Blended Families

Support and advice on blended families including being a stepmom or stepdad, raising children from a previous relationship, and dealing with your ex.

My three year old with anxiety

My step daughter has been through more in her three years than I have my entire life, she is going through a really hard time at daycare, I work there and I witness everything. She is such a happy and fun loving girl at home and I am really struggling watching her turn into an anxiety ridden girl who throws major meltdowns, where all she does is scream and cry for at least 10 minutes. She is on... More

  • Anonymous
    Feb 18

    sorry to hear she is having a hard time at school. I agree with other's here, the school/teachers should be more accommodating for her special needs, if they are unable to do so it's worth looking at other nearby schools in the area if they have better care for her needs. Her anxiety and meltdowns at school is likely due to their inability to properly teach and communicate with others a... More

  • Sara

    I'd suggest looking for another daycare, maybe a smaller one. A good daycare will make accommodations for different children within reason and a special box of things sounds like a very reasonable accommodation.

Anonymous posted in Blended Families Jan 03

Overweight child

At what age do you stop pretending to your child that their weight isn’t an issue and that “they will grow into it”? I have a 10 year old step son who weighs 150lbs and is starting to become even more inactive then he previously was. His height is normal height for his age. I feel like his parents just keep pushing it off in hopes he will thin out but this has been going on since he was 6. ... More

  • Anonymous
    Jan 04

    Sounds like your husband is the problem. Get him fully on board first. Just like anything new, it’s hard at the beginning but if you make it routine it will get easier (increasing activity, evening walks, etc). Just make a point to create a schedule/routine that includes exercise Diet on the other hand - you just have to get rid of the foods that are bad. Just make it completely unavailable.... More

  • Leelee
    Jan 30

    From one step mom to another. You're screwed until your husband does something and even then, you may be screwed if Mom isn't on board too. I've dealt with this exact situation. He's now 21 and discovered he likes keto and lost 40+lbs his senior year in college. But I can't stress enough how little power you have as a step mom. It's not personal, it's just hard to ha... More

Anonymous posted in Blended Families Dec 04

I don't know how to feel about my girlfriend and her ex

My girlfriend and I have been together for 2 years now. She goes out of her way for her ex, the father of her child. Just last weekend she took him and baby boy to town to go shop. He doesn’t have a car or any means of transportation. But they do more than just shop. They go out to eat and go to the park and take photos together. And she tells me not to be mad about that... but I just don’t kno... More

  • Jess
    Dec 06

    No one can tell you how to feel. I would also feel a little strange about it which I think is natural, but if you both have a good healthy relationship and trust each other, I think it’s great that they can coparent that way. Not everyone would feel comfortable with that situation though, but after time I think you will feel better about it and your gf will appreciate you more for being so unde... More

  • anonymous mom
    Dec 20

    No one should make you feel bad about how you feel. And no one should tell you how to feel. If I were you I’d consider inviting yourself along on the shopping trips. See how they interact and let it be a nice way to bond with your stepchild and learn more about her ex. That should help put your mind at ease.

Anonymous posted in Blended Families Nov 24, 2019

Ex’s girlfriend always comes to my door at dropoff

My ex and his gf of 6 months moved in together recently and my son met her a couple months ago. She is nice and we get along, but for a while she was using her bank account to send my ex’s child support, which I asked if that could stop for tax filing reasons. Now every single Sun when my ex drops my son off, she comes to the door with both of them and my ex says “aren’t you going to give her a... More

Crying fits at day care

So my step son just started a day care/preschool setting this week. Every morning at drop off and every afternoon at pick up, he has these crying fits that range from controllable to uncontrollable. He will either just cry and say no or he will drop himself on the floor and flail his arms and legs (side note: he only does that fit when his mom drops him off). I’m asking for suggestions on ho... More

  • Nana
    Aug 29, 2019

    Be confident yourself (if you believe in the environment and staff) and the hardest thing is don’t linger. Talk ahead of expectations and the fun things he might do. At the end of the day ask him questions like “what was the best/ hardest thing about today. How did you show kindness. How did you show kindness.” Reward when drop off and pick up are positive. Tell him at pick up that (favorite t... More

