Sign up for the Dr. Phil Newsletter
Twitter Facebook YouTube


Being a stepparent is one of the most difficult roles any adult will ever assume. If you are a stepparent, you deal with many frustrations and rewards each day that are unique. How is your relationship with your stepchild? What have you learned about blending a family? Share your story.
Replied By: amyjanssen1 on Nov 5, 2014, 8:53AM
i find it disgusting that the mom is only concerned with being defensive regarding her daughter getting burned, and that they need to take her to the dr. for an infection.  she can't even admit that she probably misread that one and it makes you wonder what else she missing in her parenting.
Replied By: deewee66 on Nov 1, 2014, 10:56AM
Step parenting is the hardest thing I've ever done. I love my husband, and his children, but if I'd known then what I know now, I wouldn't have married anyone with kids. I've no children of my own, so I was so excited to finally have 3 children to love, but boy was I clueless about the challenges that come with being a step parent!

Hanging in there until these kids are I'm praying that the constant, daily, challenges will ease up.
Replied By: judithw on Jun 30, 2014, 8:39PM
Hi Dr Phill,

This step  parent needs to be done! The Mother needs to protect her children! NO man is worth putting her kids thru abuse! Obviously he has gone thru councelling and it has not registered with him! The mother needs to put her kids !st! I know this is a repeat show so hopefuly by now these 2 kids are with mom and step dad is out of their lives.

I made the hard choice to put an abusive step dad out of my kids life years ago, and it was the right decision for my children! I Could i have ignored the problems and said "we are ok when the kids are not in the mix" ?  yes but at what cost?  .. The kids come 1st!!!  and if he cant see it he needs to go!!! This mom needs to wake up!! She is more at faut than him at this point! She knows better!!

I am happy to report after getting rid of the problem (stepdad) my children have become wonderful young adults. one is a high school teacher and the other an ICU Nurse .. I could not be more proud of them and my decision years ago!!!!!

Thanks for listening, have a good summer, Judy

Replied By: stepmom74 on May 12, 2014, 12:04PM
I am a step mom to a 12 year old girl.  My husband and I have her 50% of the time and her mother has her 50% of the time.  I have decided to have breast augmentation surgery and my husband and I are torn on how or if we should tell his daughter or not.  Any advice?  We already deal with the mother's jealousy over me and the fact that she speaks poorly of both of us in front of her daughter.  At 12 his daughter is already dealing with the typical body issues, girls gossiping and teasing each other, etc.  I do not want to give her any reason to feel like she should not be comfortable in her own body.  I would really appreciate hearing from anyone who may have been through this same type of situation.  Thank you.
Replied By: katfishhutch on Dec 16, 2013, 4:14PM
My husband and I have custody of his 6 year old little girl.  We have been married since April 2011. I also have 2 kids, girl 12 and boy 9. it is very hard blending our families . We are working very hard to make this work. we have a few issues. Our 6 year old girl lies a lot and she has also told me and her father she would like for us to get a divorce. she had the school call family children services on me as well said that I beat her. She has came home and told us that her mom has put a taser gun to her has a gun next to her in the seat of the car, and done mean things as well. In October my 6 year old girl was tell my 9 year old boy how to have sex. Well let me just say I lost it. I was lost for words. The other day she stole money from my older girl and put it in her little bank and lied about taken it. The same day she also told my older child that my son little friend (a girl) slapped him. which did not even happen. so when we talked to our little girl she said she hears voices and they tell her to do this. I will speak to her and she will walk by and not even act like she hears me. So I have been trying to get the school to test her hearing. The day she stole the money and lied about my son and his friend she then told me she can hear me just fine. that she just did not wont to answer me... WHAT DO I DO!!!!
Replied By: lusonboo on Oct 26, 2013, 10:26AM
I understand that dr Phil felt bad for Lily's mom but if you were blaming Brenda for not protecting her kids from their absusive stepfather then why wasn't Lily's mom to blame as well.  All the signs were there, burns, bruises, black eyes and a little girl begging her mommy not to leave her.  She should have reported this to CPS and found other child care.  If she protected her daughter then perhaps that little girl would still be alive.  Rest in peace Lily.
Replied By: lisapruitt on Oct 23, 2013, 6:50PM
Dear Dr Phil,

