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Being a Step-parent

Filed under: General — Mikey @ 4:47 pm Sun 23rd February 2014

I am certain that many of you on this site have moved on, having met another woman and have embarked on the journey of step parenting.
Your new woman shares responsibility with her ex partner to raise her children, but where in the equation do you as a step parent fit in?
We have read about permissive parent in one of the posts recently and often this is so true in most situations. Your new partner may be on a mission to compete with her ex partner to be the better parent. So the children get to spend countless hours playing playstation or having excessive long showers etc. etc. and nothing is said.
As a step parent you may feel that you want to co-parent with your new partner, but you may feel like you have a gagging order. Not only are you made to feel like you have no rights by your partner, the child may too tell you that you are not their parent.
Any views on this?


  1. Don’t think it is just the parents – the children know how to play this game too and like any human they will play it to their advantage.

    No matter what the circumstances I doubt that being a blended family is ever easy.

    Comment by Downunder — Sun 23rd February 2014 @ 6:14 pm

  2. never date single mums!

    There is a good chance the reason the last guy didn’t stay is personailty based….

    Comment by too tired — Sun 23rd February 2014 @ 9:26 pm

  3. There is no doubt that blending families is tricky. Often depends on the age of children when new relationship starts. Children 10 years and less normally cope fairly well. 11-15 year olds often feel resentful. Kids over 15 tend to cope because they can see their own independence and accept that mum or dad also need to seek their own independence outside of children.
    Kids only have one mum and one dad but additional significant adults in their lives can be supportive. I do think there is wisdom in letting the biological parent taking the lead role in discipline. Parents in the household need to support each otherwise children will split between the two of them.
    Good luck with step-parenting. It isn’t easy but is a common feature of families these days.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Mon 24th February 2014 @ 7:38 am

  4. Too tired
    Research would indicate that it is women who drive most separations. I often say 70% of breakups are initiated by women, 20% by men and 10% they mutually come to a realisation they would prefer to be apart.
    What I do suggest to guys entering new relationships is that they should look at the pattern of interaction between children and their absent parent. That speaks volumes about mum’s attitude towards fatherhood.
    It always amazes me guys who have children with women who already have children to multiple partners who never see their biological fathers. Those single mums who are just benefit farming are the ones to stay clear of.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Mon 24th February 2014 @ 7:47 am

  5. There are two other situations that appear to be less problematic, one is when there is a significant age difference between the two sets of children, and the other when there is a widow or widower remarrying, but in both cases they lack some of the obvious points of confrontation.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 24th February 2014 @ 7:49 am

  6. @Allan – Benefit Farmers – that’s worth at least three trollings.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 24th February 2014 @ 7:53 am

  7. @ Everyone , if only I applied that to my ex wife 🙁

    Spot on.

