Stepmom Demands Stepchild Change Schools for Her

Gillian Sisley

Should step-parents ever have a final say in the education of their stepchildren?

It's never easy for children to deal with the separation of their parents, but that situation can get even more complicated when step-parents come into the mix.

It's very common for children to rebel against their step-parents as they continue to try and deal with a new living situation that may not be entirely comfortable for them. At the same time, step-parents may struggle with fully understanding their new role in a child's life.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a stepmother tries to force her stepdaughter to leave boarding school against her will.

Should step-parents ever have a final say in the education of their stepchildren?

A Reddit post published on May 4th, reported on by Matt Keeley from Newsweek, has gone viral with 6,000 upvotes and 3,800 comments.

The author begins her post by explaining that she got remarried a few years ago, and she and her husband have five children together. Her husband has a 16-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, while she has two sons from a previous relationship, and the couple also has two infant children together.

The stepmom adds the context that the 16-year-old lived with her mom until the 8th grade, up until she got a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school. The stepmom wasn't crazy about the idea of sending a teenager to live away from home, but the 16-year-old's mother and stepfather felt it would be beneficial for her. A new custody agreement was drawn up to reflect the new school schedule.

When the author married her husband, she thought that her stepdaughter was only a day-border at the school, meaning she was only attending in the daytime, but she then learned that she attended the school full time.

The author adds that her stepdaughter's mother has since moved out of state, so the stepdaughter is pretty well living independently and unsupervised to do whatever she pleases. The stepmom has seen posts from her stepdaughter on Facebook showing that she's traveled to other states without ‘getting any parental permission’, and she feels this is unacceptable. She also states that it's only right for the teen to 'live with family' for the remainder of her education.

Boarding schools: yay or nay?

Boarding schools can be a contentious issue for some. While they can offer high-class education and independence for young people, they can also be very expensive and lead to feelings of isolation from family members.

The author concludes her post by stating that she feels it's unacceptable for a teenager to be living her own life so independently to this degree. She presses that the stepdaughter is her child too, and that she feels this behavior ‘needs to stop’.

The 16-year-old's father, however, is against the idea of pulling the daughter from boarding school, and explains that she was raised differently and is just ‘more responsible’ than most teenage girls. The stepmother also adds that her stepdaughter is very against being pulled from the school.

What do you think? Is the stepmom entirely within her right to demand that the stepdaughter be pulled from her boarding school, even though no one else agrees with her decision? Or does she need to recognize that it's not her place to comment on this, and she's overstepping her bounds with this demand?

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