Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Who's Driving the Family?

Ooh, good stuff! Love the analogy!
When parents-for misguided but positive intentions-place their child before the stepparent it offers the child a rich and tempting opportunity to engage either, consciously or unconsciously, in unhealthy and manipulative behaviors. They may believe they are the most important person in the family and their stepparent is in a subordinate position. If a youngster is in the driver’s seat, it is best to remember they have not yet learned how to drive the family vehicle and that a crash is inevitable.-By Dianne Martin, BSW, RSW

From an article in Stepmom Magazine:  https://www.stepmommag.com/2013/01/14/2855/?_login=052d63bb54/


  1. Right now we're in that situation...my husband (in front of his son) will say things like Don't yell at him, or let Me handle it..which leads to his son ignoring me all together when i ask/say anything to him. That of course leads to a bigger ordeal that could have been avoided if husband had just said what he had to say in private, and reminded his son to respect the adult (me)

  2. Yep. I hope you can come up with a strategy. It's hard for both parties to watch their words in those tight moments. It's very hard for me to have patience enough to deal with the problem in private, as well. Sometimes there is no privacy, and an issue continues to escalate. Although many offer suggestions about your specific situations, they just don't apply most of the time. A lot of literature recorded "let dad do all the parenting" from the 90s and 2000s. It's only recently that books and articles have started to address the fact that often stepmoms are alone with the kids, acting as primary caretaker and authority. So the recommendations for your situation are rather new, frankly. I'm waiting for more in-depth strategies and help to be there for us. I think Stepmom Magazine is a good start, but the articles are often short or not from good sources of authority. So, I recommend following Dr. Wednesday Martin's articles on Psychology Today. She's more likely to suggest specific ways to address the day-to-day husband-wife dynamics of a stepfamily.