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Should I tell my stepson that I am not his biological father?

Hello Mr. Hutten,

I have a question for you. I have a 14 year old step son who does not know that I am not his biological father. His mother and I have been separated for 9 years. I get him and his brother, who is my biological son, three times a week. I have had this visitation arrangement with their mother for the entire 9 years.

I met the boy when he was 8 months old, and he really has no idea I am not his biological father.

That said, the boy treats me with no respect, gets into trouble and generally makes the time I have with him and his brother a nightmare. I could go on, but I am sure you can imagine what I have been going through.

My question-- Should I tell him that I am not his biological father? I really want to tell him because I do not think he appreciates exactly how good I have been to him. I spend a lot of time being angry at him and I think if he knew the real situation he might have a little more gratitude.

Please let me know what your professional opinion is.

Thank you so much for your help and your program.



Click here for my response...


Anonymous said...

Oh boy. First I want to commend you for being a great dad and caring about both your boys. Second, proceed with caution. Before you tell him, really look at yourself. Do you treat him with respect and fully accept him as your son, has there always been some underlying anger on your part? Kids know these things as a matter of survival Understand yourself and your motivations prior to telling him. Remember, biological parents get treated the same way you are describing - you are a safe person for him to take out all his confusion on - give him a safe way and a safe place to do this....physical activities with adolescent boys are generally good times to talk and a way to blow off some of that steam. Model for him how you would like him to deal with feelings and upsets - give him the coping skills he needs. Be very cautious about pulling the rug out from under him....make sure there is a solid foundation below it first, and don't expect his new knowledge to make things better. Sorry so long. I forgot to say - don't forget we're all here pulling for this to all work out. You are not alone.

Anonymous said...

What exactly do you want if you tell him the truth? I think it's ridiculous to expect respect if you tell someone you aren't their biological parent. You are the adult and he is a child. I don't care if he is 16...his mind isn't fully mature yet.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely be up front and honest about who you really are to him but don't do it on hopes he will treat you better and respect you more because that is not Lilly to happen but rather he is going to be, at least initially, much more angry that he was never given this knowledge right from the get go.
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