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Step-Family Relationships

Biological Father
Biological Dad's new role
Blaming the step-parent
Competing for love
Conflict with step-children
Grandparents and step-children
My Step-parent is my age
Stepchildren and Biological Children
Step-children are a part of the family
Step-father and child
Step-fathers
Step-mothers and your relationship
Step-parenting
Teen-age step-child

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Managing conflict during divorce

Dealing with the in-laws
Family relationships

Teen relationships
Relationships and money

 

Competing For Love

One of the biggest issues between a stepdad and a biological dad is the competition for the love of the children. This competition strains the relationship between the two men.

A stepdad may have all good intentions concerning his stepchildren, but to a biological dad, no matter what the step dad does, it may never be good enough for his children.

There may be times when the stepdad becomes envious of the biological dad's bonds with his children. This is especially true if he and his wife have no children together. When this occurs, he may try to buy the affection of his stepchildren by giving them anything they want or by doing fun things to make them like him.

Jealousy

The stepdad may be jealous of the relationship that his wife had with the children's biological dad. He might respond to this jealousy by doing everything he can to be a good father to the children.

On the other hand, the biological dad, may feel that the stepdad is getting too close to his children. He may feel threatened when he sees his children with the stepdad, especially if the children appear to be happy when they are with him. The children may tell the biological dad all the good things that the step dad does for them and this may make the biological dad anxious, with a tinge of jealousy.

The biological father may overcompensate by doing unnecessary things for the children, not punishing them when they do something wrong, letting them eat what they want, letting them stay up way past their bedtimes, and overwhelming them with attention.

What to do

The biological dad and the step dad can get so caught up in the competition that it may be more about them than about the children. This is especially true when they feel that one is trying to outdo the other. On the other hand, only one of the two men may feel the need to compete, while the other may be totally unaware of what is going on. The competition may even be done on a subconscious level and may be unintentional.

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