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Stepparent Facts. Once and for All.

Updated on July 30, 2016
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An Upstate WNYer,Paula shares her thoughts & experiences of the dynamics, trials & tribulations of "Family."

shared by "Sunshine625 (Linda Sue)
shared by "Sunshine625 (Linda Sue)

Just the basics

Your divorce was more than ten years ago when your kids were very young. It's been a hell of a struggle but you've learned a whole lot about yourself, right? Maybe. Wouldn't it be ideal if throughout those years, you came to realize precisely what you want in a life partner?

How exactly did you find the time to make many personal decisions? Working a full-time job, running a household on your own and as custodial parent, there's the kids. Yeah, the kids. Dating hasn't been a priority. In fact, the truth is, it's been a few brief dates or encounters with an assortment of prospects that resulted in asking yourself, "Why do I even bother?"

Hold on a moment. Rest assured it's not you. More than likely, it's not even any of those prospects. Face something once and for all. Having failed at marriage....you know, when we married the love of our life, with whom we would spend all eternity, divorce simply wasn't a thought. Naturally we carry guilt, regret, doubt and the monster that grows from all this is paranoia....lots of it. If we weren't at all paranoid, we'd need to question our sanity.

The good news is, even if we base this solely on statistics and nothing else, Prince or Princess Charming does eventually appear. There we are holding that second chance in our hands, albeit at arm's length during the testing period.

Something that cannot be avoided at this point in considering a relationship is that it's not just "us." Those little people we brought into the world who mean everything to us, have to be (hopefully!) our main focus. Thus, let's consider the numerous different types of combinations we might expect if we're thinking about joining forces.

All Step Parents are not created equal

Now seems as good a time as any to understand something and put it to rest once and for all. If one of your parents marries after you have reached the age of eighteen, are off to college, in the military or otherwise living on your own, you have not gained a "step parent." For all intents and purpose, a parent helps to raise, guide and supervise you through your important formative years. By the time you are a young adult, whether you consider this 18, 19 or 20 years old, the person who marries your parent is technically, legally and appropriately your Mother's husband or your father's wife.Similarly, you are to them, their spouse's son or daughter.

There are individuals who have never been married nor had children, who decide to marry someone who is divorced or widowed with children. Still others who are both custodial parents of small children and choose to make their families one big happy blended family.

However this works out or whichever situation you find yourself in based on some serious soul searching, it's acceptable to assume you're hoping for and striving for what's best for all involved.

Because prior serious consideration and lengthy discussion between the couple, as well as their respective children is of utmost importance, avoiding this or postponing until the last minute is highly frowned upon. Experienced blended families, bio Moms and Dads and those who fill the role as Step parent will confirm without question the egregious and avoidable consequences which often occur when these steps are ignored.

If listening to the wise voices of experience isn't enough, take yourself on a tour of websites dedicated to the trials, tribulations and pitfalls of Step parent tragedies. All the pleasant scenes of dreams you may have once had, can very sadly become the worst of nightmares. There should be no need to worry quite as much about these fiascos rearing their ugly heads with a sound and stable original plan.

It is not unusual that we happen to meet a step parent who is the perfect match for the family they married into. We may wonder, is this simple luck or the result of some very determined efforts and a whole lot of compromise? Whatever the case may be, this sort of situation is a breath of fresh air in the world of what can be step-parent disasters. Raising children is a responsibility of enormous planning while simultaneously filled with surprises that call for us to think & act quickly to an immediate issue. In other words, just when we think we're in great shape, expect the unexpected!

Daddy will always love you!
Daddy will always love you!
love me, be there, support me, encourage me.  Be my Dad.
love me, be there, support me, encourage me. Be my Dad.

The Non-custodial Bio Mom or Dad

Opinions abound when it comes to the details set forth in divorce. The only interest I have here for my readers are matters of the minor children. The mere thought of the battles back and forth, the depths some parents will stoop and the gross neglect of what is truly best for the children, can never cease to startle and astound. This is just the way it goes folks and far too often. Make a vow to never be a part of this type of selfishness and shame.

Whether pleasant or despicable, we must deal with hard core facts of reality. There are those so-called "parents," who choose to walk away from it all, the spouse, the families, the home and the kids. For reasons known only to these persons, they just want OUT....from all and everything that resembles their former life. So off they go, giving it up, signing it all over to whomever will assume the responsibilities.....usually the other spouse.

If the parties agree, the Attorneys work things out and the Courts do not object, that's it. It's over. No more marriage, no involvement of any kind, no splitting of assets and one parent forever missing in action, taking their support of any kind with them. Most of us can't think of anything more tragic. It happens.

Thankfully, this is not the most common of scenarios when it comes to dissolution of a marriage. As stated, there are any number of various battles going on daily in our court rooms. Some parents have bitter, downright nasty fights over custody, child support and visitation. There are State by State laws that come into play, yes, but this doesn't seem to stop the constant vitriol. This is when the most precious beings in our lives, our children, are reduced to being used as pawns and weapons.

As of more recently, joint custody is encouraged by lawyers and family court. Many couples are coming to terms with the fairness and equality of this situation, not to mention common sense and benefits afforded the children. When joint custody is not an option, one parent or the other is considered the "custodial parent," while the other is granted liberal and/or scheduled visitation. Child support is a necessary part of this.

Step parents in the shadows?
Step parents in the shadows?

