If you're a stepfather, you might be wondering if Father’s Day something to look forward to or to dread. Let’s start with the reality that stepparents – whether a father or mother – have no legal rights. You cannot legally force your stepchildren to do anything.
In some situations, this makes you the unwanted guest in your own home when your stepchildren are around. On the other hand, if you have a close loving relationship with your stepchildren, then the home environment can be wonderful when your stepchildren are around.
A lot depends upon who your stepchildren are, as well as the length of time that you've been involved in their upbringing. The attitude of your spouse, their mother, can play a major role as well. The more that she fosters the relationship, the better things will be.
To say the least it can be quite complicated. I have had many clients who remarry and assume that the new blended family will become the next Brady Bunch; sadly, in most situations, this is far from the reality. Stepparents are often seen as the enemy by their stepchildren, who may still wish that their natural parents were back together. They may blame you, their stepfather, for the demise of the prior marriage. At the very least, they may find it hard to accept the reality that their mother is now legally remarried and the chances of going back to their father have been eliminated. They may do their best to sabotage the new marriage. Be on your guard in those situations.
Another reality is that on Father’s Day, your stepchildren are probably going to spend part or all of the day with their natural father – not you.
These are some of my thoughts about surviving Father’s Day as a stepparent. What are yours?