Step parents: Any way in hell you would honor this?

Having dinner tonight with a friend of mine.

He tells me that his step daughter’s father wants him to “Stop making her root for the (Dallas) Cowboys.”

The daughter is about 6 or 7 (I think). Whatching football is a bonding activity for the Step dad and daughter.

He says he’s trying (or was trying since FB is over now) to tone it down out of respect. I say he’s crazy. The fathers request is laughable at best.

Snide comments about the Cowboys aside, what do you guys think?

I think someone needs a kick in the balls (and it’s not your friend).

I think I’d let him know that you’re certainly not forcing her to like any particular team; hell, you can show her all the different teams and she can choose her own to root for!
She might like some other cuddly animal, or maybe ravens!

But if she likes Dallas, then daddy’s just gonna have to get over it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Sports teams are a bit like religion. Baffling and stupid to some, while life and death to others.

Being a step-parent is hard work, and where possible its definitely worth avoiding ‘you’re taking my child away from me’ scenarios unless its plainly a case of no matter what you do, you’re stuffed, because the person who loses most in those situations is always the child.

The mother presumably has an opinion on the issue.


Of course it’s not really about that silly issue, but about bio father feeling his place is being usurped or something. It’s a stupid argument, don’t engage. I think the stepdad is very wise. Stay away from anything that causes trouble, right or wrong, because the child is the one who ultimately pays.

Yeah, I’d say stay out of it also. The child can root for whatever team she likes, and the parents, on both sides, are just going to have to put their big kid undies on and deal with it. My BIL is a USC fan, and I imagine he’s envisioning my toddler nephew’s future of Trojan football glory even as we speak. My niece (his stepdaughter), on the other hand, is in 8th grade and planning to attend UCLA. She even owns a Bruins T-shirt. BIL is learning to live with it. :smiley:

To demand that a child stop liking a certain sports team would be unreasonable, certainly. However, we are at the tail end of a game of Telephone here, and do not actually know that this is what was requested. If, for example, what the father wants is for the girl to stop going on about how supporters of the wrong teams are horrible impotent morons who are so stupid they forget to pull down their pants when they take a shit (also what does impotent mean, daddy?), then it’s an eminently reasonable request.

That’s actually how I interpreted the comment. The fact that your kid happens to like a certain team wouldn’t make you suspect that the parent is “making” the kid like them. But if the kid is hurling insults at others, or even just talking about it at inappropriate times, it would make more sense.

The only other ways I could interpret that comment is if it were a polite ribbing from a fan of a rival, or biodad is just an idiot.

This is a lot tougher than ht sounds on the surface. Next to actually playing sports together, rooting for our sports teams was the strongest bond between my father and me.

Someone upthread was right, sports is religion for a lot of folks. Granted, the kid is free to root for whatever team she chooses, but I can see how the father feels like one of his strongest potential bonds to the child is being compromised.

It would depend on the relationship I have with the father. In my current step-parent relationship I would first choose to tell him to screw himself, then I would change my mind and agree to do exactly what he asks in the hope that he won’t mind-fuck his son anymore.

Technically right vs. Realistically right:

Technically, Bio-Dad has no case.

Realistically, he does (presuming it’s about bonding with his child)

When one is right in terms of how the real world works (sports can bond parent/child), their argument only seems realistic if it’s handled with diplomacy.

Bio-Dad should have been able to reach out to Step Dad and expressed honest/sincere feelings, and expressed his concern that he is afraid that it might affect their relationship. Handled in an up-front and honest way, which shows concern for the parent-child bonding issues, Step Dad would have to consider the best course of action and work with Bio-Dad.

If Step did not, then the onus for being a jerk is on him.

Yeah, technically, ain’t now laws being broken if Step Dad turns her into a full-blown Cowpoke fan, but it might have real-world consequences for Bio-Dad.

I wouldn’t bet a nickel on anyone taking the high road for the child here.

Step Dad says he’s “Toning it down” which is more than I would do. So I’d say the matter is pretty much at rest. But for the sake of debate, I’d like to posit that step dad has a right to bond with the child too. It’s unrealistic to think that step dad wouldn’t develop any feelings for his step daughter. He’s not a robot. I just don’t think I could fold every time bio-dad makes such insane request out of fear that he might hold the child emotional hostage. Fuck that. Bio-dad needs to learn that, like it or not, she has two families now. More so he should feel lucky that there are more people in this girls life that love her.

I can say this because my sons think the world of their step-dad. And I feel lucky that such a cool dude has taken an interest in my sons. At the very least I know they have a positive male influence around.

Buy her a puppy. Name it either Dallas, Cowboy, or Landry.

Yeah,beause a six or seven year old really grasps the game of football enough to form an opinion of a given team. Dad needs to get a grip and step dad needs to pretend like he never heard the asinine request. Not saying this applies to all situations, but this is pettiness at its smallest and ugliest.

This is the part of step-parenting I wish someone had told me about beforehand. All the pleasure of child custody fights, including the emotional battles, with none of the rights or privileges. It’s funny, I get the feeling that people think I, as a step-parent, am not doing a good deed but that I have somehow stolen something in a vague way. Of course the bio-dad thinks this.

Quoted for truth. People get so caught up in their own agenda they lose sight of what’s best for the kid. How often I want to tell the ex from hell that I do what I do for love of the boy, not for my own goddamn health and amusement and certainly not out of spite for her; she’s simply not that important.

Six or seven is old enough that she’s making her own decisions of whom to root for. Granted, those decisions are influenced by who her parents (of all varieties) root for, but they’re also influenced by whose colors she likes, who has the best mascot, who her friends root for, and maybe just possibly her opinions of how they play. And yes, I can see that watching football together can be a bonding experience, but it can be that even if the people bonding are rooting for opposite sides.

A six or seven year old doesn’t need to understand the nuances of football to have a rooting interest. They just need to know who the “good guys” are and what a touchdown is.

Exactly. And if they’re anything like my sons were when they were little; they just love a good excuse to hoot and holler like their Dad does when his team makes a touch down, interception, field goal, you name it.

The lesson here is up-front communication. “Fuck that” = hostility. There’s an undertone to this thread of ‘step vs bio’ and calling things ‘petty’. Argh… we perpetuate the problem.

It’s so mind numbingly obvious that the adults get a giant “FAIL” when we cannot even fathom the concept that a step-dad and bio-dad could actually discuss something, which – while seemingly mundane to some – is a issue worth addressing (to bio-dad).

No, the issue is handled from the premise that bio-dad is a prick and/or basically unreasonable.

The whole tone and set of preconceived notions concerns me.