Whenever you do stories like this it really tears at my heart because I was abused by my step father. It started from the time I could walk to the age of 17. My mom knew about it but did nothing. She actually blames me for it. Looking back now as an adult I think my mom saw me as the other woman and until this day our relationship is pretty non existant. My stepdad sexually abused me and physically abused me. I spent 1 year in foster care because he beat the crap out of me with a belt because I didn't wash the dishes when he wanted me too. I became pregnant by him and gave birth to a son. He tried  to continue the abuse after I gave birth to my son but I said no I don't have to do this anymore. So I left and regretfully left my son behind. I didn't have a clue how to take care of me much less a baby but I so wish I had put him up for adoption instead of leaving him with those people. My son grew up and became an alcoholic and very confused  and angry. He was 26 years old when he was killed in a head on collision in 2009. So here I am left with regret that I didn't apologize to him for leaving him and didn't have  chance to make it up to him. I am married to a great man with 2 other children. Needless to say I have put my family through hell dealing with all of this because I have never gotten any help mentally. My mom acts like she doesn't want me around and all I have done is tried to get her to love me.
Replied By: realtorchristy on Oct 23, 2013, 12:43AM - In reply to airmanswife
Being a step child myself and now being the mother of children of divorce I can tell you that the answer to this question is to allow the child to decide what he/she feels comfortable calling the step parent..  I was forced as a child to call my step father Dad and I felt as though I was betraying my "real dad".  It made me very resentful of both my mother and step father and did not help to ease into the new blended family.  When my own children came home to tell me that their father had a girlfriend (the only woman he ever introduced them to after being divorced for 10 years) I encouraged them to treat her with love, respect and warmth.  When mother's day came around I took them to buy her a card and explained that if she loved them like a mother, and treated them like her children then she deserved the respect of being recognized in that way. I think it is important to show your child that what ever they feel is ok.  Sometimes your feelings have to take a backseat to theirs.  Be glad that this woman loves and cares for your child like her own.  Could you ask for anything more?
Replied By: keeponswimming on Oct 16, 2013, 5:23PM
I have been living with my boyfriend for the past three years. I have know him for the past twenty years and he is a wonderful man, but is so passive it isn't funny. He has a beautiful and smart now 15 year old who we found out a couple of months ago has been dating a 19 year old boy and she is using drugs. My boyfriend let his daughter go live with her mother over a year ago (which I did not agree with but know that it is not my decision). We have learned that her mother is allowing this boy to stay the night with their daughter and we are certain that the mother is aware of her drug use. I thought that her dad was going to do something about this, and we did contact the local police however we never heard back from anyone about what he should do. So I became making phone calls and gave him the information on what he could do.

I have two children of my own as well that live with me one being a 13 year old daughter and a 5 year old boy. My boyfreind is wonderful to them and loves them. However I sit here every day feeling horrible that neither one of this girls parents are doing anything to protect her. My boyfriend keeps telling me that it will cost thousands of dollars to maybe put a stop to what is going on but there is no guarantee that he will be successful. We already struggle financially and he is afraid that if he takes steps then it will take from the other two in the home. I of course told him that should not be his concern and that his daughters welfare should be his number one concern.

With every day passing I feel more and more guilty for not making the necessary phone call that will possibly help this child get back on the right track. I question every day why he won't do what he knows he should do. I question him as a person, since I have always seen him as the kind of person who would do what was right. I stress about this constantly and not real sure what to do. There are others in his family who disagree with him doing nothing and are dissappointed in him as well yet they have done nothing. I know what I should and need to do. The sad thing is that if he don't step up once action has been taken then how will she ever get better. I know that my two children who really love this man will be hurt because me doing the right thing will cause a big problem in our relationship.

Any advice.

Replied By: drpaul777 on Sep 24, 2013, 7:50AM
Hi Dr Phil, I had the good fortune of being a step parent to two great kids, However, that is using the "retrospectoscope!" I havent been married to their mother for 5 years now but we are still friends and my step daughter move=d in with me after she turned 18. Her biological parents were always fighting!  They are both great people, they just are really good at pushing each others buttons! 

I was watching a re-run of a 2005 show this morning about a gentleman who was blending his 12 year old daughter after being single with her for 2 years.  My gosh, this was my exact situation!  It got so bad that as my daughter was entering high school I relized that I was loosing an incredible relationship with my daughter and my marriage was always in turmoil.  Im not sure if it was because of that situationor the fact that she did have Borderline Personality Disorder as diagnosed with a DSM 700+ question test and interpreted by a psychologist that worked with custody cases in the courts. 

The bottom line I say to ALL men who have a relationship with their daughter that just rocks, stay out of relationships until well in to high school when they dont want to be around you anymore. Because if he does what you advise and you have a covert manipulative mother on the other side, she will just make it more comfortable for the daughter to stay at her house and the father will lose the relationship that he once had!  It has left a whole in my heart that I dont hink can ever be healed!  We have gone through counceling but somehow I think tat some of the responses are rehearsed, coached???

I just keep on lovin on her!!                                                                       Paul
Showing 1-10 of total 38 Comments