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No "steps" allowed

Jcksjj's picture

So yesterday when I had ODS IEP meeting, the few times I said "stepsister" it was repeated back as just "sister." From both teachers on the call. Another time I went to a therapist for myself and she used "daughter" any time I said "stepdaughter."

Are people in those occupations told not to say "step" ?! 


Dumbfounded's picture

Not sure about the training.  However I love it.  I agree  with the concept.  Old has passed away.  The new is a TOTAL NEW FAMILY  TO BE DONE in healthy ways. Ditch dysfunction.  Love it.

GrudgingSM's picture

Those are not my kids and will absolutely not call them daughter and son. Also as a skid myself I would feel my stepmom WAY overstepped if she referred to me as her daughter. I like her, but everybody should stay in their lane.

Cover1W's picture

Yes here too. I had to give YSD a talking to last year because she was so rude about correcting someone once.

...after taking her aside, I said, listen I know I'm NOT your mom but I'm still in charge right now and I'm trying to help you so let it go and don't be rude.

One of the last times she was invited along with those neighbors.

Blended4213's picture

Yep, OSS very clearly corrected someone who called me his mom. I was completely fine with that, the feeling is mutual. I don't want to claim my stepsons as my own. I consider them more like in-laws, you don't really get a choice but they are in your family. I get along with my sister-in-law but she is not my favorite person, I would never start telling people she is my actual sister!
Now the youngest stepson, I have the least problem with his behavior so I consider him more family. But he still acts completely different than I would allow him to if I was his actual parent, and compared to my bio kids, it's no contest. It's still like night and day. I'm proud of my kids and their behavior, not so much the stepkids. I'm offended when teachers try to call my stepkids my bio kids actual brother or sister too.

Jcksjj's picture

Being a mom is a huge part of my identity. To say SD is my daughter is an insult to that part of me. In my mind I don't even see being a SM as part of my identity at all.

Also, her BM doesn't go away if I refer to myself as her mom and the dysfunction would only multiply.

shamds's picture

Stepparent loves their kid like their own when they're disrespectful rude feral oh and the classic won't acknowledge you by your name or position but rather just rudely start talking.


dysfunction is the result of both bio parents being crap parents. Society needs to stop this bullshit on stepparents treating stepkids like their own

IDontCare3117's picture

What the hell?  

Where is Tog?  She can explain this better than I.


tog redux's picture

No, we aren't trained to not say that, it's ridiculous. I would call them whatever the person in my office called them. The therapist shouldn't be pushing her values on you.

My SS is not my son, I rarely even call him my stepson. He's my husband's son. If I saw him as a son, I'd call him that, but I do not. At all.

Jcksjj's picture

I was actually going to put in the post that it makes more sense to refer to them however the person they're talking to does, haha.

Thought it seemed odd that both teachers did it though, as well as the therapist awhile back, so I was wondering if its a thing now. 

Maybe I come across as the type of person that would want to be bonus mom lol

futurobrillante99's picture

Even if the person referred to the child as a skid mark or crotch dropping!! Lolololol

Jcksjj's picture

I always call her Bratleigh in my head now since someone else called her that on here once.

tog redux's picture

Well, no, lol. But I would try to dig into why they are so angry at their STEP-kid.  And I wouldn't shame them for not feeling like the kid is a "bonus".

ndc's picture

I wonder if they'd also do that in front of the BM.  I'd think a lot of BMs would go wild

Jcksjj's picture

Good question. Great question actually. BM here doesn't acknowledge we exist most of the time - I'm pretty sure she made it sound to the school counselor for example, that it was just SD and DH here. So I suppose it's not relevant for her most of the time. Have no fear, BM. You couldn't pay me to claim your kid as my own.

24 years as a SM's picture

That just shows you how much the person is listening to what your saying. If they didn't catch the "Step" part, then they are not hearing everything that you are saying. Personally I would address this every time that someone said my daughter, when it was Leech39. I didn't want to be known as her mother, I made damn sure that everyone knew that she was my stepdaughter not my daughter. If other people can't accept that, they could piss off.

Jcksjj's picture

I didnt care for the therapist, but his teachers are both fantastic, so it was kind of disappointing. They definitely both know she's not my bio kid. 

MissK03's picture

IRL I don't refer to SOs kids as my step kids. They are my boyfriend's sons/daughter. We are not married so yeah... not steps. Even though we have been together a significant amount of time now.. nope not step. 

However, SS16 does refer to me as his stepmom or he will say "parents" aka SO and myself. SS17 has used the word "stepmom" before... SD has never said either when talking she says dad or missk. 

You would think in 2021 and the amount of "blended" families that are out there the word "step" wouldn't be taboo. Teachers/therapist shouldn't be pushing for it to not exist.. sounds like poor training. 

advice.only2's picture

"Excuse me if you can remember how to use a child's "proper pronouns" then you should have no issue using terms such as stepsister or stepdaughter."

I Think I Am's picture

SO & I went to a therapist recently that referred to BM, her DH, her other kids (not the two she shares with SO) as 'extended family' & I was confused. I'm still confused. Is THAT a thing now!? In everyday life, I've not sensitive when it comes to labels/wording/wgatever & try to focus on the intent not the words but when we were there to work through some boundary issues with SO & BM, referring to her as 'extended family' was so unhelpful. So I'm with you - what is going on? I wish you asked so we could all know!

