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“I Don’t Want Someone Else”: 6 Struggles of Kids that Live with a Step Parent

Entering marriage is a huge decision to make. While some people take it lightly, it should not be. It is the first step into creating a lovely family. When the couple have already built his/her family, it is always a priority to see everyone living happily and well. As a couple, they promise to be together forever, and as parents it is their responsibility to nurture their family with their blissful kids.

But what if things go wrong between the couple or what if one spouse experiences a mishap that changes the whole life of every member of the family? Things and situations definitely change. 

One of the terrible problems that a family could experience is the separation of the parents. When the father and the mother separate, it could be due to a mutual decision to file a divorce or an annulment with the help of excellent lawyers. It could be because of tons of misunderstandings. It could be because of falling out of love. It could be the presence of a third party. Lastly without the presence of difficulties and other people a sad reason for the separation of parents is the death of the other.

When these things happen, the family is absolutely on to the path of change. The children are the most negatively affected in this case. While some separated people choose to be a single parent and to focus on their kids, there are some who still find love after  heartbreaks; of course, this does not include those who already had an affair that led them to ruin the family. When the parent left with the kids meets somebody new, the kids reaction could be good or bad also depending on how their parent’s new partner treats them.

While there are kids who love their step parent which eventually became their new parent legally or not, it is undeniable that many children also experience a lot of struggles. Even kids who now care for their step parent surely had challenges in the beginning. 

For more understanding and discussion below are six struggles of kids that live with step parents.


[1] Unacceptance 

A bright and beautiful family is hard to let go and hard to forget if it is what the kids were used to since the day they were born. That is why it is no longer surprising when kids cannot accept the presence of a new parent, who is not the real parent, in their lives. 

If the case is their father left their mother for somebody else, it will be for them very painful and unimaginable to live with the woman that that wrecked their parents relationship and their family. It is certainly hard for them because it’s a wrong doing that gave them a broken family. Hate and anger fill them that they will say that they will never accept that person ever in their family.


[2] Being distant 

Because of an acceptance with the new setting, the children might experience some issues with their emotional and mental health. Moreover, their social relationships could be affected. They might become distant from their real parent with whom they live and very distant to their step parent who they might consider a stranger or an antagonist.

For that reason also, regardless whether the stepparent is nice or not, they cannot get along with each other well. Because of anger and unacceptance, the kids’ harmonious relationship with their true parent with whom they reside might be broken too.


[3] Mistreatment

Mistreatment could either come from the kid or from the step parent. 

First, the kids might show disrespect towards the stepparent who they cannot accept. It could be through words or actions that they really prove and show to their stepparent’s faces that they will not treat them as their parent no matter what. Here the children become a little or very rebellious to the point that they also disobey their real parent. Again, this is common for children who live now with their parent’s third party.

On the other hand, another struggle of mistreatment may come from the stepparent. When they cannot accept the child or children, or when they hate that these kids keep on mentioning the person they already replaced the position of in the family, this could happen. It could be physical, mental and emotional abuse. Of course, this is not healthy so if the real parent is smart enough, he/she should not be blinded by love instead call lawyers to protect his or her children from this person he/she chose.


[4] Jealousy

When the kids see their parent happy and sweet with their step parent, they might feel some jealousy towards them. This is common for children who live with a single parent mom or dad but after a few years, their parent met someone they fell in love with. That is because for the times their parent was single, all the attention were on them but with the existence of this new person in their lives their parent time is divided even more.

This is common for younger kids. They tend to seek more attention for themselves.


[5] Separation Anxiety

If the presence of a stepparent is due to their parents affair children might develop separation anxiety with the real parent that is because they will think or they might think that this person who ruined their parents relationship might also break their children and parent relationship


[6] Endless Comparisons

Especially if the kids had a very close relationship with their father or their mother who has been separated from them, endless comparisons will exist. They will keep on comparing this step parent with their real parent and say that he or she will never be like the original.

“My mom cooks better.” “My dad drives smoother. “Oh you will never be like her.” “My father’s abilities can’t be compared to yours.” They could bravely express this and more through words or just keep them in there mind.

They will keep on missing and longing for their true parent as they keep comparing their step parent with their real parents whom they treasure and cherish. They will always have a burdensome heart and mind that will never let them accept this new person in their lives. It gives them an intense emotional stress that bothers them and keeps them awake at night.




You can see that in reality there are kids who live happily with their stepparent. In dramas, you will see how it doesn’t work that way most of the time. The typical scenes totally include unacceptance, disobedience and even violence.

Most of the time what’s depicted on dramas and movies is the negative things that happen to children and that children do because they do not want a stepparent. You might just say that it’s drama, but you cannot deny the fact that the situations also do happen in real life.

This is one of the reasons why kids must be guided, counselled and even treated from any intense stress and trauma caused by their family’s conflict and unwanted situations. Adjustments and changes are not easy to make especially if the factors are bad and if the conditions are really heartbreaking. 

Nobody can blame the kids for having these struggles and for reacting in these certain ways which they themselves probably did not choose to do. Help them. Guide them. Be there for them.



Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Travel, health, shopping, lifestyle and business are among the many subjects she writes about. She is a daytime writer for Adams Lawyers, a team of professionals that offer well-rounded service for all legal needs. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.


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