Step–parenting question

If a young step child tells the step-parent “I wish you were my mommy / daddy” what would be an appropriate response?

Is this really what the child wishes or is s/he just saying “I love you, thanks for being my step mom / dad?

How would you answer? I think an appropriate response is “you have a father / mother who loves you. But, I’m glad to be your stepfather / step mother.”

What are your thoughts?

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7 Comments

  1. “you just made my day. thank you but your mommy/daddy loves you very much. even if they drink too much.”

  2. deylansmama says:

    Coming from a step-family, my opinion is this: I always thought of my step-dad AND my biological father as my “real” dads. One gave me life and one raised me, they both contributed. I think the appropriate response is to say that the child very lucky to have lots of people who love them, and to insert how you feel about the child in a way that isn’t invalidating the other parents. As a step-parent you *are* actually a parent and that deserves recognition too. It is really important, I think, to make step-parental relationships valid…especially in such a way that says, “I know you have other parents who love you, AND I love you too.”

  3. shoshi says:

    I would not “push the child away” by saying “I’m just the stepmother”.

    But I would not over-estimate the statement. It is a spontanous declaration, perhaps because she just discovered something in you she does not get with her mother.

    I wanted to be the child of teacher x, y, z and I think it just expresses that you would like to have everything your mother has plus caracteristics a b c from person x y z.

    If it is a genuine whish to move in with you, be alert and let them come as much as they want.

    But be also aware that the magic might fade away in the pressure of day-to-day life and that she might prefer her real mother then…

  4. I would say a simple thank you.

  5. Jewish Side says:

    Your response sounded good to me. I actually sort of had a similar situation. Where the kids I used to babysit would say they wished I was their Mommy. There though I wasn’t any type of Mother to them. But they would call me Mommy sometimes because I was always there and it would just slip. So I would let it go and not comment, or say that I love them too.

  6. tikunolam says:

    The child was saying “I love you.” The most appropriate response is “I love you too.” You can even add “and I am so lucky to have you in my life” or “and you have so many people who love you like daddy and your mommy and me and chaim and shimmy. . .” No reason to address the actual content of the statement as though to correct it or invalidate it in any way. It is the intent of the child that matters and that is what you should respond to.

  7. Stepalicious says:

    When my StepDaughter said this to me, I responded: “Oh, thank you honey. It really is special to have so many parents to love and to love you too!” I know that my Hubby’s ex would have been hurt to hear her daughter say this to me, however I also know that my Stepdaughter was just telling me that she loved me, and felt comfy with me. It wasn’t that she preferred me…just that she loved me too. Kids have their own way of expressing and thinking through the relationships.

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