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Parenting Stepchildren/stepfamily, blended family, parenti9ng, problems


I need some advice please. My husband and I have been married for a couple years now. He's a good dad and does not talk bad about their mother. And mom on the other hand hates him and talks bad about him all the time.I truly believe his 12 year old has oppositional defiance disorder or maybe has just been so spoiled it seems to be that bad. She gets what she wants when she wants it and until he met me he thought being a good parent was jumping when they said to jump.I am a teacher and a mom myself so I know doing everything they want you to do and giving them all they want has produced the children he has today. He try to set limits and all they do is argue and put him down verbally.  they blame the rules on me so they don't really care for me.I have made him understand how
important limits and boundaries are and we have them in our home and it actually has works pretty well now but it took a long time to get where we are.. But their mother lets them do anything they want and the behavior is
atrocious.we can have some good visits but others are a nightmare.
Talk back and putting things on social media sites about us when they leave. furthermore once in a great while my husband will work extra hours and will call the kids and say he can't make a visit. He always makes it up at a different timebut recently his 21 year old daughter called him up and said
some terrible mean things to him about not coming and getting a 12 year
old. Again it's been almost 6 months since he missed a day. Hey told her stuff happens and he would get the 12 yr old early for the weekend but she verbaly abuses him and both girls were yelling at him saying it was his fault for moving 20 minutes further away and his kids should come first and how
can he not get his own kid and he's a terrible father. He was in tears.
The 12 year old goes out until whenever she wants to and is very disrespectful. he has called social services but the mom is giving adequate
care according to is getting to the point where I dread seeing them. There are times they are loving and I know that's what my husband lives for. But the friction and the stress of their behavior it's taking a toll on me.I would never want him not to see them but because the mom is the hero and give them everything dave want and let them do anything they want, they are miserable at our house and disrespectful. Again my husband has learned and is trying to make up for his unintentional poor parenting. He understands now they need limits. So what do I do? I so try to be patient and understand because I am an educator and a mom but I hate the way they talk to him and make him!

Hello Tamm. It sounds like you all are experiencing a group of normal stepfamily stressors. The long-term answer is education . Read and discuss these with your husband:

When you're done with these, then you adults study this free online course for all your sakes:

If you have questions along the way, please ask!

Compassiionately, Pete

Parenting Stepchildren

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Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about remarriage preparation, stepparenting, stepchild discipline, child visitation, grieving, stepfamily norms and myths, mission statements, stepparent job (role)descriptions, communication skills, loyalty and values conflicts, stepfamily identity problems, common pitfalls, ex mate and relative problems, stepfamily merger and adjustment tasks, name confusions, choosing an effective counselor, resolving money disputes, co-parenting support groups, and the family effects of court (legal) battles. I can`t answer questions about medicine, family law, legal stepchild adoption, or financial planning.


I have studied and worked with stepfamilies clinically since 1979, and I have been a "step everything" personally. I was invited to be on the board of the Stepfamily Association of America (SAA) by it's founders, Drs. John and Emily Visher; and later was re-invited by president Margory Engle, PhD. For more detail, see this.

Former Board member, Stepfamily Association of America (SAA)
National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC)Experts Council

Hundreds of Web articles on ; I've uploaded over 150 self-improvement videos on YouTube; and have self-published 6 books. My ad-free Web site offers a unique, practical 7-lesson self-improvement course.

Stanford University BSME (1958) George Williams College MSW (1981) Hundreds of post-graduate seminars on a wide variety of "mental health" subjects

Awards and Honors
Hundreds of appreciative emails and comments on my Web site and videos from people all over the world.

Past/Present Clients
I have worked clinically with over 1,000 midwestern divorced and remarried family members, and have had over 800 stepfamily students in various seminars and courses since 1981

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