• He might just be overreacting because he is threatened by a new male presence in their lives, but Your rights as a step parent are somewhat limited by the feelings of the childrens biological parents. Think about it, if a childs parent is uncomfortable with something that has happened, they either need more information, or you need to try a different approach OR you need to accept that you are upsetting these people's already wounded little world. But it all depends on what works within your family unit, and things may even change from time to time. My husband and I each had a child before we met so we have been step parenting each others (with ex's involved) and there is a lot of talk about rights and fairness in this house frequently. After 3.5 years we have given each other full liberty to discipline eachothers children but we usually end up double checking the reasoning behind spanking because it should not be a first resort from a step parent. (A step parents role is different than a parents but not less important or respectable.) And the questioning phone calls from ex's do happen from time to time. Take it as a sign they are caring parents, and Try not to let it rattle your cage. Just keep doing the best you can and be honest. Perhaps in time things will calm down. My parents are divorced and friends with eachothers new spouces! I also talk on the phone regularly with my husbands ex and try to maintain a functional relationship for the kids.
  • I think you should find a non physical punishment to use, you should not ever spank someone elses child, that would be the biological parents decision to make.
  • I was a step mom, and the judge told me I didn't even have the right to feed them, so as a step parent YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS...
  • My stepfather spanked me all the time. My father couldn't say much, as he was inclined to injure. My stepfather had firm rules. When he spanked me, I always knew why. We always talked about it first. He always made sure that I knew exactly how to avoid being spanked for the same infraction again. There were always perameters for the spanking, it wasn't just hit until I cried or whatever. If it was a slight offense, I might get one or two licks. If it was a major offense, I might get six or eight. I respect my stepfather and what he did for me. He probably did more to internalize self-control for me than anyone. He was fair. He didn't just hit me to relieve his own anger. And he did more with me as a dad than anyone. He taught me to work on cars, to do carpentry, took me camping, played baseball with me and taught me to play street hockey. I would say you should make sure you are spending time doing things with the kids first. If they don't want to disappoint you, they'll be more likely to mind. I'd make sure their lives are structured, with set bedtimes and routines so they don't have so much leeway to get in trouble. Then I would talk to dad and explain what the kid did and why you chose to respond the way you did, man to man. If he understands what the kid did and that you have the kids best interests at heart, he might not be so angry.
  • If you're a parent than you need to be involved in the disciplinary process. Although alot of people are totally against spanking, sometimes it's a necessary tool. From the tone of the paragraph it looks like the kids are with you and your wife most of the time. I don't see how the Bio dad can dictate what you can do when you have the kids............
  • I suppose you know what you're talking about and I wish I could say the same...
  • To me if you it's not against the law to provide a roof over there head, clothes on their back, and foods on the plate how you choose to discpline them as long as it is reasonable shouldn't get you in trouble. But of course we all now how hypocritcail our legal system is
  • While not a big fan of spanking (too much of it from my own father), I personally think that as their stepdad you should treat them as your own kids, laugh, joke, play and share things with them. Of course, this also includes disciplining them when it is merited. Discipline is important to teach children what is or is not socially acceptable. Personally, I would try forms of discipline other than spanking. But that is a choice I have made and I respect those who feel differently about it. Hope this helps.
  • I would say that's up to the biological parents. If my stepdad had physically disciplined me as a kid, my real dad would have been pissed.
  • My personal view is that Spanking is NEVER necessary ; as all it does it to teach kids that when something goes wrong , VIOLENCE or Hitting is the answer .... My step father's (there were two in my life as a minor) would never have dared laid a hand on me ... ) 1. My mother would ahve bounced them out of the house . 2. My real father would have beat the holy crap out of him /them ..... I've a friend who is a family court judge ... he says that MOST judges take the view and stand that a Step father has NOT the right to lay even a finger on a child that is not his .... also; yelling/screaming at a child by a step parent is considered Verbal abuse and a step parent CAN be prosecuted for it .... Just MY two cents ...
  • If someone whacked you for whacking your kid, how would that make you feel? Pissed off right? Well how do you think the kid feels about you?
  • I'm sure there's a question in there somewhere....... Lookit - every parental figure deserves respect (as long as there is no abuse) and every biological parent has the obligation to teach respect. This isn't about the father/step father. This is the breakdown in communication and goals regarding the children between the step father and the mother. Until they get their act together, everyone will continue to falter and the situation will fester. Get it together, mom and dad!
  • There are many ways to discipline without spanking. Taking away privileges is one way to get through to them. I grew up in a time that spanking was socially acceptable if not encouraged. Because the bio father doesn't want you to spank, I would continue to discipline in a way that is constructive without spanking. There must be a balance though. If you are a step parent and you are going to discipline, there must be love as well. Make sure he knows you love him.
  • I think it is not a question of your rights, but of how you should behave. Personally, if a step parent smacked a child of mine, I would feel like putting them in hospital, but that's just me. I think you should aim to find other types of punishment. All too often spanking is a sign of weakness.

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