Once Upon a Step Parent's Shadow

Do you know the statistics of parents of young children who remarry? Neither do I, but I can simply take a good look around and be alert to their existence enough to know there are many more who do remarry than those who do not. So then this would account for an enormous number of step parents floating around among us. In fact, I'd venture to say that either you are a step parent, will be one day or your own children have a step parent. Yes, exactly. I knew I'd guess that one. Pretty easy bet.

Step parents fill a pretty damned special role, wouldn't you agree? It doesn't seem that too many of them receive the notice and appreciation they deserve. Is this because bio-parents are so glorified? Could be and I wouldn't disagree with this. I often feel a little pain for the step parent because like it or not, they walk a fine line.

It's not an easy position and way too easy to take advantage. If we're really honest, bio- Moms & Dads.....we want their help, their encouragement and support. We appreciate the stories read and baseball games.....the rides to and from and the help with school projects. This is all so helpful and terrific. Then there's the probability a step parent will hear, " if you don't mind, I'll hear of no harsh words nor negative scolding.....they're MY kids and I'll handle this. I hope you understand because I don't want to repeat myself. If you have a problem with MY child, please let me know....and we'll work it out. By the way, I'm sure you're aware my kids are my PRIMARY concern and they will always come first..?" I'd say this clearly leaves a step parent feeling a little sting.

Then there are the most dreaded words a step parent can hear.....and at one point or another they ALL do hear it: "I don't have to do what you tell me.....you're NOT my Dad or Mom!" This is the comment no one wants to touch with a ten foot pole. It's just not easy being a step parent. Nor is it easy being a step-child. But we all should know this starting out. We should also believe that with love and patience, a little understanding and a lot of dedication, it does get easier. Easier, better, stronger and worth it in the end.

Parents are the adults and rarely can this be dismissed. Realize how precious, vital and exclusive our relationship with our children is in terms of allowing them a healthy, happy home life. Whether married, divorced or remarried, parents owe this to their kids. Step parents play a major role. Choose wisely.

Great Tips for Step Parenting!!

Comments

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  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 5 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Hey there, it's my friend, "To the point."....LOL. Can I tell you, I'm bowled over? I don't believe I could have paid for a personal tribute as lovely as this one! Wow! It's not even so much the obviously complimentary tone but for me, it's from WHOM this comes. We're obviously members of a mutual fan club, au fait, because I find you to be a genius...& knowing my openness in terms of my feelings & opinions, I know I've conveyed my admiration

    Gosh, if we weren't both straight women, we could start planning the wedding!!! LOL! Wishing you Peace, Health & Happiness Always.........Paula

  • Au fait profile image

    C E Clark 5 weeks ago from North Texas

    As you may recall I posted the "Step parents can be awesome," plaque on my Pinterest quotes board. It started out as quotes by Einstein, but has ballooned to a catchall for quotes from everywhere that I like. One of these days I'll have to sort it out and add more boards to make it easier for people to navigate the quotes organized around who said them. Anyway, to this day, a couple of years since I posted it, this plaque of yours has been re-pinned again and again. It never stops being popular, no doubt due to the number of step parents we have these days who feel unappreciated. I hope all those pins have also resulted in lots of pageviews for you.

    I have to say again, that I believe you are vastly under-appreciated here. One of the things I most admire about you is your seemingly no nonsense attitude and your straight forward style both in your articles, in your answers to questions, and in your contributions to discussions. I like your honesty and non-mincing of words. I don't always agree with your politics, which I'm sure comes as no surprise, but I think it would be fair to say that in most of the answers to non-political questions people post here, I am in agreement 99.9% of the time.

    I think you're one of the best writers on here, especially in regard to the technical part -- good sentence structure, good spelling/punctuation, etc. So many of the articles I have read on this site appear to be the rough copies published, no fine tuning at all. Not talking about the occasional mistakes we all make sometimes that slip past our tricky brain in the editing process, but dozens of ghastly mistakes that should be screaming our name if we bother to reread what we have written. Editing one's own work is perhaps one of the hardest things in the world to do well, but I think you do it exceptionally well.

    The one thing that gets points with me every time, is when someone shows that they have a kind heart. To do that one must have compassion for others, sometimes in regard to things most people would not be able to find compassion for. I know from your articles that you do, and that you care deeply for some very important issues that plaque our society. We need more people like you.

    Our Lord says it's easy to love those people who also love us, but He requires us to go further and love our enemies and people who may not be so lovable, and that can be very challenging. Not many people can do that, and I'm not saying you do it all the time, but I believe from your writing that if anyone is capable of seeing all sides of something, or at least making a major effort to do so, it is you.

    Often I have read or heard about something terrible someone has done, and thought, "you wouldn't want me on your jury buddy," but at the same time, I try to do the fair thing and the right thing, and I believe you do also.

    Your children and grandchildren are so lucky to have you and I hope they appreciate that fact. Children tend to turn out like their parents, and so that is a big reason why having the right parents is so important. The right parents aren't necessarily well off, or holding university degrees, or sitting in church every time the church opens its doors, or ever.

    I could go on and on. When I come across someone like you I gain a little hope for our world. I honestly think ignorance (not money, which is often overvalued because of ignorance) is the root of most of the evil in this world. I really think people do and say things out of ignorance, truly believing they are doing the right thing, the accepted and expected thing, but instead it adds to the dissonance and horrible things that plague our world.