  • May-Ling
    Aug 29, 2019

    our preschool suggested we pick up this book to read with our kids to get them used to some kind of dropoff ritual for consistency:

Daughter has never had a father figure

Hey guys, I could really use some advice or a different view point on my situation. My daughter is almost three and I was a single mom most of her life. During her whole life she’s hardly been around men. (Lots of girls in our family) Only my stepdad, my grandpa and her father on the rare occasion. I think because she was hardly around men, she developed a fear of them. So she never really lik... More

  • Anonymous
    Aug 13, 2019

    I've typed a response to this post several times but have deleted it constantly because I just can't figure out how to word what I want to say. Basically, your boyfriend needs to stop. If she is scared when he gets stern he needs to stop. End of story. I went through this with my boyfriend, the two of them started butting heads a lot. I had it out with him and explained that he needs to... More

  • Anonymous
    Aug 13, 2019

    Is she really scared of him though if she behaves fine when she’s alone with him? And if she’s behaving with just him... then technically he’s also seen her good side too right? Maybe it’s not fear that’s the issue but really her just being a toddler and testing you both as a team. When you disagree on discipline, do you show it or express that in front of her? Maybe she’s trying to figure o... More

Anonymous posted in Blended Families Jul 26, 2019

Boundaries with coparenting

My ex and I get along well, we are both engaged to new partners, we have a 6 year old that lives with me and stays with him one night a week. Our son just had surgery and has a 2 week recovery, so he won’t be able to go back and forth between houses. He is going to stay with me since he is mostly always here. His dad insists he should be able to come and spend time with him for a couple hours, ... More

  • Anonymous
    Jul 27, 2019

    I disagree with your fiance. I live with my boyfriend and my daughter. Her father tends to come up once a month to visit. When he does, he stays in our house (he would never be able to afford a hotel stay) and we cover food. I dont like my ex. My boyfriend doesn't like my ex. The visits aren't always super comfortable, but we love our child. Her father is finally making an effort to be ... More

  • Serrina F.
    Oct 09, 2019

    I'm in a similar situation like yours with my oldest son and his father who has a wife and another child together and than there's my fiance whom I have a child with. So what I would say to that is to have a sit down with all the adults to make everyone as comfortable as possible and come to some kind of agreement, understanding. Especially being that this is a special situation with a... More

My husbands ex is annoying. Can I avoid her without effecting my relationship with my step-kids?

  • Carrie
    Oct 27, 2019

    I disagree. You can't necessarily avoid her fully but Coparenting is the primary responsibility of your husband. You weren't married to her he was. He needs to take up the slack with doing the Lions share when it comes to coparenting. Coparenting is not always possible. Sometimes parallel parenting is best.

  • Onewomanwlfpak
    Jan 07

    As someone who really wishes my sons dad would coparent, I say you can easily avoid her. It’s his job to deal with her, not yours. In my situation, my ex’s gf has hurt our coparenting situation by being clingy and jealous. I WISH all she did was avoid me.

Anonymous posted in Blended Families May 18, 2019

Out of state custody

I am looking into moving to another state in order to get away from my daughter’s father- he is really not a safe person. I know I need to be in a new state for 182 days in order to gain jurisdiction there. Does anyone have experience in this type of situation that could offer me advice or pleasant stories (I’m terrified to do this). Much love! Thank you!

  • Anya levonavna
    May 20, 2019

    I was in a very similar situation I’m 2012 when I found myself in a toxic marriage with an abusive man. We lived in PA but I was from New York City and still had a lot of strong ties there. I took my two year old son and left in the middle of the night. My husband came several times to try to take our son back but as soon as he would show up I d call the police. I went to the precinct and I spo... More

  • Anonymous
    May 24, 2019

    Anya, thank you! How did you get jurisdiction? My biggest question now is what do I need to do right away so that I can prove that I have been there 6 months when the time comes?

