Advice

Stepparenting advice from stepparents.

Stepparents and professionals toanswer questions about stepfamilies.

Stepparents

Stepparents’ Questions and Answers

Stepparents and professionals toanswer questions about stepfamilies.

As the blended family becomes more prevalent, we findstepparents giving each other advice. This is a page for stepparents and professionals toanswer questions.

Question:

I am the single parent of a seven year old girl. She is really a wonderful loving child however she is HIGHLY territorial when it comes to me. Our relationship is very strong and deep–perhaps too deep. Her mom is still in the picture. However, my daughter’s visits with her are inconsistent and usually not for very long periods of time. Unfortunately they rarely have one-on-one time. My ex seems to feel that she must have other things available to occupy Whitney (my daughter) such as other kids of friends and the like. We have been divorced for about a year. I am in the marital home and Whitney originally stayed with her mom for about 2 and a half months before she ( my ex) felt it was best to live with me. I know Whitney felt some level of rejection by her mom. But I believe she has recovered to some extent. So the last year, as you can probably guess, has been one of trials, tribulations, and transition. Geez, I feel tired but I wouldn’t have it any other Whitney does feel safe, secure and her grades in school are good. Her relationships with friends and classmates seem to be normal and healthy. The biggest hurdle to cross is her acceptance with a romantic relationship in my life. I have been involved in this relationship for over 6 months and I presented this relationship to Whitney as initially one of close friendship. Whitney knew Tanya prior to the divorce and had a very loving bond with her. As the relationship grew between Tanya and I after the divorce Whitney was still OK but occasionally felt threatened by Tanya. She felt as though Tanya was taking away Daddy. Last weekend I was very honest with Whitney when she asked if Tanya and I were boyfriend and girlfriend. I said yes but also explained how this did not change the way I loved Whitney and how I would always be her Dad and how my ex would always be Whitney’s mom…I tried to comfort her. Man—after a few tears you would have thought a war had begun. Whitney made it clear to Tanya that "I was her Daddy and her Man." This I know is not a healthy outlook for my relationship with Tanya or with Whitney. Let me also note that Tanya has a seven year old son who loves the fact that his mom loves me. He recognizes that he will always be able to see his biological dad and that my relationship with his mom is a real bonus in his life. Please give me any opinion you may have to strengthen Whitney’s security and understanding that she can be happy with a blended family situation. Also, please include any titles of books that may be applicable to my situation. Maybe you can share some other websites that could also be helpful.Thank you for time and consideration…

EL

Answer: Try having Whitney spend some one on one time with Tanya for girl stuff, tohelp them to bond to a deeper level. Tanya needs to be the one to re-assure Whitney shedoes not want to take her daddy away from her. This is a normal stage for Whitney as alllittle girls at one stage in their life falls in love with their daddy even feelingthreatened by their own biological mothers (sometimes resenting the mother). You need toget Whitney focused on more outside activities and encourage her to develop interestsaside from and away from you. This will give her other healthy relationships to teach herit is OK to care about others as not everyone will leave her, and it will show her thatdaddy will not leave her while she is away from him. Most of all, you need to stopcoddling Tanya and stop focusing on the things that can’t be changed (her mother leaving).Tanya needs to get beyond what happened with her mother but as long as you make allowancesfor adverse behavior excusing it because of what happened then she will become to believeit is worse then it is and intensify it within herself. Tanya’s overly possessiveobsession with you must be handled now unless you want to remain single for the rest ofyour life with no chance of an intimate relationship and a daughter going from onerelationship to another.A Surfer

Question:

My husband puts me "on the shelf" when his adult children (16, 20 & 23) come to visit. It is very apparent that our relationship is not first in his list of priorities when they are in our home. Is this unusual? Any suggestions? I’m at my wits end…Thanks

DU

Answer:

I don’t think it is unusual. I am a stepmom and a mom. When my adultchildren come, I put my husband on the shelf, so to speak, and devote my time to mychildren. When his adult children come, I busy myself elsewhere so I won’t interferein their relationships. We have plenty of time together when the children are not around.

If you have no children, maybe it is hard to understand but children willalways hold a place in a parent’s heart that no spouse can ever take. And… spouses holda different place in hearts that children can never take. However, you (spouse) are thereeveryday and the children are there occasionally.

When his children are coming, get busy with your own interests and friends.If you don’t interest and/or friends, the time when his children are present is a goodtime to start developing a life outside your marriage.

That sounds good but I will say this, my first husband wanted my undividedattention unless HE had something else to do. Then he wanted my gone. If you have thatkind of relationship, you need to talk now because that is the sign of problems.

Good luckRK

Additional information about stepparenting,stepfamilies.

More Questions and Answers

Note: The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position of CyberParent. They are not intended to take the place of advice of a health professional whose advice you might need to seek.

CyberParent Recommended Reading for More Information: Introducing the StepParents’ Web StepParent Web Directory Q & A Series Blended Family Blended or Blender? New Stepparent: Now What? Stepkin: An Evolution What Is a Single Stepparent? Building Kinship Short and Long-Term Visitation Second Marriages with Children Both Are Non-Custody Parents Six Common Stepfamily Conflicts Thanks, Mike! Doggy-Blue

One Non-Custody Parent/Spouse Has Visitation Rights

Stepparents Seek Advice from Other Stepparents.

Stepfathers: A fact of life in America today.

Time-out: An Effective Discipline for Stepfamilies.

Multiple page series of letters about stepparenting from CyberParent surfers.

Genetic Engineering: What Is It and How Can It Affect My Family? Book Review: The Blended Family Sourcebook Book Review: Blending Families Book Review: The Courage to Be a Stepmom Book Review: Divorce and New Beginnings Book Review: Stepcoupling Book Review: Step Wars Book Review: Step Wise Book Review: Surviving Your Adolescents. Book Review: 1-2-3 Magic Book Review: The Combined Family Book Review: Living in a StepFamily

Note: The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position of CyberParent. They are not intended to take the place of advice of a health professional whose advice you might need to seek.

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