    Most people think their words and deeds are of no consequence beyond their own little world, but the truth is that we are all setting examples all the time everywhere we go, every time we speak, and those of us who write extend our influence even further. Every single person we come into any kind of contact with takes something away from the experience if only subconsciously (never underestimate the subconscious). I really think you are sending good vibes, useful vibes, and sensible vibes out into the world. That can only be a good thing. Keep it up.

  • fpherj48 profile image
    Author

    Paula 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Oh trust me Nell....one look at that precious angel and it will all come back to you! Babies remain the same for all time. "Feed me, change me, hold me, LOVE me."

    You'll be a wonderful "Nan!"

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 3 months ago from England

    Hiya, interesting stuff. I am sort of in a similar position, but not quite. My son 's girlfriends daughter is having a baby! never been a grandmother, but now I am going to be a great grandmother by Step! LOL! not sure how to proceed so......LOL!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 15 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    This is all good news. My views have increased in the last few months. Now if I can just understand the mystery profile score!

    Thanks so much for coming to visit again. I always appreciate your comments, Au fait.

  • Au fait profile image

    C E Clark 15 months ago from North Texas

    Came back to let you know that the heart image above is STILL one of the most frequently repinned images on my boards. If anything, it is repinned even more often that the last time I mentioned it. It's repinned several times everyday, at least a dozen times -- super popular. I hope at least some of the pinners are clicking through and reading this article. You might be able to create some niche articles on the subject of blended families.

    The images most often repinned from all of my boards are images from hubs -- and not mine!

    Anyway, great work Paula! Hugs for you also. Take care . . .

  • fpherj48 profile image
    Author

    Paula 19 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Au fait......Thank you so much for bringing me such an awesome message. I am happy to hear this!! You're a doll. Hugs, Paula

  • Au fait profile image

    C E Clark 19 months ago from North Texas

    Came back to let you know that I pinned this article to one of my Pinterest boards several months ago. Every since, and to this very day, the graphic of the brown heart above is repined at least a dozen times a day. You have struck a nerve for an awful lot of people when you wrote this article. I hope you have benefitted from all the pins and that people have clicked through to read your article, and are clicking through still.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 22 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    AC....Hi, thanks for stopping by. From my perspective of this issue, I would definitely agree with you! Peace, Paula

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 22 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

    This is a very interesting article, Paula. It's very thought provoking, too! There are many potential problems in being a stepparent, but it can be wonderful when the relationship between stepparent and children is successful.

  • fpherj48 profile image
    Author

    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Dear Martie....Not to worry. I know where you were. You were busy and focused on "being Martie," a happy, talented and energetic woman going places and doing wonderful things! I know we are always together in heart and that we connect in spirit.

    It's good to see you. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Sending hugs, Paula

  • MartieCoetser profile image

    Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

    What? You have published this excellent hub about step-parents four months ago and I've missed it? Now where was I?

    As usual, my fellow-Aries, you have wrapped this issue about second marriage perfectly up for everyone to comprehend. Being a parent is difficult, being a step-parent even more. Being a mother/father's second husband/wife is problematic. Too many people just don't manage to meet the demands, and sadly, mostly because they are selfish and self-centred. There are exceptions though, where some second partners just jump on the wagon to enjoy the available benefits at the cost of those who are already on the wagon. They should expect hostility.

    Excellent article!

  • fpherj48 profile image
    Author

    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Bonusmom...Oh My, sounds like the stuff nightmares are made of. This is very upsetting to hear. My thoughts are with you and your husband. Kudos to you both for fighting so hard for the kids.

    Sounds to me that it will be very important to get into family court as soon as the kids reach the age where a Judge will take into serious consideration what the children feel and want.

    Hopefully then their true needs will be recognized by the Court.

    Best of luck to you.

  • profile image

    Bonusmom93 2 years ago

    I've been a full time stepmom for 4 years, it has been an extremely long process. My husband finally got full custody of the children after they have been put back into the mothers care multiple times and apprehended from the mother care 4 times. He has ful, custody and she had a one year suppervision order, and now its up to him she wants to get a weeek with her and week wih us, but thats impossible. We are trying to go for every other weekend but she doesnt even have a place for them to sleep. We have been involved with cps for those 4 years and now had our file closed. Due to many false allegationns, but how do we go about unsupervised visits with the bio mom and have the kids come home to us safe withouth a mark on them? She is extremely high conflict and loves to cause drama she doesnt care if the children are present during her outburst. Cps proved she has caused emotional harm to the children. And neglect

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    savvy.....How great that you had a pleasant experience with your husband's children. If only this could be the case for many more families.

    I appreciate your visit, your nice comment and THANK YOU for the vote! I was thrilled by the award!

  • savvydating profile image

    Yves 2 years ago

    This is an important article! I was a step-parent for 4 years. In my case, it wasn’t hard to do. The two boys lived with their mother and came over on Saturdays. Frankly, they were good kids. One of them was a little genius and they were both fun to be around. In fact, I like them to this day. At any rate, I never thought for one moment that I was “Mom” or “Step-mom.” They already had a mother. Mostly, I was just someone they chatted with and who they went to the movies with. But enough about my story…

    I am glad you brought up how tough it must be (at times)when one is living in the household with the children, on a more or less full-time basis. I agree 100% that the bio mother or father must acknowledge the blending of the family by respecting the step-parents role as part of the whole mix. If a bio parent claims that the children are MY CHILDREN, and you have no business with them, well, that has to be devastating. That is an excellent point you made there.