Really struggling with 7 year old step daughter

Hubs and I each brought in a child from a previous relationship and then we have one together. My daughter (4years old) loves him tremendously and most of the time loves spending time with him unless she is tired or doesn’t feel good then it’s mommy time. My daughters father isn’t in the picture and hasn’t been there since she was about a year old. His daughter (7 year old) has never really wan... More

  • Anonymous
    May 18, 2019

    From the perspective of a step daughter - my step dad came into my life when I was 2, my sister 4. I didn't remember times with my dad so I took him in and accepted him as dad immediately. My sister did not. She fought with him constantly, it continued until she moved out at 18. I know it's frustrating, but you have to try and understand how hard it is for that girl to watch her mom pop... More

  • Anonymous
    Jul 26, 2019

    I might be way out of line with my thinking, but 7 years old isn’t too old to make her fix her mistakes. She pulls clothes off hangers and tosses them on the floor to get your attention or get a rise out of you...I’d tell her she has until morning to pick them up and put them back in the closet or she will lose some privilege. That’s that. I also would consider therapy for the whole family. And... More

Step dad struggling to be as loved as mommy.

My fiance has been struggling lately with my daughter. He feels like a terrible dad because my daughter says she doesn't want to spend tine with just him. This is his first time around a kid and he's been strict as of late. I try to tell him when he's going overboard but he doesn't always listen. They fight a lot and I'm at a loss as to what to do. She cries when I leave, or... More

Anonymous posted in Blended Families May 07, 2019

My son is resentful of his siblings and his stepdad

My 12 year old son is resentful of his stepdad and his younger siblings. We have been together for 7 years and have 2 children together (3 & 1). Before that, it was just my older son and daughter (who are now 12 & 15). He feels that his stepdad and younger siblings have taken me away because they require much more attention. Any advise on how to get him through this?

  • Brian
    May 07, 2019

    As a dad and step dad, I’m just honest with the kids. I don’t know how this is suppose to work, but I have enough love for all of them and I try to make time for one on one with them individually. Sometimes it’s helping with homework and other times it’s ice cream or just cuddling and watching their favorite shows. Good luck.

  • Sam
    May 10, 2019

    I could have wrote this. Good luck mama! ❤️❤️

Anonymous posted in Blended Families May 05, 2019

When to introduce my significant other to my kid?

I’ve been talking to this guy for about a month now we’ve went on a couple dates and spent a few nights together we’ve talked about a lot of the serious topics and have the same views of what we want out of life and have the same values we click in that sense and in person things just feel right with him and I can see myself with him for the long haul and this is the first guy I’ve been with si... More

  • Anna
    May 13, 2019

    I’ve been debating this myself, similar situation. The previous poster made a good point about attachment; that’s been my concern. But a friend that’s been a single parent said that she benefited from introducing her kids early - if the kids didn’t connect with the guy, she took it as a sign and they ended up being true. That being said, I think for me it will boil down to timing, my comfort le... More

  • Anonymous
    May 21, 2019

    Not for a while. I wouldn't introduce a man to my kid until at least 6 months of dating if not more.


My SS will be 6 in a few weeks. He is bright, sweet, and loving, but also argumentative and defiant. All of this seems to be on point with his age. But when I moved in with him and his dad about a year ago, he was still throwing fits and his behavior was very much like a toddler, instead of an almost five year old. We have made major progress with his behavior, but a couple things are worrying ... More

  • Joanna
    May 04, 2019

    I don't think these behaviors are alarming. But if you think that his behaviors are delayed, his school should have resources to evaluate it. Trust your gut.

  • Elissa
    May 04, 2019

    He has been seeing a counselor for several months. This just occurred to me yesterday and wanted to ask. I did email his counselor as well

Anonymous posted in Blended Families Apr 26, 2019

How can I help my stepdaughter not feel torn?

My awesome husband and I have been together going on 7 years. We have shared custody of our daughter. She was 4 when I met her and we took our time in getting to know one another before her father and I got married. Her parents did not have a healthy co- parenting relationship for year before I stepped onto the scene, but I have Since the beginning I have been respectful of her mom and don'... More

  • Tiffany S
    Aug 11, 2019

    My bonus daughter is a teenager now (15). I've known her since she was 4. Her father and I have been married for 8 years. She revealed to us 3 years ago that her step father ( mom's current husband) was touching her since she 5 til 12 when she told. Child protective services got involved, my bonus daughter moved in with me and father, we now have custody. My bonus daughter told her mom... More