Jcksjj's picture

That makes absolutely no sense. 

It's so embarrassing to be associated with BM at all, let alone have her seen as extended family.

Livingoutloud's picture

I wasn't trained that way at all.

I personaly mirror what wording people use. If they refer to their skid as "my son", that's how I'd refer to them. If they say "my SS",  that's how I refer to them. It's not for me to decide family dynamics. It's not up to me. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Yeah, I think the IEP one is hard to fault the teachers for if ODS calls her his sister. OP can refer to SD as her "stepdaughter", but if ODS refers to her as "sister" then she's "sister". That's his familial relationship to her, and while OP may want to say "stepsister", the teacher will likely side with the student and support the student's view.

Though, given how SD is, I doubt ODS views her as a sister, but I could be entirely wrong.

The therapist is out of line, though. That's OP describing her relationship to SD, and undermining that by saying "daughter" isn't helping OP, who happens to be the person the therapist is supposed to care about.

Jcksjj's picture

This is possible for the teachers....I'm not sure what ODS refers to her as actually because he always just says her name to me. He does view her as a sister and loves her unfortunately. That's the reason she got brought up when we were discussing his social skills. I was wondering if that happens at school ever where he doesn't pick up on kids being passive aggressively mean (like what happens with her) and what to do about it.

Yes, I agree about the therapist. It did make me instantly not want to talk to her anymore because I felt like I was being judged/undermined. 

tog redux's picture

Therapists and teachers aren't all trained alike, and as far as I can tell, they generally aren't trained AT ALL about stepfamilies. My guess is that for some, it's their bias, and for others, they're probably afraid of offending "Bonus moms" who will pitch a giant fit if the kid is referred to as anything other than "their daughter".

Jcksjj's picture

It IS tough because people oftentimes feel so strongly about it one way or the other.

In my personal life 2 of my close friends were like this. Both were skids themselves, but one was deeply worried about if I would ever view SD as my own and felt so sorry for her. The other thinks it's weird for a SM to call a skid their own and doesn't find being called a stepchild at all offensive. Guess which one I'm still friends with?

agitated's picture

I would definitely correct a person in this type of setting. However, when my SD and I are together (such as getting a quick haircut) and they say "mom" we both let it slide.

agitated's picture

This is why I don't post much on here. My SD18 and I get along well, but my DH slacked BIG TIME while she was growing up (lived with us FT since she was 2 - I came into the picture at 4 y/o). My SD has always been a very good kid and respected me (as much as any kid does). I come here to read and get advice on the "little" things. *smile*

tog redux's picture

It happened to me with SS and DH once too - I asked DH if he was upset by it, and he said, "No, it's a logical assumption". 

Not all stepkids are awful about it. 

CajunMom's picture

I would NEVER accept being called a stepmom or having DH's kids called my SKs by a therapist (teachers might get a pass). Tthe ONLY connection I have to them is that I married their dad. They have never been nor will ever be my SKs or "extended family." That would imply we are in relation. We are NOT. I refuse to lie or "cover up" to make things look pretty for the outside world.  I have not seen any of them in over 3 years. And even when we were somewhat communicating, I saw them only on DHs visitation. 

In your instance, I'd just continue using my word, and let them continue to "correct" unless you feel you need to make a stand. Most people just don't get the HC Step World. While I'd probably not say anything to the teachers, I do think I'd talk to the therapist about this, especially if it's someone for your personal issues.


missgingersnap2021's picture

I  use the initials SD on here but never say step daughter out in the world. If I'm ever talking about her I will always say things like "my husband's daughter". 

Felicity0224's picture

That is super weird. I wonder if they're uncomfortable saying 'step' because they think it has a negative connotation? Even so, it seems like you would refer to them however the person you're speaking with did.

Nette5's picture

Years ago when we were dealing with the after-effects of my SS molesting my BS (half-brothers). Someone, possibly a counselor, said something about the boys being step brothers and I corrected them because I felt that they needed to understand... these boys are biologically related & this happened anyway. All 3 kids belong to my husband and all 3 have their own moms. SD was always clear with everyone that I was NOT her mother... thank heavens cuz she often looked like a hot mess.

When out in public and dealing with kids it is always easier if I refer to the adult with them as "your grown up"... it's better then hearing the whole drama about "that's not my mom/dad". There's so many different kinds of families out there, who knows how someone is related to the people they are with. 


Tigerlilyyy's picture

I view mine as my daughter so in a one on one conversation I'd probably refer to her as such. But if say we're all out eating together, we sometimes use "stepdaughter" and "stepmom." So I guess we just don't make a big deal about it? 

When it comes to siblings tho, I think that's different bc while you can only have one mom and dad, you can have multiple siblings. If DS loves her as you say, I'd just use "sister." 

ITB2012's picture

when I say the kids ages they are close together but far enough apart it can sound like I was pregnant non-stop for two years and had three under three years old at one time. It also clarifies why only one of them looks like me.

That being said, DS refers to his stepbrothers as his brothers unless he has to explain family structure. OSS and YSS seem to use stepbrother when referring to DS more than just saying brother.