    Mostly, I think we have to be extremely careful who we marry, the second time around, if we have small children. After my divorce, I decided not to marry or live with anyone until my son had left home. Frankly, I am glad I made the decision---for I lost nothing, and in doing so my son’s life was not complicated by a step-father. Anyway, to answer your question, my understanding is that most women marry again within 3 years of getting a divorce.

    PS. I voted for you as best commentor!

  • fpherj48 profile image
    Author

    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    ps....So nice of you to stop by. "Teachers" are some of my favorite people. They have my utmost admiration. No doubt teachers are privy to so very much of the "inside" activities of the family.....all the good, bad and the ugly.

    As I'm sure you agree with me.....if ONLY adults kept the kids in mind at all times!.

    Have a great day, ps.

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

    What a complex issue for sure especially when caught in the quagmire that can occur. I have never had the step mom title but am closely related to those who have had that...one thing that always struck me as so precious was that the ''Daddy" would say...'there are NO steps' in this family....he loved his own children and the children of his wife and the grands as if they were his own...he never made a distinction there.

    Job well done...such an important topic...I saw much 'haggling' (and I hated it honestly) over kids in step parent situations when I was teaching.

    Angels are headed your way this morning ps

  • fpherj48 profile image
    Author

    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Diana, Thank you so much. I am extremely grateful for such praise from a writer of your high caliber. (I'm sure I have already congratulated you on your award, but let me repeat that, "Congratulations")

    Have a pleasant Sunday......Paula

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

    I don't think I've ever read a better article on this topic. I have family who serve in this role and have heard the conflicts and issues that arise. It is not easy. Your advice is gold and will help those in this role to overcome the challenges. Congratulations on your Hub Award. You are the best commentator I know!

  • fpherj48 profile image
    Author

    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    moonlake...Thank you for stopping by. Frankly, if a "step parent" is being unreasonable or unnecessarily hard on a step child, it is definitely the obligation of the bio parent to fix this, however he/she must.

    To sit back unconcerned and allow one's own child to be mistreated by your choice in a mate, is an egregious case of child neglect.

    Have a great day, moonlake...... Peace, Paula

  • moonlake profile image

    moonlake 2 years ago from America

    I know that kids can treat step parents awful, but I had friends and relation with stepmothers. They had awful lives and didn't have their mothers to turn too. I felt bad for them, one friend I had I wouldn't go in her house because of her stepmother.

    Now, my daughter is a stepmother I know how hard she is trying to be the best stepmother she can be. It's a hard job.

    Enjoyed your hub.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Shyron..you are too sweet and also too modest. I think YOU are the Hub Celebrity!.....We have many, but you are definitely one of the top.

  • Shyron E Shenko profile image

    Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

    Paula I had to come back to re-read this wonderful article on step-parent/child. I have been both. I loved my step father and step mother (both have passed) I love my step-son and his children.

    Yes Paula I consider both you and Theresa hub celebrities.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Oh my! Theresa, I'm glad to know that YOU are the one who suggested this category. I owe you a big Thank you! Yes, it is an honor. Like the Academy Awards where the voters are one's peers!...Wow, does this make us Hub-celebrities? LOL

    Actually, I prefer to win a Hubbie award. I'm sure I would trip & fall flat on my face, walking the Red Carpet. Or pass out cold if George Clooney got too close to me. (sigh) Yeah, I think I'll stay right here! I LOVE my fellow writers too much to leave them for Hollywood. (Not to mention the fact that Hollywood has never called me!)

    Thank you so much. I'm sure I congratulated you, but I'll say it again! "Congratulations to you on your special Hubbie Award!"....

    Peace, Paula

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

    LOL, Paula, I can tell you are "shappy" ... it is certainly a wonderful thing to be voted for by one's peers, as it is the most special of awards! When I came up with that category and much to my surprise HP bit, I thought of you and how you go the extra mile when you comment which makes others so look forward to receiving a comment from you. So, bask in your glory, "shappy" lady LOL.

    Peace,

    Theresa

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Ms Dora...Thank you so much. Yes, I feel it is an honor. I'm very happy for every person who received a Hubbie Award. It makes us feel good to be rewarded for our work!...Peace, Paula

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

    I think that Best Commenter is an honorable title. Congratulations on winning that award.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Colleen....I too, am adverse to the term "Stepmother." Obviously I was overly influenced by childhood Fairy Tales. LOL As it happened, I never had to assume the position. Sounds to me like you did a beautiful job, most especially since you started with zero experience! Good for you!

    LOL....my sign-off "Peace," has less to do with being a Boomer, than it has with beginning with "P"....to ring with my name. Nice guess though. While the "flower children" were zoning out at Woodstock, bless their sensitive hearts, I was a young, busy wife, Mother & homemaker. I think perhaps "Woodstock," led to a whole lot of pot, sex & rock 'n roll. This doesn't necessarily mean it did not result in peace & global happiness.....right? LONG LIVE THE GRATEFUL DEAD!

    Once in a while I wore a flower in my hair. :)

    Thank you for the visit & the follow. I believe I do follow you.(?) If not, it's an easy fix.. "PEACE"....Paula

  • Colleen Swan profile image

    Colleen Swan 2 years ago from County Durham

    Hi Paula,

    I guess I am stretching it a bit to call myself a step-mum, but 15 years ago I left America for England to marry a man who had full custody of two teenage boys. A career person, I had no experience of mothering, but there I was in the midst of an all-male household. Loathing the term stepmother, as the word "wicked" seems permanently attached I have come to regard the boys, young men, as my half-sons. There has been the occasional conflict, but overall things have been calm and harmonious.

