Sign up for the Dr. Phil Newsletter
Twitter Facebook YouTube

Step-Parenting

 
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.
Comments
Replied By: garbell on Dec 7, 2014, 11:59PM
My partner and I have been together for nearly 11 years. We have 3 children, 19 year old son, 16 year old daughter and 9 year old daughter. I picked up early on that my partner was moody and would let you know when he wasnt happy by making life uncomfortable at home. Our first two children are from my previous marriage.

It was not until our youngest daughter was born that I noticed how different he treated our son. The older our son got the more he "bullied" my son, usually passive aggressive behaviour or sarcasm aimed at him.

Two weeks ago he lashed out at my son and headbutted him. It took physical restraint to get him away from my son. Afterwards he was remorseful and disappointed in himself, yet I dont see any real remorse, his apology was pitiful. He apparently does not "remember" hitting our son. He does have a lot of excuses for his behaviour and I am obviously happy to go along with it as I avoid confrontation. 

My son smokes "marijuana" which we both know knew about. My son has and is always respectful to his stepfather, always listens and responds in kind. Yet his stepfather gives him no eye contact, two or three word replies, or does not speak to him at all. I feel my son smokes marijuana to dull the emotions he is feeling.

My son knows that his stepfather smoked marijuana for a long time (9 years) in the backyard "shed", yet my partner likes to think that he is all high and mighty now because he stopped smoking last year. Ive had this battle it seems like forever with the marijuana issue.  I dont know what to do, actually I probably do know yet lack the courage. my mind is saying to forgive my partner and help him through this (counselling/therapy) and then its saying why are you staying leave and let him sort it out by himself.

Before anyone tells me "how stupid" "spineless" I am, am one of the first to be opinionated on "weak parenting".  Its harder when its our own life. My youngest daughter adores her dad and I know my older two would prefer if  their stepdad could stay happy and calm or left completely.

 
Replied By: ashlymills on Dec 2, 2014, 10:55AM
Hello all,


My nameis ashly. I am a recent dr phil fan but I have written the show for help. I am hoping up here I can find the support that is lacking everywhere else.  My step son, who knows me as mom, as several nehavior problems and is currently in therapeutic foster care.  We have been dealing with these problems for years now but the treatmemt and hospitals because he started showing harm to my now 14 month old daughter.  We have begged for help, pleaded, wrote news stations, lawyers, senators, etc. Because there has been no help and when I myself found hospitals we were reported to social srvices.  Its extremely hard....I am constantly put down by everyone because I am his step mom...yet I am the one talking to doctors, hospitals, teachers, etc.   I now feel like I am stuck in the middle between using all my energy to help him which u have done since day one, to making sure my daughter is safe.  He is onky eight years old, lies, punches himself in the face, punches others, kicks throws, and has learned from the hosoitals cussing. He has threatened to kill everyone at school just because he was in the principles office.  I am terrified everyday of what he will do next, who he will hurt,  his safety, and the safety of my very innocent daughter.  S.s. has treated this as our fault, the schools have fkat out lied despite paperwork to prove them kying, and it has been suggested over and over that this is happening because I am step mom and just dont wont to deal w him....life is hard, scary, and we have no idea what to do anhmore.
 
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 grown...lol. 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?
 
Showing 1-10 of total 40 Comments