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Old 01-04-10, 08:13 AM   #1
UnsafeAlpine
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What makes a stepchild?

Is it simply the act of a parent marrying or is it something more? Are my gf's kids simply my gf's kids unless we tie the knot, no matter how much I love them, do for them, care for them, discipline them, play with them, get them ready for school, or wait anxiously until they come home?
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Old 01-04-10, 08:19 AM   #2
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Be their dad, whether or not you legally are. Fatherhood is an act, not a legal status.

*unless she tells you not to cause it would cause issues with their genetic father....but I doubt that's the case*
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Old 01-04-10, 08:22 AM   #3
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Be their dad, whether or not you legally are. Fatherhood is an act, not a legal status.

*unless she tells you not to cause it would cause issues with their genetic father....but I doubt that's the case*
It just seems weak to have to call them "my girlfriend's kids" because they are more important to me than that. Living with them, day in and day out, changed they way I interacted with them and changed their importance to me. They were the gf's kids when we were living in different states but they are no longer just that.
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Old 01-04-10, 08:29 AM   #4
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Old 01-04-10, 08:34 AM   #5
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It just seems weak to have to call them "my girlfriend's kids" because they are more important to me than that. Living with them, day in and day out, changed they way I interacted with them and changed their importance to me. They were the gf's kids when we were living in different states but they are no longer just that.
Just "the kids" works fine, lasts a long time.
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Old 01-04-10, 08:35 AM   #6
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I think at least you're verging on Stepdad status. Right now, you are an adult friend, but remember to give them space......they need to get to know you as much as you need to get to know them. Leave openings......you know the drill.
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Old 01-04-10, 08:37 AM   #7
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You need to have pictures of them in your wallet, and show them off to complete strangers.

You could call them:

roommates, "our" kids, tax deductions, nestlings, cubs, little ones, sanity busters, table tennis team, dynamic duo, the 2028 Olympic Beach Volleyball champions, carrot munchers, ... or step-kids (make sure you get mom's permission before using any of these.
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Old 01-04-10, 08:40 AM   #8
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You need to have pictures of them in your wallet, and show them off to complete strangers.

You could call them:

roommates, "our" kids, tax deductions, nestlings, cubs, little ones, sanity busters, table tennis team, dynamic duo, the 2028 Olympic Beach Volleyball champions, carrot munchers, ... or step-kids (make sure you get mom's permission before using any of these.
I think she might be ok with 2028 Olympic Beach Volleyball champs...
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Old 01-04-10, 09:00 AM   #9
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Is it simply the act of a parent marrying or is it something more? Are my gf's kids simply my gf's kids unless we tie the knot, no matter how much I love them, do for them, care for them, discipline them, play with them, get them ready for school, or wait anxiously until they come home?
This is potentially the major controversy you need to be damn sure of before you guys tie the knot. I can tell by your posts you really love her, but even people who love each other can have vastly differing opinions on what your role is here.
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Old 01-04-10, 09:05 AM   #10
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It's up to the kids and that generally depends on their age. If they are older even if you get married you might never be called dad. In my case my 'stepson' was 2 when I married his mother whom I am currently divorced from. He lives with me and we never used the 'step' part he has always just had two dads. But my current GF has three kids; 18, 22 & 25 and I would never expect that any of them ever call me dad even if we get married. It really does not matter to me.

Discipline is more tricky. They are her kids and unless you get married you generally will need to stay out of this. I know that marriage is not necessarily required to have a permanent relationship so discuss this with your GF because discipline is something that needs to be supported by both if it is going to work.
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Old 01-04-10, 09:15 AM   #11
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So when's the wedding?
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Old 01-04-10, 09:15 AM   #12
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This is potentially the major controversy you need to be damn sure of before you guys tie the knot. I can tell by your posts you really love her, but even people who love each other can have vastly differing opinions on what your role is here.
We talk about it almost every night. I want to make sure I'm doing the right thing and she's always there to listen to me, give suggestions, things like that. I watched her carefully every day we've been together and I generally just reinforce her discipline. I'll generally do what I feel is necessary if I see them doing something dangerous, but if she wasn't around to see it, we talk about it before going to bed that night. So far, except for allowing them to do slightly more dangerous things than she'd allow (read: riding their bikes downhill on a narrow path with trees on either side at slightly faster than walking pace) we're very much on the same page. Our communication levels are sickeningly high.
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Old 01-04-10, 09:16 AM   #13
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So when's the wedding?
I should ask the same about you...
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Old 01-04-10, 09:51 AM   #14
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We, the denizens of Foo, are anxiously awaiting the first grandchild. Get going on that.
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Old 01-04-10, 10:51 AM   #15
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For them to be your step-children, you must marry their mother.