    Thanks for an interesting read.

    P.S. I also enjoyed reading your profile. Do I hear a flower child echo in your sign-off "peace"? If so, me too-if only Woodstock could have led to peace and global happiness.

    Peace to you too,

    Colleen

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Chitran......Thank you so much! Glad you stopped by.

  • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

    Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

    A very well written and thought provoking hub. Being a step parent can be challenging. I agree with you that married adult children are like meeting new friends. Never thought about this topic in this way. You dealt with this important and sensitive subject very well.

    I saw your name in the winners list-- Please accept my congratulations for a well deserved Hubbie award.

    Thanks and have a good day!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    THANKS for being Pappy (LOL) for me!!

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Well, I missed this informative and thought provoking hub and wishing you a 'you go girl' for four years on HP...

    ...but could not miss commenting on your Best Commenter Hubbie...

    I'm PAPPY for you...(proud and happy)

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Congratulations to YOU too, Theresa!! (I voted for you in that category! ) In fact a lot of my choices won! I am shocked about my award. Shocked & happy....If you put those together, I guess I'm "shappy!".......Peace, Paula

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

    CONGRATS ON WINNING A HUBBIE AWARD, Paula!

    Best Commenter Award, lovely lady : ) Well-deserved.

  • fpherj48 profile image
    Author

    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Your husband's son was obviously raised well. He shows a respect and thoughtfulness which is very commendable. It's a testament to both him and to you that he enjoys interacting with you. Good for you! Peace, Paula

  • bodylevive profile image

    BODYLEVIVE 2 years ago from Alabama, USA

    I've never been a step parent before until 8 years ago when I got married. He was an adult when my husband and I got married and had no problems at all with him. He is very nice and each time he calls his dad, he always ask to speak to me. I think that's pretty nice.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thanks Pamela.....You know the old expression, "If I had known then what I know now......."...Well, no doubt any parent or step parent has a whole lot of reason to say that!!! Peace, Paula

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 2 years ago from United States

    I am another who falls into that group, and yes bumpy road is one way to describe it. The stepfather was not very good at communicating with my youngest son to say the least. I felt guilty about the situation also. Of course, all things change with time, and my son grew up to be a good man. People often parent the same way they were parented, which may or may not have been good.

    I think you did an excellent job writing about a very important topic. Parenting is a tough job in today's world even without divorce entering in to the picture. I am glad you are writing about parenting as we can probably all learn a thing or two. Voted up and awesome!

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Hello Devika.....good to see you again. I have missed you. I hope life is treating you well. Have a great week-end!

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Such situations are challenging. I so agree with you that married adult children are like meeting new friends.

  • fpherj48 profile image
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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thank you so much, Chris. I appreciate your generous and thoughtful comment. I never had step parents.....nor was I a step parent.....except that my husband had married adult children. This doesn't qualify. It's just like meeting new friends.....Peace, Paula

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    Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

    Beautiful language, expressive, and passionate. I can't say I've ever had the step-parent experience but I've had close friends that sadly dealt with abusive biological parents until the dust settled.

    They ended up with an entirely different set of parents who were caring, loving, and treated them like they were their own. I agree that parenting is a challenge and should require a license. A lot of individuals don't deserve to be parents but are because they were irresponsible in the first place.

    A lot of step parents were never given the chance to have their own children, but they had more than enough love to give and deserved to share it with children that really needed it.

    Fantastic job! Voted up!

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Shyron...always good to see you and I thank you for your thoughtful comment......You're absolutely right about step-parenting having no set rules. For that matter, rather than rules, we can all just work on patience, understanding and unselfishness. Those things work well!

    Me...jump ship? Never!! I can't swim!...LOL. I just hope our SHIP never sinks! I would be lost without our Hubville! Peace, Paula

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    Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

    Paula, I am a step parent, but his kids were older and my hubby was/is a wonderful step parent/grandparent. There are not set rules for step parenting. You did a beautiful Job of writing this.

    Congratulations on your 4 year anniversary. I am so happy you have not jumped ship.

    Thumb-up, UABI and shared.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    izettl.......Yes, I agree. There are numerous scenarios. This is why it is vital to discuss, pre-plan and consider the healthiest situation for the minor children, regardless of high emotions and bitterness that may exist in a personal vein.

    This requires a strong degree of maturity, common sense and unselfishness. Children are innocent as well as vulnerable when the 2 people they love most in their world are putting an end to the life that their children have always known.

    This sounds like a simple thing that would be considered without doubt nor hesitation. However, the reality simply is that we have seen and experienced far too much devastation for children in cases of divorce.

    Thanks for reading and appreciating.

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    Lizett 2 years ago from The Great Northwest

    There are many different scenarios present when blending families. There is no one solution nor any easy answers. I do like how you addressed the topic.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Ed.....sounds like a very strong, healthy relationship. This all says a lot about You, your step sons and their Mom as well, since she obviously did a fine job in raising them to be sensitive and respectful!

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    peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    my sister in law is a step mum to her step daughter, wasn't a good relationship

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    ahorseback 2 years ago

    Actually , to be very fair and to continue , I have two, thirty and thirty one year old step sons who call me on my birthday AND fathers day too! They are bright , successful and kind boys [ men ] we have a lot of fun when we are together . They are great , although I met them as teen agers , they have always shown me incredible respect and care . No grand kids yet though , neither from my 38 year old daughter --so far so good !..........:-]

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Catherine.....I have a really good friend who has a "knack" for choosing LOSERS...(or so it seems?)....After every break-up, she buys a house plant to represent the dead relationship.