  • Kellz
    Sep 17, 2019

    wow... so I hope this is still an active post.. bonus daughter. I like that!! I have like little to no advice.. at this moment... more like another problem, issue... I need help. so here we go, my *bonus*child lives with me and her dad and has ever since she was 2. Her mother is in prison, and she hasn't always been.. but shes never really been more than a pop in from time to time. needl... More

Anonymous posted in Blended Families Mar 29, 2019

Do I step back or keep going

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for a little over a year now, He has a beautiful little 6yo girl and I love her to pieces and I’ve grown to be very involved in her life. But recent events have reminded me that I am very much not her parent, one day I hope to be but currently I’m not. Sometimes I feel like a glorified babysitter and nothing more. Do I continue to try to be a maternal figure in her... More

  • Erin
    Apr 01, 2019

    If her mother is in her life, you will NEVER and nor should you want to be able to compete with that. Depending on the situation you could be more of a maternal figure eventually but you may have to accept that being a step parent is difficult and make the best of it. If you don’t try too hard it can be nice but don’t ignore your own needs or you will only end up resentful and that’s how you be... More

6 Year Old, that doesn’t wanna listen.

I’m needing help on this problem too. I’ve been with this little girl for 8 months now, moved in with her & her dad ( bf of mine ). She hasn’t been respectful or good at listening to me at all. She acts totally different when her dad gets home from work. Or when she’s around other people. She likes to ignore me Or throw tantrums. So I send her to timeout. But it seems like she isn’t learnin... More

  • Xena
    Mar 21, 2019

    Thank You all so much for the help! I will try things out, make some charts for chores & etc and see where it goes from there . Thank you so much y’all

  • John Maxwell
    Mar 22, 2019

    All you have to do is engage in all activities she loves doing, Make her see you and talk to you as a friend not someone trying to replace her mom.

How to make 6 year old clean up?

I need advice on how to make her understand that she needs to pick up her toys, clothes, shoes, & etc. when she’s done with them. I kept telling her if I see any toys on the ground they're going with me & I’ll take them or I’ll throw it away. Am I doing the right thing?

  • Jessie
    Mar 20, 2019

    I think positive reinforcement is almost always key, but IF the time calls for it, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with grabbing a trash bag for a little scare and saying, “well, I told you... If you can’t take care of your things by putting them back where they belong, then I’ll give them to someone who will.” ;) Good luck!

  • Elissa
    Apr 01, 2019

    I would tell her she has til such and such time to pick up her things. If she doesn’t, the item goes in time out, for like a day, or she gets an extra chore before it can come out again. We have a lego chore chart and my SS loves to complete everything so all the LEGOs are on it. You could try something like that as well

Anonymous posted in Blended Families Mar 17, 2019

New boyfriend

How long should I wait to bring my son around my new boyfriend? I've been good friends with my bf for almost 10 years now, but we didn't start being a couple until recently. When and how should I tell my child's father? My child's father and I have been broken up for almost 2 years, but still living together until about a month ago. My child's father and I had no issues no... More

  • Kerry
    Mar 18, 2019

    Did your child know your bf before you started dating? How old is your child? Imo if youve known him for that long and trust him have him around your son but as a friend to him not a “father/dad” figure. The father cant dictate who you have around your son unless it puts your son in danger or a bad situation. If you have good friends and family, then have them around your son. Specially if you ... More

1st birthday

So I’m adopted and I’ve invited both my birth parents and adoptive parents to my l.o. 1st birthday. My adoptive mom is extremely jealous that I have my birth mom involved. Please tell me all things that could go wrong bc I’m super nervous.

  • Rody the donkey
    Mar 14, 2019

    You should be sensitive to your adoptive mom’s feelings. Maybe treat bio mom at the same importance as an aunt. Talk to adoptive mom about it. Adoptive mom would’ve love to birth you herself. She shouldn’t have to feel like someone else is taking the valuable title of grandma away from her. This stuff matters. Also, talk to other adopted kids and see how they handled this problem themselves and... More

  • Elle
    Mar 21, 2019

    Be sensitive to your adoptive mom's feelings. No one wants to feel replaced or replaceable. Reassure her that no one -- not even the woman who gave birth to you -- could replace her as your MOM and your child's GRANDMA. I like the above idea of giving the bio mom something like aunt-like status, similar to how friends are sometimes aunt-so-and-so. Suggest sitting down separately wit... More

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