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Stepmom and discipline issues
Family & Parenting / 2:37 PM - Thursday January 03, 2008

stepmom and discipline issues

do you think a step parent has the right to discipline a step child?

i have a 6 yr old son and i'm real uncomfortable with some of the things his stepmom does and how she handles him, even tho my ex husband has no problem with it.

my son is a real picky eater, so when he's with me i'm real sensitive to this and ask him what he would like for dinner and go with that. he's only with me half the time so i figure i have other chances to eat what i want that he doesn't like, and it's the same over there. but his stepmom just fixes whatever she wants with no thought to him at all, and if he doesn't like it and doesn't eat, he's not allowed to have anything else or any snacks before the next meal. i think at least she should fix him something else even if it's just a pb&j sandwich but she won't and sometimes he won't eat lunch or dinner on the weekends and then calls me crying because he's so hungry. my ex backs her up.

then there are other times when she insists on certain little things that just don't matter for the sake of rules. like she makes him take off his shoes before he comes in the house because that's what they do. he told her he doesn't like not wearing shoes, so she went and bought him some shoes just to wear in the house and they're not allowed to be worn outside, but he hates being made to change his shoes when he comes inside. he's a real active kid and it slows him down, but she won't give an inch. at my house he's allowed to eat in front of the tv and does it alot, we both do actually because we have alot of our meals while watching tv, but his stepmom is real picky about that and won't let him have food in the family room at all.

there are so many rules she has and really it would not be a big deal for her to relax her rules a bit and accomodate him because it's just not a big deal so why sweat the small stuff. but the problems come in that when he breaks rules, he gets punished with time outs or getting grounded or losing privileges and i just don't feel like she should have that much leverage over him since she's not his parent and really don't have alot of parenting experiance. if she tells him to clean up his room and he doesn't do it when she says, he gets grounded. she gives him time outs for being disrespectful and being sassy with her when he really isn't, it's just that she don't understand his personality and calls him disrespectful.

i don't have a deal with other people disciplining my kid, i let my boyfriend do it, but the difference is he's raised 2 kids and has parenting experiance so i would trust him more. she has a 1 month old and has no idea how to parent older kids because she don't have any. i don't have a problem with my boyfriend spanking him when he deserves it because he knows how to parent kids that age whereas stepmom don't. but my ex has an issue with me letting my boyfriend spank him, but at least it's not all the time. my boyfriend only spanked him 3 times, but he's always getting chewed out by his stepmom for really stupid stuff that i really wonder if she's just nit picking and trying to find any excuse to punish him because she don't like me (the impression i get at least). and my son gets punished all the time like that, most of the time she says it's for not listening. like yesterday he picked up his baby brother and tried carrying him down the steps, and she jumped all over him and made him cry and sent him to his room for a time out. now my son is a real sensitive kid and gets his feelings hurt easy when people yell at him, but she always climbs him for everything. i took issue with how she handled him yesterday, he just wanted to take his baby brother downstairs. he called me after he was let out of his room and i talked to his stepmom about it and told her i don't think she handled it right. she said it was for the baby's safety and that my son knows he's not allowed to walk around carrying the baby and he'e supposed to ask permission to hold him. i wasn't getting anywhere with her, so i talked to my ex. know what he told me? He said she should have busted his ass, and that if he was home he would of because he knows the rules and knows he's not allowed to carry the baby around. i mean sheesh, the poor kid only wants to bond with his brother and stepmom will hardly let him get near him and yells at him when he tries.

anyho i'm just not comfortable with the way things are over there and feel like they aren't listening to me. i feel like she should defer to me since i am his mother and i've told them i want to sit down with them and discuss Isaac's rules so we can all get on the same page, but my ex says that's not necessary and that all that would happen from it is me trying to tell them what rules to have in their house when it's none of my business, which i beg to differ because he's my son and my business and i am not comfortable with stepmom's discipline. what does everyone think about this?

- Asked by Female, 22-25

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