    I'm beginning to think it's not always the "men.".....Her porch looks like a green house!! I was there the other day and felt like I was in the jungle! LOL No woman can find that many losers if she kept dating into her 90's !!! LOL

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    Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

    Very funny. I will have remember "charm bracelet women."

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    I call these kinds of people, "Charm Bracelet women." They never fully let go. They keep all their exes hanging off their wrist on a chain!

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    Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

    I didn't meet my husband until after his wife left him. She was the "guilty" party. I was not the other woman. Great hub handling the topic with wisdom and humor.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Catherine....EXACTLY! If there are issues, 90% of the time, it's adults behaving like children...not the kids. It boggles my mind. When people divorce, at least after the initial "hatred" period, if there is one......it's the KIDS, people...please understand this.

    I also do not understand an immediate dislike toward Wife or husband #2 by the first one,,,.What's up with that? Jealousy or just plain nastiness? The way I see it, the marriage is over and people move forward in their lives, which can always include a new partner!! Get over yourself! Women seem to be worse than men in this case.

    My GF was terribly jealous of her ex's new wife and intentionally caused trouble. I watched it until one day I finally told her....."You know, he was YOUR husband first...YOU dumped him.....She found him. Were you silly enough to think he would spend the next 30 years pining over you??!! That only happens in the movies!" LOL

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    Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

    I was a step parent for a while. The kids really liked me and that made the mother really jealous and that made things horrible for the kids and me and my husband. We ended up divorcing and she she turned custody over to their father. She was pretty much gone from their lives after that. She was a witch with a capital B. She wouldn't give him custody while we were married. I feel so bad for what those kids went through.

    Step parenting can be so much easier when the bio parents act like adults. Voted up ++

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Nell....My only experience was my late husband's adult, married children.....so I was not officially a Step mother. They are great people and we all got along well & socialized now & then.

    ....to be perfectly honest, I don't know if I'd have had the patience and stamina to deal with a man's little kids. Thinking back, I was so completely wrapped up in loving and raising my own. I'm basically pretty selfish with my time and efforts. Know what I mean? Enough is enough. I was lucky not to have to fill the role of step mother. You too!...... Have a great day Nell! Paula

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    Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

    Never done it myself Paula, but my friend has and boy she had a hard time! her new guy had a little boy, who we thought would be fine, but it took a long time, now they are happy so it worked out great in the end, interesting read, nell

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thanks for stopping by ann.....always good to see you. I also appreciate your thoughtful comment. Wishing the special Dads in your life...a Happy Father's Day!!

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    Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

    Sound advice, Paula. It can be a difficult situation but the bottom line is the happiness of the children and their safety is paramount. I'm closely involved with something along these lines at the moment and it's sad but it happens. People work through it, as you say. If they're compassionate and really have the children's interests and happiness at heart, then it will work.

    Great hub, well presented, as ever!

    Ann

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    nanderson.....Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I'm always happy to see a new friend. Keep your healthy attitude about step parenting....just in case. You never know!

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Au fait....Always a pleasure to hear from you with your generous, thoughtful and common sense comments.

    I know step parents who admit to going into a marriage with the awareness they will not be well-accepted. Children, especially teens make up their minds even before getting to know a step parent. I've no doubt you are quite accurate in suggesting the "loyalty to their bio parent," theory.

    THIS is where that bio parent needs to be mature and unselfish enough to encourage her children to have a healthy & cordial attitude with the step parent.

    Where bitterness exists well beyond a divorce, the odds are terribily stacked against the poor step parent.

    I can also say happily that I have witnessed some children being much more mature than the parents!!

    There are so many human nature elements at play in these situations, all anyone can do is try their best and hope it's enough!....

    Thanks again.

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    nanderson500 2 years ago from Seattle, WA

    I'm not a step parent myself, but I know people who are. It definitely seems to be a complicated and challenging, yet potentially rewarding, endeavor. I think you've done a great job of analyzing being a step parent.

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    C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

    Being a step parent or the spouse of somebodies mother or father can all be tough, no doubt about it. I know we weren't exactly welcoming to my father's wife many years ago. My mother had died 5 years earlier.

    Then I was a stepmother for a short time and even a step grandmother! Yes, and I was only 27. My step daughters were in their late teens, one married, both were mothers. What a shock to be referred to as "Grandma!" I was not exactly welcomed into that family either. The marriage lasted 8 years and we were together for about 10. A long time ago now.

    Becoming part of a blended family requires a lot of patience and work. There doesn't seem to be much appreciation for the difficult position step parents are in, or as you say, the difficult position of stepchildren either. Children are naturally concerned about being disloyal to their bio parent.

    My husband's former wife at the time vocalized her concern that I was trying to take her place. I seldom had any time with her daughters, so I can't imagine how I would accomplish that even if I had such a ridiculous idea.

    I don't believe anyone can replace anyone, ever, and why would a person even want to? I think all one can hope for is to make their own place. Just as every child is special in his/her own way, so I think every parent and grandparent can be too, but it takes time.

    How one is going to blend 2 families should always be considered with the utmost seriousness. Personally, I don't believe I would remarry so long as my children were under age if I were in that situation, but I leave others to direct their own lives their way. :)

    You always present a solid and responsible down to earth attitude to situations like this one and I like that. Those are the people who I admire most, the ones who can see reality for what it is and deal with it reasonably, sanely, and without pomposity or curling up in a fetal position. Voted up and UI, also sharing with followers and pinning to Awesome HubPages.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    peach.....I'm sure this troubles you to see your sister and her children in this unhealthy situation aa a result of some poor choices. All you can do is be there for her and the kids and hope she soon wakes up.

