Do you talk to your signficant other about your concerns for their child/your step child? - FamilyEducation
Do you talk to your signficant other about your concerns for their child/your step child?
02/14/2010 at 00:41 AM

I guess everyone who has decided to enter into a relationship with someone who has children has struggled with dealing with this: what do you do when you are concerned about the decisions being made that relate to your stepchild/children? I am sometimes concerned about how my husband handles certain things relating to his 10 yr old son (he spends weekends with us). Do you talk to your significant other about what you see? Do you keep it to yourself? I find when I try to say something to him, he shuts down so I have pretty much stopped raising any concerns to him. It bothers me to not say anything, both the perception that I do not care because I don't say anything and also I genuinely am concerned about some things. Any advice out there as to your personal experiences with this?
Thank you!

Your step-child is not your child. Unless your husband requests your input or you see or know something harmful is happening or may happen to the child, you need to stay out of the situation. When my husband and I were dating there were a number of things I brought to his attention that would have to change in order for our relationship to continue. Striking/spanking his boys, allowing them to watch PG13 or R rated movies and play T or M rated games, allowing them to eat whatever/whenever they wanted and drink soda regularly are some. There were/are others but I choose my battles. Usually before mentioning anything, I come up with possible solutions and usually when I am diplomatic about the situation, he will come around. Most times it is easier to just let things go, they are only here a few days a month and I plan my work and some of my social schedule to only spend limited time with them. Then when we are together the time is much more pleasant. The perception "I do not care because I don't say anything" is your perception, not your husband's. Unless your "genuine concern" is for the child's health, safety or wellbeing, then let it alone and allow your husband parent his own child.

Please do not think that I am always butting in,I'm not asking this in regards to trivial matters. An example, my genuine concern happened to be for his child's health this past weekend.I felt his son had caught the same bad cold I had a few weeks ago & was struggling to get over it. His mother gets upset & says he's allergic to something in our home but his son comes to our home sick. I tried to tell my husband that after three weeks,I really feel he needs to see a doctor. He just said 'ok' & then took him along to a dinner we had planned with his mother.Poor kid looked miserable through the entire dinner-headache, badly congested, & tired from not sleeping well. I didn't say anything more about it,just gave his son some medicine to relieve symptoms when we got home. I know my husband heard my concern but I was surprised he couldn't see his son was really sick.I am just wondering how others handle bring these kinds of things up...or do you just let this go, too?

The decision to take a child to the doctor is the parents decision. If they choose or do not choose to do so, it is their decision, unless it is a life or death situation. I would never give one of my stepsons any medication, even if my husband asked me to. Administering any meds, even over the counter, is up to the parent. I would just let it go.

I gave the medication after consulting my husband because his son was obviously uncomfortable and feeling really bad. I would never do things like tell my husband what t.v. shows or video games his son can or cannot watch--to me, it is up to him to decide what he wants to expose his son to. But when his son is obviously feeling terrible in our home and has the same thing I had for which I went to the doctor to get treatment for, I didn't think it was out of my boundaries to say something. Thanks for your advice, though.