How can I deal with my stepfather

How should a stepfather respond to “You are not my father!”?

I was raised by a stepfather, and yes, "You are not my real dad" is an "Ultimate Defense" used to hurt and only hurt when you feel uncomfortable and you feel like you have no arguments having more of why you shouldn't be allowed to do something / be forced to do something. It is the equivalent of saying "you are stupid". He's not going to change his mind about how he feels about you, or maybe he will, and that's okay.

Don't let his words hurt you. Admit he's right, that "you're not his real father". Affirm that it is not important to you not to be his birth father because you still care for him. You forbid him [smoking, drinking, whatever] because you care.


So you're saying I should just ignore that phrase and say I know, but then just move on?

Lennart Regebro

@ Hannibal: No, I'll say what I said above. You should say that you know, and he's right, you aren't his real father, but that you don't care and that you forbid him [smoking, drinking, whatever] because you take care of it .


I know. I read it. I'm just asking if you think it is enough just to drop the question, so to speak. Will he still understand and obey?


@Hannibal Nobody can guarantee that a future hypothetical teenager will obey. But I think Lennart's argument is that if he doesn't obey it has nothing to do with you not being the source of his DNA, and all with the fact that he is raised and that all teenagers are rebellious.

Lennart Regebro

@ Hannibal: No, don't drop the question. That might make him think that it's a problem that it isn't. Point out that you still take care of him even if you are not his real father. Therefore: admit that he is right, that you are not his real father, but that it is to you doesn't matter and that you forbid him [to smoke, drink, whatever] because you around take care of him even though you are not not his real father.