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    peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    my sister in law was divorced from her drug addict hubby, now with a man at home ( not married ) it is difficult for her kids to interact with each other.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thanks so much, Theresa. I have a tough time believing it's been 4 years already! Time flies much too quickly!

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    Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

    Happy Four Year Anniversary here on HubPages, lovely woman! Keep on sharing your gifts.

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    mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Mike....So True! The woman makes Herculean Feats look like a day at Disney World......She's amazing. The best part is I've met so many wonderful & amazing people in these past 4 years, at this age I have come to the firm conclusion WRITERS ROCK THIS WORLD!!! and that's my final answer!

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    mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

    Hello Paula - I just had the opportunity to work with Linda, so I know what a positive catalyst she can be. I believe all of us are better for knowing what kind of energy and courage are possible.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Awwww, Thanks, Mike! I'm happy for each & every year and all of my hub-buddies!!

    I just came from reading AGAIN, the famous Hub by Sunshine625 (Linda Sue) that actually sparked my HP career. One day I happen to come upon her Hub on Defense Attorney Jose Baez of the Casey Anthony Trial. I was up to beyond my eyeballs in that case so I corresponded with Linda. She introduced me to HP. That makes her my forever "Main Squeeze!!" LOL

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    mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

    Congratulations on four years and recruiting legions of followers.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    You pushy??? NEVER!!.....It's not like you at all to hound me about anything.....like for instance FB......nope, not you SFAM. When I watch the movie, I'll take a selfie of my sobbing so you can feel sorry for me....

    Yeah...4 years. Hard to believe. It's been a real trip!

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    Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Did you watch Stepmom yet? Haha! I am not being pushy, am I? Haha! Anyway...I stopped by to wish you a HAPPY 4th HP ANNIVERSARY! 4 YEARS?! Wow...the tales we could tell! :) You've done well, Effer...it has been a pleasure to hub along with you! XOXO

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thank you so much you silver-tongued devil you! I appreciate the compliments. Today I celebrate 4 that's F-O-U-R years here on HP. I am just stunned it's been that long. I guess it's true that the good days fly by.

    So on this memorable day, I have come to a clear conclusion.....one that has been a total mystery to each and every one of us since I can recall......

    For 3 weeks I was busy with life and not as active on HP as usual.....hadn't written a hub in weeks.....maybe months....didn't read or comment much. Just a few minutes a day here and there.

    In that time.....my Hubber score climbed a point a week.....????? my reward for being a slacker?? Ah, but never fear...as soon as I got busy and active again...wrote a new hub and cruised all over the place....My Hubber score crashed those 3 points immediately back down again. Hell...this place is patterned after the Welfare System......I mean, there's a point here, isn't there Frank? Why work when you get rewarded for doing nothing??

    What a COUNTRY!!! I love it! Emmer effers!!

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    Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

    what an amazing interesting hub.. wow .. new reading standards offered here.. a must read for those second mothers and fathers .. a great concise read my friend..

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Tillie girlfriend......It's no secret honey....Motherhood =Sainthood. Throw a B-r-a-t-t-y, resentful kid in the mix and the halo gets brighter.

    I have witnessed some nightmare step-children-parents...situations and usually just thank my lucky stars like you!

    The Brady Bunch is in reality a BUNCH OF BALONEY!! LOL

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Hello my dear ED!.....As much as I adore my sons......"parenting"...UGH! A thankless LONG journey, with no road map, lots of detours, accidents, repairs, some smooth rides, and the usual bumps in the road. Parent or step parent.....the one guaranteed comment heard round the world..."THANK GOD THAT'S OVER WITH!" Whew! LOL

    Ah.....but just as a sign of love and devotion, our children soon bring us a Kindergarten full of new little "darlings".......There's no way out, Ed. Guess whose fault this is?? LOL....Grandparenting is a Blessing and a BREEZE!

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Theresa....Thank you so much for your wonderful interaction as always. I appreciate your sweetness & wisdom. It is wonderful that "children" are treated with love by all family members......extra Grandmas and Grandpas are always a PLUS!....Peace & love to you!

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    Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

    I can't imagine the trials and tribulations of a step-parent. My father's first wife passed away and their son was raised by his mother until he was six and his father remarried (must be something about the number six Sha), anyway, originally he resented my mother and used to say he wanted to go back to grandma! He was a real b-r-a-t. My mother was patient, and a saint in my eyes. She dealt with it lovingly and they grew to have a great relationship. (Of course all of this is from the adopted daughter of my wonderful parents.)

    Life ain't easy friend! It hits us with its best shot every chance it gets.

    Your hub is brimming with good info as always.

    Voted up, useful, and interesting.

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    ahorseback 2 years ago

    Hi Paula , I still love that smile !, From a step Fathers point of view , It is a thankless and often tiresome job in general if one really and truly tries . I can only say that I'm glad it's over with . But listen , It is both of us ,Mom and Dad who have made a wicked mess of marriage - AND divorce , to begin with . All TOO many parents have chosen some form of raising kids today by the method of befriending them . The traditional form of raising kids is pretty much non-existent anymore . " I'm the parent -do as I say " has morphed into, " let's be pajama friends and go through this together ", I do not pretend to know which is best in today's environment but I do know this , traditional roles of parenthood are gone - in the place of which is now a new and uncharted way of raising kids . If one looks at this view from a perspective of which was best , tradition wins out in my book . The parent's should be a team of two , children cannot and should not be raising themselves , today's results are proving that out .