BTW, NEVER adopt someone else's kids. No good (for you) can possibly come from that.
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Old 01-04-10, 11:08 AM   #16
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For them to be your step-children, you must marry their mother.

BTW, NEVER adopt someone else's kids. No good (for you) can possibly come from that.
My stepdad legally adopted my brother and I...so yeah, I see your point.
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Old 01-04-10, 11:11 AM   #17
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There seems to be a recurring theme from you that starts with "technically s/he is my", "But really it's much more than that", "What can I call this". If you aren't married or engaged, she's still your girlfriend, and as such, they are her kids.
As for practical nomenclature, I suspect "the kids" works well, and it conveniently covers the "kids" friends if on a play date as well. However, just like how the girlfriend I live with is still still known as the "girlfriend" or "name here" until we are engaged/married, they are technically her kids.
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Old 01-04-10, 11:51 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
Is it simply the act of a parent marrying or is it something more? Are my gf's kids simply my gf's kids unless we tie the knot, no matter how much I love them, do for them, care for them, discipline them, play with them, get them ready for school, or wait anxiously until they come home?
Ask the kids
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Old 01-04-10, 11:56 AM   #19
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Ask the kids
I was dubbed "Daddy-at-Mommy's-house" by them...
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Old 01-04-10, 12:15 PM   #20
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I was dubbed "Daddy-at-Mommy's-house" by them...
that sounds lots better than Stepdad. "Step" infers stepping into the role of a real parent in the absence of the birth father. If the birth parent is a good influence, great. If not, you have huge shoes to fill. Keep the kids out of the middle and don't let them play you against the other household. Make sure they know the love and rules at your house don't need to be the same as the other house. Refuse to play the "who is the most popular house game." No winners to that game.
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Old 01-04-10, 02:23 PM   #21
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Is it simply the act of a parent marrying or is it something more? Are my gf's kids simply my gf's kids unless we tie the knot, no matter how much I love them, do for them, care for them, discipline them, play with them, get them ready for school, or wait anxiously until they come home?
no.

then again, seeing as you're still a newcomer to their lives, you're not their step father just yet either.

ask again in a couple of years.
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Old 01-04-10, 02:31 PM   #22
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I don't think step-parent status depends on the status of marriage.

It depends on how you are to the children, and how they see you.

You could have married someone with children and still never be their step-parent.
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Old 01-04-10, 03:56 PM   #23
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Don't stepchildren need to have red hair? Or is that a specific type of stepchild?
As usual, X beats me to it....
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Old 01-04-10, 04:14 PM   #24
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I have been together with my Girlfriend for 5 years. We have lived together for 3 years. She has 4 kids ages 13, 14,16 and 18. Their biological father is still around(barely). His idea of visitation is brunch on Sundays and then he is gone.

I refer to them as my kids, i have been there for more major events in their lives than he has and have supported them emotionally and financially. The youngest calls me dad, the others call me by my first name. They stopped referring to me as their Mothers boyfriend about a year ago. I also have 2 kids form a previous marriage that come to visit and they refer to them as their step brothers and sisters. It is an emotional barrier rather than a physical I think to graduate to Step Parentdom.
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Old 01-04-10, 07:34 PM   #25
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I think she might be ok with 2028 Olympic Beach Volleyball champs...
Exactly right!

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This is potentially the major controversy you need to be damn sure of before you guys tie the knot. I can tell by your posts you really love her, but even people who love each other can have vastly differing opinions on what your role is here.
We are on the same page with discipline. Not an issue.

BTW...I like the "Daddy-at-Mommy's-house" moniker that they gave you. I think it is rather telling that you are getting there, love.
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