01-16-2009, 06:17 PM
Sometime back I posted a thread about my brother who married a woman with four kids. My parents and I don't talk to my brother due to a lot of issues he and his wife have caused with us and his son. My brother works for a local government agency back in my hometown and it is a small town. A few of my brother's coworkers have told my mom that my brother's stepdaughter spends a lot of time at the office and there are times she left alone with my brother for a week while his wife is out in another city doing things. My aunt volunteers with local non-profit organizations that deal a lot with the local government my brother works for and she has said that at meetings my brother's stepdaughter is always there and that the little girl is very clingy to my brother. Back when my brother first announced his engagement we did notice that the little girl was very clingy and always around my brother and it seems like they acted like father and daughter. The thing that bugs me is that the little girl's father is in her and involved. The little girl spends at least two weekens a month with him and she receives child support. My brother's coworkers and my aunt have called me out on how he acts with the little girl and my brother basically says he's her stepfather and that's why acts that way. I feel my brother is acting too much like a father to this child and I feel the child is sort of weird with the way she acts with my brother even though she has a father in her life. I have a few close friends who grew up with stepdads and they said they got along well with their stepdads but they were never left alone with them and they never went to their workplaces. I will be entering law school in the fall and I have talked to one of the professors at the school and he told me that stepparents really have no legal rights unless they adopt the children or they seek a guardianship of them. I feel that the way my brother and the little girl act is unnecessary because she has a father. His wife is very neglectful of her children and basically makes my brother act like a dad to her kids when he shouldn't be acting like their dad. I can understand kids whose mothers and fathers have no involvement wanting to have close relationships with stepparents. What are your guys' opinions on the role of stepparents? Should they act like real parents?