    Comment by Dominic Dilligaf — Mon 24th February 2014 @ 10:17 am

  8. …Father’s Day, What Father’s Day ? ……..
    How Parental Alienation Effects Father’s Today
    ……………..By Joseph Goldberg, 2012…………………
    This is an important article for Grandfathers as
    well as for fathers.
    I am spoofing the title of this article from a good
    friend of mine, Chaim Steinberger. He wrote a very
    insightful and brilliant journal article on Parental
    Alienation that he called, ‘ Father, What Father ? ‘
    I decided to write about this holiday because many
    father’s will be hurting when it arrives. They won’t
    be getting to see their child or receive a call or any
    cards or any other acknowledgement because their
    children are alienated and that means come Sunday
    they’ll be rejected for very unjustified reasons.
    For some dad’s who will be waiting to see their kid
    because a court order forces them to go, don’t be
    surprised when they show up- only to tell you they
    don’t want to be with you or only to say,” I hate
    you “… don’t expect them to change,,, that’s why its
    called a parental alienation dynamic.
    I am writing my article just for fathers and for
    grandfathers, but the rest of you will hopefully
    also appreciate the message.
    You know the old saying, ‘ Silence is deafening. ‘
    Well it’s deafening for a reason, and as another old
    saying goes, ‘ Everything happens for a reason. ‘
    Even though you may not be getting their affection
    on Sunday, it doesn’t mean your child isn’t at least
    thinking of you, and because they are alienated and
    unable to express to you that you’re not forgotten …
    and that they do love you, let me be the first one to
    remind you of that fact. Your kids do love you, and
    you’re not forgotten because Sunday, is also a very
    painful holiday reminder for them.
    It’s painful to them to be without you because every-
    where they go and see a father with his son or, with
    his daughter; laughing, hugging, or kissing, smiling
    at each other, going out to lunch together, to dinners
    or a movie, driving together, talking on a cell phone,
    texting, meeting up somewhere, it reminds them
    that it’s also not them being with you.
    Every time they turn on their TV that day, flip open
    their computer, listen to the radio, they will hear
    that it’s Father’s Day, and every time they pass by
    a store there will be an item for sale saying it’s
    Father’s Day, and they didn’t get you your present.
    They didn’t get to say, ‘ you’re my dad ‘ and then
    the words, `’ I love you. ‘ They’ll try and block it
    out but how do you block out the sky, the ground
    below…. how do you erase the touch on your skin
    or what you feel deep in your bones ? It’s a psycho-
    logical skeleton.
    Denial is a fixated condition for alienated
    children, so is breathing. Memories of love for
    father are never really erased they’re just
    buried below the surface and those memories
    will resurface on this Sunday, Father’s Day.
    Take comfort in the fact that your picture may
    not be in a frame next to their bed or on the wall
    in their mom’s house, but they are not deleted
    from their memory. It is also hard to ignore
    mother trying to pretend how much better off
    they are without you, while the look on her face
    also reminds them she can’t be the father they’re
    missing out on today.
    No matter what stepfather tries to take your
    place after you got replaced, displaced and
    erased, nothing is ever going to hold back their
    feelings of loss because they’re connected to
    their father when they see themselves in a
    mirror. Some likeness of you is something in
    their DNA that they can see in their own face.
    Not only are there painful memories there
    are probably more than a few good ones.
    Like the time you took them to a show, or
    watched them at a school performance,
    or played some game with them, played
    with your pet, took them to visit your
    parents, cooked a meal for them, these
    memories are also resurfacing around them.
    Imagine how it must feel for them to watch
    their friends getting together with their dads
    and how they have to explain or avoid talk-
    ing about you not being around on Father’s
    Day. Imagine anyone else trying to act as a
    substitute for the father they are missing in
    their lives and never saying,
    ‘ Why don’t you call your dad today ? ‘
    How is their behaviour going to be memorial-
    ized in the future ?
    Father’s Day, is something I feel long after my
    own father has passed away. You don’t have
    to actually be around to be remembered and
    to be loved. I don’t need to feel bad about the
    father’s day I am not spending with him this
    Sunday, I will be thinking about all the good
    times with my dad and I know that your child-
    ren might want you to believe that they don’t
    love you back, but that’s just denial talking.
    You’re as much a part of their life as you
    have ever been ( even more so ) and not
    because of being present, but because
    of being absent. Believe it because we
    know from all the social science research
    that this is truly how alienated children
    are feeling.
    I feel my father is with me now even though
    he passed more than 15 years ago. I was
    alienated from him by a mother that
    extinguished him from my life, but not
    forever. We made up for all the lost time
    and years of alienation that was stolen from
    us both.
    In the Jewish religion when a loved parent
    dies we say prayers, Kaddish, and we light a
    candle in memory of the parent. Perhaps as
    a way to remember that you are still a
    parent you should light a candle and keep
    it burning all day, on Father’s Day.
    Say a prayer of love, memorialize your
    feelings of loss and perhaps to help be
    forgiving so anger does not take over
    the better part of judgment in your life.
    As a targeted, rejected parent remember the
    good parts of the person you are and remain
    and strive to lift yourself up, don’t let any-
    thing change that belief in your-self because
    sometimes all we have is ourselves to believe
    in, and in truth that’s the one person whose
    opinion counts the most.
    For more educational information please visit

    Comment by Joseph Golldberg — Mon 26th May 2014 @ 12:08 pm

  9. As Allan says above, separated parenting is a whole new ballgame, compared to together parenting.

    Accordingly, the risks to the quality of the children’s upbringing goes up a big step. This is because the children lose their right to a working relationship with both parents.

    One or both married parents may have some degree of mental illness, as is commonplace through our society. Diversity of supporting relationships protects children from the limitations of each of the parents.

    Children are adept at taking the best from both parents, when they see them frequently and interact freely and responsively. If children are now to be left for long periods of time with just one of their parents, then they are now much more vulnerable to the mental health limitations of the parent that they are trapped in the care of. Depression is quite common in young parents and is often a driver for separation. Then it guarantees that the children are at significant hazard, even at levels far below formal diagnosis as depressed. (Formal diagnosis level is where an adult cannot take care of themself without outside support. Thus the level of depression at which parents fail to respond sufficiently and appropriately to parent a young child or baby, is much less depression.) Depression is probably the mental health issue that endangers babies and young children the most, but all mental illnesses carry significant risks to the proper development of babies and children.

    So, the critical point of increased hazard for the children is removal from the marital home. This is the point where decisions made, need to be validated and checked that the children’s interests are being protected and respected.

    The Act controlling divorce provides that a judge should enquire and check that suitable provision has been made for the children’s welfare. Unfortunately our MuPpets in Parliament didn’t remember about the two year time delay to get a divorce and their intention was subverted.

    If one parent decides to use fait accomplii and unilaterally move out with children, with no notice to the other parent, then this is where the dishonesty and manipulation first really bites. Constructive divorce is straight off the rails.

    So, if unilateral removal of children was not tolerated (as is provided for in CoCAct and fc rules), then the proper interests of children and both parents would be protected. (This wouldn’t suit the thieves among divorcing parents, neither would it suit the thieves in familycaught$.)

    When we balance up whether to take care of familycaught$ and the fellow travellers who sail in her, or our children, I suggest lets take proper care of our children?

    What is the difference between abducting children and just alienating the other parent out of their lives?
    I suggest the difference is not worth talking about?
    Therefore, by the theory of proportionality of punishments, the punishments should be fairly similar.
    Thus, where defective functioning by judges has enabled alienation to occur, the punishment of the defective judges should be nearly that for child abduction?
    If the Government is not imposing this sanction satisfactorily, then the public need to step up to the mark.
    Fighting crime in familycaught$

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Mon 26th May 2014 @ 2:27 pm

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