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Why do Step Parents need to shut up?

(8 Posts)
desper8woman Wed 10-Nov-10 12:54:16

I'm having real trouble getting my head round why step parents are not supposed to have any say in raising the kids that live with them in their home. Can anyone enlighten me? Thanks ( all opinions/advice/experience welcome)

RuthChan Wed 10-Nov-10 19:22:17

Are they not? That seems a little extreme.

My Dad married my step mum when I was 17.
Since then, both of them have had plenty of input in each other's children's up bringing.
Obviously they are more careful and reserved in expressing opinions than with their own children, but they certainly give all the support they can and have a say in everything.

My mum died so my step-mum is the only mother-figure my brother and I have.
My step-mum divorced her first husband, so my step-siblings still have their real Dad. However, since my Dad and step-mum got together, my Dad has been more of a father to his step-children than their real Dad ever has. And that includes having a say in lots of things.

desper8woman Wed 10-Nov-10 20:00:20

Thanks Ruth. Sorry to hear about your mum. Maybe things work a little differently if you're widowed, rather than going through a messy divorce. Or maybe your dad had already benefited for raising you to late teens and didn't suffer from the "Disney Dad" syndrome. Any thoughts?

ayjayjay Wed 10-Nov-10 20:14:09

I don't think it's necessarily true the step parents have no say if the child lives with them. I would expect step parents to have limited input only if the child doesn't live with their partner and they have access rights only. If access only I would expect the stepparent to have their own house rules but I wouldn't expect them to have input into other areas of the child's life.

For example I lived with my mum and stepdad who made joint parenting decisions about me and my sister. We saw my dad and my stepmum every sunday but my stepmum would never have been given a say on how to parent my sister and myself.

nemofish Wed 10-Nov-10 23:57:04

It is different with non-resident step parents. I would not expect to have a say in dsd's parenting - even though it sometimes pisses me off when I disagree with her mother about what is to me pretty obvious stuff. Your daughter is 11 and doesn't know how to cleanse her skin or remove make up, or that make up stains bedding and towels? Erm please don't let her wear make up then. But as a non res step I wouldn't expect to have the power to make that decision - I shrug and wash my towels. It does help if you 'opt out' of any extra work, say if a stepchild eats only xyz, fine, then the parent (usually a dh / dp) is welcome to shop for that and cook it - otherwise I will offer meatballs a la Nemofish. It can be hard not to be a grumpy cow about it though - it's just stupid stuff - I need to work on that I think.

ChippingIn Thu 11-Nov-10 00:07:45

Nemo my house, my towels - I'd buy her make-up remover wipes and showing her how to do it. Bloody daft letting an 11 year old wear that much make up though if you ask me!

nemofish Thu 11-Nov-10 09:45:13

I make sure she has cleansing wipes - she's 13 now so it's not quite as 'shocking' - I did find myself going a bit victorian about it and going '11? Are you nuts?'
<adjust petticoats>

Bonsoir Thu 11-Nov-10 09:48:35

As a stepmother I have no problem at all expecting standards of behaviour of my DSSs at our home that are higher, in some areas, than the standards expected of them at their mother's home.

Obviously DP and I discuss the standards that we expect of all our DCs.

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