is it ok to discipline your step children the same as you would your own?

United States
August 23, 2012 10:09pm CST
My husband has 2 kids from a previous relationship and we have 2 kids together. The kids mother and I are on civil terms and get along for the most part and try to make sure we are all on the same page with the older 2 kids. I tend to communicate with her more than their dad because I stay at home with the kids while he works. He doesn't usually get home until late at night so when we have the older 2 I have all of them. I see myself being a little harder on the two that belong to me and am quicker to discipline them than I am the other two. Even though I have been told by both my husband and their mother to discipline them accordingly. Even with that, I still feel funny about it. Being the fact that I've been given the go ahead by both of their parents, should I just get over myself and treat them the same? Or should I just continue to use the old "wait until your dad gets home and I tell him what you did today" line??
6 responses
• United States
24 Aug 12
I had a boy friend for three years anbd I had his 7 ear old daughter just about every day. It was funny because when the mother had her she would call for me to cme right back and pick sabrina up. her father would whoop her all the time. but,i would never put my hands on her because she was not my child. he would get on my daughter if she did something wrong but he knew he could never hit her. some people believe in beatings while others don't. not saying you want to beat them or anything. but the closest I would get to do with any other persons child would be time out of punishments. that i would have no problem with.
• United States
24 Aug 12
Honestly. Sometimes, they deserve to have their butt whipped, but I don't even spank my own kids that often. It's just that sometimes I feel like they know I'm not going to hit them so they run a muck when their dad isn't here and I feel like I spend so much time yelling at them and confining them to their room. I'm just starting to feel really frustrated with the whole situation. When I call their mom when they're acting up and then all they do is tell her that they want to come home and she coddles them and doesn't back me up so then I really look like the bad guy and my husband can't get calls at work and by the time he gets home they're already sleeping. I just don't really know what to do anymire. These kids are really out if control when their dad is gone and they don't have any respect. I'm just starting to feel like if I haul off and pop them both one good time then maybe they'll realize I'm not playing around but I'm scared ill feel guilty about it or that even tho their mom has said that its ok, that it might cause a problem anyway...ugh. I just don't know.
@Jshean20 (14373)
• Canada
25 Aug 12
That's a tough one to judge there. Based on the fact that you said you've already discussed it with their mother and father I would say that they should be disciplined according to what is deserved, if you feel uncomfrtable doing it then I also don't see an issue with saying "wait until your father gets home".
@shylade (3137)
• Philippines
24 Aug 12
There's nothing wrong if you discipline them like yours anyway, for most of the times you are together and that they will look at you as their own mother. As long as you don't hurt them intentionally, it will be okay. You know sometimes, it is really hard to weigh things out and even though they told you to do so, you still not convince to do it. That's understandable but keep in mind that you will live with them and your two other kids for a long time. I am glad you and their mother are in good terms so it will be much easier with you.
@HomeBase (1054)
• United States
24 Aug 12
It's a COMFORT level type of thing. It is totally natural for you to feel more comfortable disciplining your own children than disciplining children that are NOT your own. You KNOW your own kids, they ARE you, they came from INSIDE of you. You are comfortable with them and therefore feel totally at ease with them, that is completely understandable, so don't beat yourself UP about it. It is like the difference between going back to school this year as a Senior to a high school one has been attending for the past 3 years, as opposed to coming into the same school as a freshman who has never BEEN to the school before. The Senior is comfy, at ease, the school is old hat to him, NO problem. The incoming freshman however is a bag of nerves, does not know what to expect, or where to go, so many new faces!! The high-school Senior is comfortable because he is USED to the school, the Freshman, however, is just LEARNING the school. It will take awhile for the freshman to acclimate himself with the new role of high school student and all that entails. The step-children KNOW that you are not comfortable disciplining them, but all things being equal, they may not be handling the break-up of their mother and dad all that well, so you are bearing the brunt of it. THEY may feel completely out-of-sorts with being forced to stay with you, like they have NO say-so, no CONTROL, in their own lives. That can be a hard thing to deal with as a child. They could really just miss their mom when they are with you, but all that being said... Me, myself, I too WOULD be scared to discipline them, but I would go ahead and do it anyway for my own peace of mind. A child will run you crazy if you let them. You don't need to yell and scream at them all day, there's nothing SEXY about that. Your husband needs you to be his (sexy, poised) wife, as his wife you need peace of mind. Just make sure that you are being FAIR when you discipline the children, that way you won't suffer from any unnecessary guilt trips. I WOULD talk to them real nice and easy like...let them know what I like and what I don't like. I would also tell them that "my door is open for them to talk to me at ANYtime" because never-ending, day in, day out communication with those kids is KEY. I would give them a couple of chances, but then... And then do it all again the next day!
@jazel_juan (15767)
• Philippines
24 Aug 12
i do understand that, though i do not have any step children, i live with some nephews at home. I do not discipline them as much as with my own kids as i felt like they have their parents to begin with. but i do tell them what is not right when i see them doing not right. My kids do ask me why i am harder on them and i said because i love them more and i want them to be on the right path. as for you i guess that is a different scenario as those are already considered yours kids too maybe you could still discipline as somehow you love them right? and they might need it already too as long as you think they are on the off track. welcome to mylot my friend.
• Philippines
24 Aug 12
I think it is okay to treat step children as your own children. Since you are the new mother, it is just right to treat them like your children. Love them like they are your own children. that is your new responsibility as the new mother. Usually, the new mom does not treat her step children equal with her own young. That is why the step children would feel neglected. Don't let this happen. Love them all equally. This is just my opinion regarding this topic. happy mylotting.