I interviewed two stepparents. One of the stepparents is a male (John) and one is a female (Sharon). John is a stepfather to a fifteen-year-old boy name Carter. He has been married to Carter’s mother for almost three years. John also has two of his own biological children who are around the same age as his stepson but they live with their mother. I asked him many questions about his relationship with his stepchild and his own children and he gave positive answers. When I asked him about his relationship with his stepson he said it was good.
They rarely argue and they laugh together and have a regular father son relation. He doesn’t call him dad but he treats him like a father. Carter asks him for money and ask him to take him places as if he were his biological father. John says him and Carter’s biological father don’t speak very much and he rarely comes to see Carter. His real father called the day after Carter’s birthday to wish him happy birthday. John says he is more of a father to Carter then his real father. When I asked him what the challenges and rewards of step parenting is he told that the hardest thing about step parenting is not having total control. He feels because he is not Carter’s real father he can’t tell him what to do. The best thing about being a stepparent is being able to be a role model to someone other than your biological child.
Sharon is in her first marriage. She has a seventeen-year-old stepson name Brandon and has a three-year-old daughter with Brandon’s father. When I interviewed Sharon I asked her similar questions. I asked her what is her relationship like with Brandon. She says she married his father when he was about fourteen and he didn’t like her at all. He wouldn’t speak to her at all but he was never rude. As he got older they began to talk but they still don’t have a really close relationship. Brandon’s mother died when he was twelve years old.
I asked her how involved is she in his life and she admitted that she doesn’t really get involve too much because she doesn’t want any confrontation but she goes to all his baseball games even without his father sometimes. “We share laughs here and there but not to much further than that.” When I asked her what was the hardest part of being the stepmother and she says being able to nurture him without having him think that she is trying to take his real mother’s place. His father tries so hard for him to open up to me but he doesn’t. She believes it is not because he doesn’t want to but because he doesn’t want to feel like he is betraying his biological mother by doing so.