“I don’t feel like I have any say when it comes to the children. I feel when I do say something, it always causes big issues with my spouse. Do I even have any authority in my role as a stepparent?”
Many stepparents feel as though when it comes to their stepchildren, they are just going along for the ride, but this gets old very quickly. As stepparents we get tired of always being the bad cop and we feel as though we aren’t getting the support of our spouse, and the children aren’t showing us any respect. Most of the time this occurs even before the ink has even dried on the marriage certificate.
Here are a few thoughts to consider if you are the biological parent:
If you are the biological parent and you got married/remarried, your new spouse is now in a parenting role with the child. They are one of the child’s parents. They are not taking the place of their biological parent, but with the marriage comes the appointed role of parent. That means they should have a voice when it comes to the child. If they don’t, it WILL cause issues in the relationship.
If this previous statement is tough for you to swallow, and you’re not married yet…stop everything, and don’t get married! You should not be moving forward with getting married if you don’t feel comfortable with giving the role over to your potential spouse.
Here are a few thoughts to consider if you are the stepparent:
Remember, you are coming into new territory. You have never been a part of this parenting role before with your new spouse or new child. Chances are they have been doing things very different before you came along. Things are going to look different from what you might be used to, so move in slowly.
The biological parent should welcome you to come parent alongside them, but it’s also very important for you and your spouse to have very clear expectations on what parenting will look like. These things are better discussed before the marriage takes place, but if it hasn’t happened yet, now is the time.
Being a parent in general is very difficult, but when you add all the different dynamics of the blended family, it can, at times, seem down right overwhelming. But the good news is, if you do it by applying God’s principles, you can have a successful blend every time.