Wednesday, January 2, 2008

StepChild's Bill of Rights

Years ago I was given a "Bill of Rights" statement from one of Cinderella's past therapists, which was meant to help us teach her about speaking up for herself and understanding that she does not have to tolerate her mother's verbal diarrhea. It's linked here.

I also stumbled across the following while doing some research and, though laced with negative undertones directed at wicked Stepparent behavior, I decided to post it as a way of showing how actions (spoken and unspoken) can affect the tender balance of the Stepparent/stepchild relationship.

The StepChild’s Bill of Rights

1. A stepchild will be allowed to have a voice in family discussions. This does not mean the child's wants and needs are paramount but that they must be considered.
2. A stepchild has the right to respectfully state his or her feelings and to have those feelings respected.
3. A stepchild under the age of majority shall have the right to a fair set of rules that apply equally to stepchild and bio child.
5. A stepchild will not be responsible for housework and other chores that are not distributed equally and fairly. Ditto punishment.
6. A stepchild has a right to private space, and to expect that others will not take or use any of his or her possessions without asking permission.
7. A stepchild will NEVER be treated as a second-class citizen in his or her own home, nor will he or she be made to feel as if he or she is an intruder.
8. A stepchild has the right to feel at home in his or her father's custodial parent's home.
9. A stepchild has the right to spend time with, even alone with, his or her biological parent, whether custodial or not.
10. A stepchild has the right to hear his or her biological parent, custodial or not, talked about with respect. Referring to a stepchild's parent in a derogatory fashion, is ALWAYS wrong. You, the stepparent, may not like the biological parent, but that parent is important in the child's life.
11. A stepchild has the right to love and want to be with his or her parents, regardless of how a new spouse or mate may feel about the old one.
12. A stepchild is allowed to not immediately fall in love with the new stepparent and should not be forced to call the new stepparent anything resembling a "mom" or "dad" name.


Anonymous said...

I just found your site. I'm a step-daughter (had 7 stepmom's and one step-dad), Second wife, custodial step-mom and mommy. I'm struggling now with my own cinderella and her lack of respect for me. I bend over backwards to treat her and love her as my own only to be trampled's nice to find a site where I can gain some perspective from other stepmom's.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this bill of rights would have been helpful when I was growing up. Every single one of these was violated over and over by both my parents and their spouses (and my mother remarried 7 times).

I am married to a stepfather now and am a stepmother and realize that not all stepparents are evil. But not all bioparents are great unfortunately.

I understand how these rules would feel when you are a very good stepmom (cause you seem to be!) but they are sometimes needed and that sucks.

Anonymous said...

I wish my son had the right to say how he feels at his dads house, it would be much better for him and help him make him feel more comfortable. It would make me happy as his mom that he be able to have a close relationship with his dad.

Unfortionally he is just in the way there. Stepmom wants dad all to herself all the time. dad is aware of this so i dont blame the stepmom. dad should say hey, this is me and my sons time find something to do.

Anonymous said...

I love it, and am glad I found this. I wish that #10 included the child having the right to not hear the step parent being verbally bashed by the biological parent.

Anonymous said...

I really wish my step-father could read this.I'm 14 and im constantly bieng yelled at and thretened to be slapped in the face and i have been beaten with a belt most of my life.For the past month ive been grounded and im not aloud to even talk to my friends unless im in school because i had clothes in my closet. I cant believe ive been living like this for years and im just now realizing this is wrong. i cant take it anymore.

Anonymous said...

Hello I have questions n concerns. In live in pa n was w a man for 5years we had his kid live w us on the weekends. I have grown to love his kid. His kid looks at me as a mother n is close to me also. We were suppose to move to NJ and 5days before we moved he said he wasn't coming w me. His son calls me n asks for me BC we.told him we were moving. It breaks my heart BC hebis only 7years old n fully doesn't understand. Is there anything I can do? Donuts have any rights at all? Its messing me up inside I helped raise him n I look at him as my son. We aren't married. But j know in some states it is considered legally married depending on how long u been together? Help any advice would help

Iona said...