So What!!!!! Does that mean that you can’t be a great father? Does that mean that you can’t love a child that’s not your own? Does that mean that you don’t date women who have children? Does that mean you’re a jerk? (I have got to stop watching Maury). “Raising other folks children” is a practice that has been around FOR-EVER (can you say adoption). And, it can work! But, in order for it to work, you need to show that you’re not passing through. Communication must occur with the children and everyone else in the direct path of the child’s growth and success in life, and you have to show some love.
One question that always comes up when raising other folk’s children is “How far can I go in terms of discipline?” This question is a little easier to address when an actual adoption has occurred. You treat them as your own with the same rights, privileges, and consequences. When you are blending families or moving in with a partner who has children and both parents are actively raising the children it becomes tricky (may not be active but lives around the corner). My second husband and I had a blended family. The one thing that he said was “My wife is the woman of the house, period.” By doing that, he legitimized my authority and minimized the need to “test” me.
My take on this may be waaaaaay off base, but if I am providing food, clothing, and shelter I have the right to discipline the children. If you want to dictate the method in which I discipline “You have to pay to play.” (OUCH)!!!!!