Home / Parenting / Family / Family Dynamics / Stepfamilies: authority and responsibility

Stepfamilies: authority and responsibility

by Content Editor
Stepfamilies: authority and responsibility

“You’re not my mother! You have nothing to say to me!” Such is often the virulent response to an order given to the child of his companion when the relationship is strained.
Before interfering in his education (table manners, haircut, telephone use, bedtime), get to know and love the child. Don’t remain unspoken either. “As soon as you live under the same roof, explain calmly what the rules are that govern your home. Otherwise, the tension would build up and end up exploding,” explains a child psychiatrist.

To each his own. Advice from a psychoanalyst.

The parent’s responsibility is to establish the fundamental principles: on schooling (orientation, contacts with teachers), ethics (life ethics) or health (choice of treatments).
In-laws can take the liberty of relaying the application of the rules of good manners daily, which are part of the “authority of proximity”: life hygiene (food, bedtime, etc.), schoolwork (advice, tests, etc.), social behavior (politeness, table manners, etc.). Be careful, however, not to call into question what the other parent has instilled in them.
In the event of a major conflict, let the custodial parent take over with the child. This will allow you to let go.

When the Oedipus complex comes into play

Around the age of 5, the little girl will not hesitate to dismiss her stepmother amid the Oedipal phase. Explicitly, she will ask you to leave her alone with her father. Implicitly, she will come and slip between the two of you on the sofa.
In extreme cases, it can go as far as manipulation. “In front of her father, she is charming. When he’s away, she insults me, disrespects me, doesn’t obey. I try to talk to my friend about it, but he thinks I’m exaggerating”
But rest assured, by respecting the child and his history, his jealousy towards you will eventually fade away. Patience and perseverance.


In its most basic form, a blended family is one in which the parents have children from prior relationships, but all family members live together as one unit.

Understanding the fundamentals of a blended family will help you accept your family’s strengths while also working through its difficulties.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More