    Back to me as a step parent , I can say that it has been a long and trying chore , and yet the rewards can be unbelievably great . I guess That, is how parenting should be anyways . Great hub !

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    Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

    My parents were married until death do them part, and I am still married to my high school sweetheart. However, my husband's parents were divorced and remarried and it was so strange to me trying to understand all of the family dynamics going on and all of the extra homes we had to visit on the holidays LOL. Having stated that, however, I am grateful that my husband's step-mom was the best "grandmother" to our children and she treated them just as if they were her own blood grandchildren. I made sure I told her this very thing.

    Thank you for sharing great insight into this important topic, Paula.

    Up +++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

    Blessings and peace always

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Ms Dora:

    Always good to hear from you and see your smiling face! Thanks for visiting.

    Doc:

    Sometimes we forget to be grateful for the little things. I'm thankful I had my own bio parents for life....that I never had to fill the difficult role myself and that my sons lucked out with a great step Dad for several years......Thanks for stopping by!

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    drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

    Step parents have to be very special people to nurture, appreciate and love their step children. This was an excellent treatise, Paula, examining many of the dynamics of this relationship. Thank you for your careful explanations and advice. Many folks can benefit from it.

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    Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

    I like your perspective on step-parenting; the children are the parents' priority. Very wise and pleasant read!

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Flourish....You're sister is a true GEM. This not only speaks very highly of her character......but of how very much she loves her husband. She has surely earned respect & appreciation.....anything less is unacceptable. Thanks for sharing....! Peace, Paula

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Yes, pop...I've seen this also. It seems the resentment can be carried around forever, which of course is a waste of time & peace of mind.

    I'm afraid I have to admit I never fell so madly in love with someone that I would have or could have married a man my sons disliked........and trust me, THEY DISLIKED MOST FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER. Good ole human nature. I try not to fight it.

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    FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

    I never had stepparents nor have I been one, but my sister married a divorced man with two daughters then had three kids additional together with him. When he was unemployed early in their marriage she paid their child support rather than going back to court. Their needs had to be met. She traveled two hours one way to pick them up for visitation when he was working. She was the best stepmother she could be, including them in everything from the marriage ceremony to baking cookies and crafts and all. There isn't always a lot of thanks in the job.

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    breakfastpop 2 years ago

    Three of my closest friends remarried and there were children involved. I have to say, the road was bumpy and frankly is still bumpy despite the fact that the kids are all grown. Voted up, useful, interesting and awesome!

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    LOL....Oh the stories I could tell.....sometimes it's great to be from a small community where everyone knows everyone....REALLY knows everyone. Then there are the times it's not so wonderful!! LOL

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    Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

    Paula, you're better than I am. My library is too far away (not really) and I'd have to forego my sweats and holey t-shirts to go that far! Hell, the grocery store is lucky I take the time to put on a bra when I go for my weekly goods! :-)

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    HA! Same here Sha! I can't remember the last time I went to a movie theatre! Are you kidding? Ole Tightwad Lizzie me? Pay 6 or 7 bucks to see a movie that will be out on DVD in months...and also on TV?? We even have a little theatre in the Village that has a cheap Senior Citizen Price!.....That would mean Id have to look presentable, go out, drive, park and probably fall asleep in my seat!! LOL. I'm a terminal homebody. I'm so cheap I borrow my movies from the library!

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    Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

    I've never seen Stepmom. I'll keep my eyes out for it. I just saw "Blind Side" for the first time last night. It was aired on TV. Unfortunately, that's the only way I see movies.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    I'll watch it when I think I need a good cry......God.....I usually avoid movies like that, but for you I'll bawl my eyes out!

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    Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Stepmom made me sob like a fool in the theater...I eventually held back the tears after watching it for the 10th or 15th time. PLEASE watch it! :)

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    beautifully said sha...thank you

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    Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

    Paula, my dad and I have something we say to each other after each conversation or at the bottom of a card: I love you higher than a star.

    He's the best. I also wrote a poem for him that I posted here. I'm fortunate to have two fathers who love me. I truly regret the hard times I put on my dad, but he loves me enough to not allow this little rebel girl's bad-means to survive. Love overrode all my ill intentions. I thank God for my dad. I hope other kids have someone who loves them as much as my dad loves me.

    The piece about finding my biological father is called, "Haunting Memories". If you want to read the poem I wrote for my dad (for his birthday a few years ago), it's called, "A Father's Love - Poem For My Dad".

    I'm blessed to have the men in my life who are my fathers. I wish the same for other children who come from broken families who put themselves together again.

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    Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Sha......You certainly have shared your heart, my dear friend and I am honored. I'm going to have to look up your hub on reuniting w/ your bio dad.....if I read it, I'm not recalling, but want to know. Please don't be so hard on yourself about your (step) dad, who is actually your "adopted " dad......which makes him your LEGAL Dad...Whew! That's a tale and a half GF. He really must have loved you and your brother and your MOM. You can't hold yourself completely responsible for resenting him. That's a pretty typical reaction, Sha. Besides, things are OK now, right?

    As for your husband and his attitude toward your son......I'm afraid I can't print what I'd like because HP would frown upon my foul mouth!..........Hope his fifth wife gives him crabs........Love ya girl