Top 10 Questions From Kids About Stepfamilies
Top 10 Questions From Kids About Stepfamilies
Susan Davis (Founder and Director, StepFamily Center) gives expert video advice on: Should my stepparent be allowed to discipline me?; Will I make my real dad upset if I spend time with my stepdad?; What if my real mom makes me feel guilty for liking my stepmom? and more...
Should my stepparent be allowed to discipline me?
Most kids don't want a stepparent to discipline them, yet any adult who's in a household and has to make sure that you're safe will probably discipline you. It's like a babysitter. If a babysitter came in and mom or dad left instructions and you didn't do what they said, they should do something to make sure that you follow the rules. So even though it's hard when a stepparent disciplines you sometimes yeah, they do need to. Now, if they are disciplining you in a way that mom and dad don't then you might want to talk to your mom or dad about that.
Will I make my real dad upset if I spend time with my stepdad?
When you're a step kid and you're so worried about how to make everybody happy, this is really hard to be able to like your step dad, and you're afraid that you are going to upset your real dad. And it's something that's really difficult to do. You know everybody is afraid of the change. Everybody. Everyone's afraid that your going to lose someone you love and probably your dad is afraid that if you like your step dad, you won't love him anymore. So maybe you could just understand that your dad's going to go through an adjustment too. Everybody's making changes in this and it may take him some time to realize that you can like your step dad and you'll still love your dad. So even adults need time to make changes so give your real dad time to get used to the fact that you can like your step dad and you still love dad too.
What if my real mom makes me feel guilty for liking my stepmom?
When your mom makes you feel guilty for liking your stepmom it's a really hard place for you to be in, it's a really hard place, and then you feel bad about liking your stepmom, so you might want to find you get more angry at your stepmom or maybe it makes you feel really angry that you're in this position because you don't want to have to worry about all these things. So I hope that you feel comfortable being able to talk to your mom about this and being able to tell her how hard this is for you, that you know she doesn't like her, but you want to be able to like her. It makes it easier for you to go to your dad's house if you can like her. You don't want to hate her, you want to be able to like her and still love your mom, and if your mom can't do that for you I know it's going to be very hard, and I hope that there's an adult in your life that you can then talk to about how difficult this is for you, so that you're not struggling with all these feelings by yourself.
Should I leave my stepfamily to go live with my other parent?
So, if you ask a question if you should leave your stepfamily to go live with an another parent, that must mean that you're feeling very guilty about your other parent being alone, or you're feeling very angry at your mom or dad in the new step family. That they are kind of moving on with your life and very protective of your other parent. And, so, I think you want to talk to your mom or dad and your step family and tell them what you are thinking, if you can. Because you're really stuck in a really hard place. And there is no should or shouldn't. If you're feeling really guilty and protective, and it's kind of not a role you really should have to take on either is protecting one of your parents. They should be able to protect themselves. So I understand the dilemma you're in. And, again, if you can talk to one of your parents instead of holding this in and making this decision on your own, try to talk to your parents - both of them - about this and see what they have to say to you and maybe they can help you with this real difficult problem.
Why does my parent always side with my stepparent?
My guess is they side with your step-parent because those are the rules in the house that they've decided they're going to be following. So whether your step-parent says it or your parent says it, they're siding with each other. That's kind of what parents do. But if you feel that your step-parents come in making all these new rules and all of the sudden your mom has changed and they're siding completely with just your step-parent, then you need to tell mom. You need to talk to mom and see if you can work that out with her. Tell her what it feels like for you. Some of it might be your perception, might be all true, it might be partially true, and maybe you two can find out what's causing all this in the way. But it's really hard to have a new adult that you don't know very well making some rules in the house.
Why does my stepdad keep trying to be my friend?
My guess is because he wants to be your friend. You know, maybe he is trying too hard, because sometimes adults will try just too hard and you might need to help him out a little bit. But he probably just wants to be your friend and get to know you because he cares about you. So it might feel a little annoying but yet it also might be nice that he wants to make the effort to get to know you. So maybe you could be a little more patient and help him out a little bit. If he's trying too hard maybe you could kind of help him out.
What if I have major problems with my stepdad?
If you're having major problems with your step dad, you need to go talk to your mom and tell her what's going on. And chances are she'll be able to listen to you. If for some reason she doesn't, then talk to your dad or some other adult in your life so that you have an adult to talk to to help guide you. I don't know what your step dad's doing that's making it really hard for you but clearly you shouldn't have to struggle with this all by yourself so start by talking with your mom and that may be enough for her to talk with you about what's going on and find out how this problem can be solved.