, a brief background. My step son is 5 years old, starting kindergarten in the fall. His parents divorced about two years ago, they share 50/50 custody. His mother gets him Thursday evening -...
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

Should I babysit my step granddaughter?

I have been married for over 20 years and have been a stepparent for all of these years since my stepdaughter was just 3 years old. My husband's ex-wife despises my husband and myself and has always ...
  • 91
9 votes
1 answer
700 views

When to adopt a stepchild?

I have heard of a few cases where a stepparent will adopt their spouse's child from a previous relationship. When is this appropriate, and what are the consequences? I know this can be a broad topic,...
9 votes
1 answer
733 views

Building a better relationship between half siblings for a more unified home?

My step son is 5. He's still struggling with the seperation of his parents. We have all been trying to reassure him in this home that he is loved. His father takes him for outings, sometimes, due to ...
  • 91
8 votes
5 answers
2k views

How to be a step-mom to a troubled (or hurt) 5-year-old?

A Bit About Myself I am in my late 20's, and I am a fairly-new-mom. I have been married to my daughter's father for about a year now, but I have been around kids my entire life. I have always had ...
7 votes
2 answers
682 views

How to teach my 22 year old stepson to communicate instead of burning inside?

I became stepdad to an adult boy (22) (I am not the biological dad). He didn't have anyone to teach him or a father-like figure since his dad passed away when he was 7. He never went to college or ...
  • 1,823
6 votes
4 answers
974 views

Should I be expected to love my new step-granddaughter instantly?

My son has been living with his girlfriend for 4 years. He has an 11-year-old daughter and his girlfriend also has an 11-year-old daughter. They live in another state and do not come to see me. My ...
  • 71
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

My son calls my father in law Grandpa "nonno" (in italian) and his wife (step grandma) is telling my son to call him just Grandpa now not nonno

My son has always called his grandma (my mother-in-law) the Italian word for grandma, "nonna" and his grandpa "nonno", the Italian word for grandpa. Recently my son called his grandpa "nonno" in front ...
6 votes
2 answers
871 views

How do I tell my 9-year-old son that my now ex husband is not his biological dad?

I'm in a situation where I became pregnant with the wrong person and decided to raise my child by myself. Since before his 3rd birthday the biological dad disappeared and hasn't had anything to do ...
  • 61
6 votes
2 answers
521 views

Names or Phrases to Use for Step-Mom?

We were taking a great family vacation and on the way back, a stranger asked my 6-year old daughter if my girlfriend was her mom. She said "no, this is Ema, who lives with us." Both of them ended up ...
6 votes
6 answers
4k views

7yo step-son runs away when he thinks he's in trouble

The child in this case is 7 years old. Just as an example; maybe he breaks his own toy, clearly by accident, but right after I asked him not to do whatever caused the breaking. I would like to calmly ...
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Challenges of being a step-father

Background: Almost 6 months ago I met a great woman and she has a son, who just recently turned 7. His biological father is out of the picture, and essentially has been for his whole life. I am 24 ...
6 votes
2 answers
665 views

Want to be Fair / Equal but Still Realistic with Bedwetting Pre-Teens and Social Issues

I have two step-kids. Boy age 11, girl age 10. They both have bladder issues where they still wet their beds almost every night. The boy is a fairly gregarious outgoing personality who doesn't really ...
6 votes
1 answer
594 views

Trying to be the best stepdad I can be.

The relationship I am in is the first with someone that has a kid of her own (I have 2). Her son is 7 years old and I've been his life since he was 4. I noticed then that his mother let him talk to ...
  • 69
6 votes
2 answers
584 views

How to improve the relationship between my misbehaving 8-year-old stepchild and me?

I've been with my other half for nearly 4 years and have been known to his now 8-year-old daughterfor a little longer than that. She has been aware of our relationship for around 3.5 years. When we ...
  • 61
6 votes
1 answer
602 views

How do I discipline my spouse's children?

My spouse and I have kids from previous marriages. He has two boys ages 3 and 6, and I have an 8-year-old boy and we just recently had a daughter together. I'm struggling very hard with his two boys, ...
  • 61
5 votes
2 answers
805 views

What advice can I give to a teen who wants to tell his dad uncomfortable truths?

My girlfriend's Teenage Boy (TB), 14, wants to talk to his dad about things he doesn't like about him, like smoking in the living room. He came to me for advice. Knowing his dad, who is a very ...
  • 866
5 votes
3 answers
34k views

Our 6 years old son doesn't follow instructions very well, bad listening skills, I need help

My step son is 6 years old, he is a very good boy but he isn't doing good when it comes to following directions. He gives up so easy and beat himself up for things that he fails at. For example in his ...
  • 191
5 votes
2 answers
599 views

Topics for kids for moving in with girlfriend and kids [closed]

I'm somewhat of a shy guy, more precisely though I just don't know what to talk about. My problem is that I've moved in with my girlfriend, and she has two kids, a girl aged 12 and a boy aged 14, and ...
5 votes
1 answer
869 views

Handling husband’s 15-year-old daughter with Reactive Attachment Disorder

Two years ago, I met my husband. We are both in our 30s. He’s been married before. I have not been. He has a teen daughter from a relationship he had in college. The mother of the girl abandoned the ...
5 votes
2 answers
505 views

Step parent, but just the guy who is married to mom

I have been with my wife for 6 years. Her kids all had children of their own while we were married. They are still little with the oldest being 9 and the youngest 3 months, then 3 & 4. The ...
4 votes
3 answers
332 views

what do i do if he says i'm harder on her because she isn't my biological daughter

My boyfriend of 2 and a half years loves my daughter and my daughter loves and looks up to him as a father figure, but he said that “i'm harder on her because she isn't my biological daughter” and ...
4 votes
2 answers
367 views

How do i tell my daughter her dad isnt really her dad?

This is weighing so heavy right now. I had my daughter with my ex when I was 20. She is 8 now. To make things simple, my ex husband and I married at a young age and our relationship was rocky. ...
4 votes
2 answers
466 views

Looking for options to deal with 18-yo who refuses to grow up [closed]

My stepdaughter has recently turned 18. She has severe behavioral problems: she urinates in her bedroom, often in her clothes; she starts fires with a lighter; and she refuses to do anything other ...
4 votes
3 answers
799 views

How can I help children in a blended family get along?

My two teenage daughters get along really well. My new husband has four children. My daughters have been the ones to suffer, as we have moved school and house. They get along well with their step-...
  • 271
4 votes
2 answers
981 views

Step Parent - To be concerned or not to be

Brief history: Became involved with a young woman, knowing she had a 5 year old daughter. Biological dad was in the picture til daughter was 2-3, and then left the state. Strangled mother while ...
  • 143
4 votes
2 answers
411 views

Impact of moving to Germany with a stepson and a toddler with signs of autism

I live in the midwestern U.S. with my wife, my 8 year old stepson and our 2 year old son who shows signs of and is undergoing therapy for autism. The company I work for just offered to relocate us to ...
  • 150
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

My step son cries every time he is dropped off

My partner has a 5yo who was 2 when we got together. In this time he has cried uncontrollably every single time he is dropped off or picked up from our house. These tears usually subside if he is ...
  • 41