127

You are clearly very loving and supportive of your step-child. This is a great gift you are giving to her. However, it doesn't sound like you have that kind of a relationship with your girlfriend. Your girlfriend's child only came out to her 5 days ago. For 14 years, her child has been her son. She has imagined a life far into the future with and for her ...


61

How do I best protect Emily ... from the bullying she's experiencing from [her mother]? You are in a tricky situation. It's very likely that you will lose your girlfriend and Emily over this issue if you do not somehow figure out how to support both parent and child. Given that you are not Emily's father, nor her mother's husband, you have absolutely no ...


56

Kids love their parents. This is true the vast majority of the time, even when the parent is abusive and manipulative to an extraordinary degree. Therefore it is extremely difficult to form a close relationship with a child if you are trying to replace their parent. or if you make the biological parent wrong, or otherwise say bad things about them or about ...


40

This is a fantastic question. You are wonderful for your level of consideration given a perplexing situation here. The Problem: I used to be Emily. It's over 25 years later, and this thing just doesn't really go away. At 14 you already knew at 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13, every day. Yes, Emily thinks about this at least as often as any teenage ...


36

I have some experience in this area. About 10 years ago I married my wife, whose children were teenagers at the time. A lot of the tension from her divorce was dissolved rather quickly, and there is a lot of trust in our family now. So when we first got married we made the decision together to do a couple of things. First, I made it a point that I was going ...


34

My approach is not much different than what I'd suggest for plain vanilla everyday families: Why not supplement the biology part with a discussion of what makes a father a father or the fundamental difference between producing and raising a child? IMHO, every child's education on sex should include these aspects. We want to raise responsible adults, not ...


32

Warning harsh answer, not because I don't support transgender people, but because of your position in the family and how you act in this situation step-daughter ... my girlfriend I assume you mean your girlfriends child, over whom you have no legal guardian status. 14 year old ... it ended with Emily going to her room and refusing to come out The ...


26

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 ...


25

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 ...


17

I applaud your intention. Please note that my answer here does not take into account what may be appropriate in your culture as I am not familiar with its norms. First to consider is that she is your step daughter. My experience being a step child is that the step parent has no where near the same respect as the biological parent. Working with her father ...


17

Sometimes this site can be very liberal. It makes me afraid to post an answer like this, but here we go anyway. You have two serious problems. None of which are your step-son/daughter. The first is you. You accept this behavior, your allow for it. You're supportive of it. Now that doesn't normally sound like a bad thing, but it can be. Especially when the ...


15

Most of what you should be doing is talking the mother down. Help her realize that while this is a shock and unexpected, it's far from the worst-case a parent can go through (her child is healthy and has a long life expectancy still). Look into PFLAG or other organizations in your area that are set up for parents of LBGT kids (http://www.hrc.org/resources/...


15

I think you should tell your son to call his grandpa whatever he is comfortable calling his grandpa unless his grandpa asks him to call him something else. You're not overreacting and I think you are right in feeling this way. If your son is uncomfortable with the change, it's not up to her. Explain this to her next time, calmly, without fighting. Don't ...


13

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 ...


13

If it were me -- (and there are only going to be opinions, no 'answer'), I would take the opportunity to be positive and loving. Show this baby who you really are and teach her to appreciate her family -- all of them. Just keep showing 'them' who you are. Hold your head up. There will always be people who for no good reason, don't like you. You are smarter, ...


13

Perhaps he is trying too hard? What does he mean by “getting close”? It is normal at her age to be a bit off from the man of the house. I don’t know her age but I would guess she’s a teenager. The new man pops up at home replacing what she thought was the best man around and above all of this he is the cool teacher at school. My two cents is that your ...


12

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 ...


12

There's no point discussing "good parenting" with a child. Actually there's no point discussing it at all with anybody. There will be (are) a lot of occasions in which your child will be exposed to different discipline levels or rules than the ones you set at home. Was it for stronger or weaker discipline (they are probably allowed more at home than they ...


12

You are not expected to love your new graddaughter the same as your first one. But you are expected to love her for what she is: a beautiful loving child (your own words). That means she is an individual that has a right to be seen as such. She is not an incumberance or a distraction that comes between your first grandchild and you, but an addition. How ...


12

A simple answer for "bullies outside the house" which applies for all bullied children: get them to a martial arts class. Personally I'd favour jiu jitsu, but pretty much anything will do the trick. There's nothing bullies like more than someone who can't fight back. There are two elements to fighting back - one is mental, and the other is physical. ...


11

My situation was very similar to yours. My husband and I filed natural paternity since neither of the boys legally had a father at birth, and the courts gave them his last name and amended their SSN's and birth certificate so that we are protected legally. Neither of my boys knew their "donor" or bio-dad as we came to call him when they got older. We just ...


11

It's fairly simple why he does it: kids don't like getting into trouble, and his avoidance method works because it delays his consequence and there is no additional consequence for running away. Kids will adjust their behavior to fit the permissiveness of the adult in charge. Do you remember in school there would be some classes where the students would ...


11

This is a tough situation and a tough question. You have a lot to think about. The question I, in return, pose to you is what do you have to gain by either telling him or not telling him? When you tell him, what do you hope to gain? How will this benefit your child? Here's my suggestion, albeit radical and against the premise of the question: Don't tell ...


10

They live in another state and do not come to see me. While your son and his daughter have had time to bond with your new granddaughter, you have not. Of course your granddaughter is much (more) beloved by you. But you have an opportunity to show your son that you love him by loving and accepting the people he loves. Also, doing anything less will put a ...


9

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 ...


9

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, ...


9

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 ...


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