being involved with stepchilds school life(18 Posts)
I am very new to this and looking for advice. I am not technically a step parent but i have ben with the father of the 4 year old girl in question and we live together and own a home together. So whenever my SO has his daughter I am present and we do.most things as a family.
Yesterday we were informed that my step daughter has been teased a few times over the last week or 2 by her school friends about having 2 daddies. (her mother got remarried last year and they have a 4month old baby). We had agreed to take her to the school disco and Christmas fair at her school that is coming up so that we don't miss out on time with her but her step father has shared his concern that this will cause more teasing and worsen the situation.
We don't know whether to take her and hope that it doesn't make things worse and hopefully it will be explained to the children in her class or to not to take her at all and she will then miss out of the disco altogether. We want to be involved in her school life and we complete reading and homework with her during the weekends we have her to try and reduce the compartmentlisation of home with mummy and home with daddy.
My SO is feeling that he is being pushed out more to save the face of her mother and step father rather than for the benefit of his daughter. If he backs down on this then wont the problem still be there and never be tackled or addressed?
I don't think blended families are unusual these days so the teasing is surprising. I am sorry she is getting teased though.
I would be supporting DP to continue with the plans already made. It is nice that her step father is showing concern however the way to deal with the teasing is directly with the school NOT to hide her real father away
Advise your DP to speak to his ex and discuss what should be done to stamp out the teasing. I would also advise him to stay strong with his plans of going to the events and not be persuaded to "disappear" by way of supporting his DD. It actually may help if the other children see her with her dad.
The school would be as well to do a small topic on different types of family set ups which is age appropriate and will help the
meanies teasing children to understand.
Hope it works out OP.
I think also at 4, they are starting to have an awareness of differences, but without really being able to understand or explain them. My 7 yo dsd at 4 was aware that she was different from some friends, in as much as she had 2 families; now at 7 she can explain that she has a stepmum and stepdad, and sisters etc. Agree that your dp shouldn't bow out, but should support her and answer any questions she may have.
Thank you both. These were my feelings but were unsure if they were in her best interest.
Could you please help me with the abbreviations? Confused.com!
DP is Dear Partner
DD/DS Dear Daughter/Dear Son
DSC Dear Step Children.
Full descriptions here.
I agree that at 4 kids are at the age where they compare situations.
it might be worth dp and his ex having a chat to the class reacher and asking her/him to have a chat to the class about the different sorts of family set ups but also to keep an eye out for any teasing.
also it might not be teasing, it might be that a comment has been made in all innocence but that your step daughter is starting to see she has a different set up to her friends and is feeling sensitive to it.
also worth playing it to her as how lucky she is and play up the positives that she has 2 homes, 2 families who love her, 2 birthday/Christmas celebrations etc
I think DSS was 5 or 6 when after his birthday party (where both his dad and stepdad were present supervising) he got teased the following week at school for having 'two dads'. So sad. But I suppose all kids are teased for something or other, kids are mean that way.
Now, since his birthday parties for his friends are hosted by his mum (since they live close to all his schoolfriends) his dad, my DP, no longer goes to those birthdays. We're all fine with that, its best for DSS.
In terms of school events like parents evenings, DP and his ex attend together - I don't go. Would there be a possibility of your DP and his ex doing that?
Hi riverboat1, that is the arrangement for parents evening but the other children have already met her stepfather so I think even if it was the 2 of them it would raise questions and comments.
I am quite concerned that the issue of family types has not been addressed as apparently she is the only child in her class that comes from a family that isn't mum and dad married and living together.
then I would definitely get your dp to speak to the school!! him backing off isn't the answer, if anyone should it should be her mum's new partner
Out of interest, who told you about the 'teasing'? Seems that dsds stepdad is a bit keen to get your dp out of the picture (maybe cynically way off the mark here!)
Raise the issue with dsds teacher, and ask her to have a general chat about family differences. I'd be very surprised if your dsd is the only child not to be in a standard nuclear family...at my dcs school there are a lot of children living in non-standard families, including a couple in foster care, several with grandparents and lots who of lone parent and step families.
Yes, I agree with you. There have been some developments today. My DP phoned the school and spoke to DSD's teacher who said it was a great idea for us to attend the event and that she isn't the only one from a non-traditional family situation and being involved is very much encouraged. She was unaware of any teasing but assured us that they talk about families and different ones on a regular basis. My DP then received a phone call from stepfather asking why he was getting involved and talking to the school. They also seem to be back peddling in what they said about the teasing so I very much think it is about getting us out of the picture, especially my DP. From our point of view we wanted to prevent any further teasing or issues.
Ballstoit - it was the mother and stepfather that told us about it.
If it's a small school OPs DSD may well be the only one. I think my DSDs are the only ones in their school to have a non-traditional set up. I think if anyone should be stepping back it is the stepdad not her real dad. If she is the only one in class I wouldn't get the teacher to do a topic unless one was already planned as that might single her out even more. Letting the teacher know about the teasing is a good idea though as they could then have a word individually with the teasers.
definitely sounds like there is something odd with the step father getting involved to this extent!! I would be getting a solicitor involved before things get too nasty
I think you need to speak with your DP and get him and his ex to talk about this. Your DP has every right to phone up the school on matters concerning his own child and SF should not be challenging him on this.
I have a very poor relationship with my EXH but I would never question his choice to contact the school if he had concerns with DS/DD. My DP would never dream of telling my EXH what he could/couldn't do in matters concerning EXHs own children either.
Nip this in the bud now or you'll have issues all through primary and high school.
Please don't step back from school involvement. From my experience, regardless of whether there is a genuine reason one parent can't go, the kids still get upset when both parents don't attend school functions.
I think SF is getting far too involved, your DP needs to discuss this in a calm manner with his ex.
It's lovely that SF cares, but he needs to understand that he is not "dad".
You should go to the events your DP is her dad and should not be pushed out .
If it was true about the teasing then I don't think anyone stepping back is the answer, it's educating the children involved. If for some reason it was decided that anyone needed to step back then it would have to be the step dad, under no circumstances should your dp hide away.
If anything I think your dp would be well advised to assert himself with the stepdad.
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