Mommy & Daddy Events

Updated on August 18, 2014
B.D. asks from Livingston, NJ
19 answers

Hi mommas & dads! I am in search of a list of events that occur in a child's life that parents feel are only appropriate for biological parents to attend- no step parents, no siblings, no aunts/uncles, or grandparents.

Second part to this question, any events that only step parents should not attend?

Thank you for your help!

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So What Happened?

Thank you a for your responses. In this situation, I am the step mother trying to help my step son's mother understand that in the end it's up to the child's preferences on who he wants things shared. I am of the opinion that the more live and support the better, but I also am very careful to not overstep(ie, baby wants the momma, I let him go to his mom- I do not interfere with that bond or relationship).

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answers from Austin on

The conception and the birth are the only things I can think of.

Otherwise, IF the child has a preference that should be considered.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I can't think of a single thing. If children are lucky enough to have a host of people who want to be there for them to support them, how great is that?!?

7 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

can't think of a single one.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

This an absurd question. It entirely depends on the individuals involved and their relationships with each other, not their 'titles' within the family.

Surely you can think of situations where a dad or mom is no longer a part of a child's life. Or a situation where a non-biological parent's importance trumps everyone else in the child's life.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

It would help to know why you're asking this question. The answers would be different depending on the goal one is trying to reach and the people involved.

Are you trying to write an agreement for divorce? Settle a dispute?

There is no formal list. I suggest the decision of who participates depends on the people involved and on how well they get along.

After your SWH. I suggest that both parents attend all school functions And sporting events. This would include spouses. I also suggest that you stop trying to convince bio Mom of anything. You do not need her permission. Your ss' s dad and you should just go when it's a group event. If Mom doesn't want you there stay away from her.

I suggest it's absolutely unfair to put ss in middle. Do not ask him if he wants you to go. And especially don't ask him to choose. Go because you want to go. Know that some kids will say they don't want you to go but are pleased when you do. consider his preference but you be the adult and make the decision.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Did you really mean to say "biological parents"?? So if someone adopts a child, they don't attend events????

To keep things simple and avoid a crowd, I think medical situations should be for the parents - I love the response below about conception and birth! There was a question on Mamapedia a while ago about a MIL who was indignant she couldn't be in the delivery room, and another about having the 2 year old in there during the delivery. No to both of those. But if, God forbid, someone's in the hospital and allowed to have visitors, everyone should be allowed if they are not disruptive, argumentative or toxic.

t think it can get crowded in the pediatrician's office if all the stepparents are there, assuming both legal parents are equally involved. Same thing for teacher conferences. However, if a child is living with an involved stepparent, it's possible that the step's participation would be vital and helpful.

Otherwise - events like concerts and school assemblies and soccer games and graduations and Scout events and cross country team awards dinners are open. You don't all have to sit together but it would be nice if people could swallow their differences and pose for pictures for the child's sake. I think it's okay for those attending to pay their own admission charge to the big football game so the inviting family doesn't have to foot the bill. Siblings should be invited based on their age - if no 2-year-olds are invited to a wedding, that's fine. But not because they are steps or 2nd cousins, just because of their ages.

The greatest gift we give our children is the security of knowing they are loved, and the example of adults who are big enough and secure enough in themselves to allow others to love them. Excluding people says more about us than about them.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I see no reason to keep a stepparent away from any social event - school function, sporting event, birthday party, etc as long as the adults can get along, be civil, and not create any drama that would draw attention to the parents/stepparents.

If there is an event like a father-daughter dance or a mother-daughter tea, or a father-son campout, then I think the biological parent should absolutely have priority over the stepparent. However, if the bio parent is unable or unwilling to attend for any reason, I think it's better for the stepparent to attend than for the child not to have a parent at all.

Those who say that all medical appointments and decisions should go to the bio parents make a very good point.

Obviously, there are exceptions - cases where the bio parent is unfit or the step-parent creates a hostile environment - and those things need to be taken into consideration. But, in general, I think it is MUCH better to have all of the parents (bio, step or whatever) be as involved and as supportive as possible. To exclude one simply because they are a "step" is just asking for trouble and undermining any authority that stepparent may someday need to have with your child (for example: you exclude the stepparent from a school event, then how can you expect the child to listen when the steppparent tries to make them do homework).

I think stepparents need to be careful not to overstep their boundaries or undermine the child-parent relationship, but I also think they need to feel enough like a "real" parent to get the respect they need from the child.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Maybe a gyn/doctor's appointment for a teen?
and yes, the birth of said child (I don't think I would want an ex's wife in the room while I was birthing)

I think the child's preference and family harmony should come before a bunch of 'shoulds'. There is not a universal list. My stepmom has been a good mother, in her way, to me. I'd hate to think she would have missed out on some special moments because of a 'should'.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

What does the child have to say? I would think as an honorable and respectful parent, you would allow your child to have a voice as to who he/she wants to attend whatever functions you are vaguely suggesting.

So what if YOU don't want others involved... Life is not all about YOU when children are involved.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

The only events I can think of are Birth Mothers Only parent/teacher meetings at school, and the "Mothers and the Children They Actually Carried In Their Womb" Festival.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

It depends on the people involved.

My cousin never knew her bio dad after age 2 (when the parents divorced) so her step dad walked her down the isle at her wedding.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Other than father daughter or mother son events I can't think of a single thing. Weddings, showers, baptisms, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, graduations, funerals, etc. these events are appropriate for all family, and all are welcome.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

A step parent is another parent to the child and there is no event where parents are welcome that should not include step parents as well. As for other family members like aunts and uncles, that should be up to the child.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I do not think there are strict rules on this. Every family has different relationships. In my circle of friends, I know one woman who married someone with a kid from another marriage (she was actually their nanny) and so her stepson was someone she cared for since he was a baby. He is like a son to her. The ex-wife and her have an excellent relationship, and they go to all kinds of family things together. I met the ex-wife at the new wife's house, at a get together and they all are very friendly. Other people are different. What does his bio mom feel?



answers from Cleveland on

Yes. I can. Any event that the child deems for only one and not the other. If the child prefers not to have the step parent then that event should be for the adult the child chooses whether it be the biological parent. Parents. Or a guy off the syreet..
Marring someone does not mean the child automatically loves or even likes you.


Yes. I can. Any event that the child deems for only one and not the other. If the child prefers not to have the step parent then that event should be for the adult the child chooses whether it be the biological parent. Parents. Or a guy off the syreet..
Marring someone does not mean the child automatically loves or even likes you.


answers from Reading on

I don't know of any that are universally considered such, including the child's birth (which hell no was I going to have anyone other than my husband and the doctor there, but some people treat L&D like a family reunion). But reading your SWH puts me in the mind that it's none of your business if the child's mother wants things her way. If you are trying to dictate that YOU get to come to an event, you are absolutely overstepping, in my opinion.



answers from Washington DC on

When my brother and SIL got divorced, they would have dinner together once a month with their son who was 3 at the time. They did this for a few years and it was only for the 3 of them. If there were siblings they would of been invited. It was meant to show their son that they still loved him no matter what and to show him that they could be in the same room together and be nice to each other. Step parents and other family was not invited. As far as school events and birthdays, etc, I think everyone that loves the child should be there if they choose. However, sometimes to keep the peace and for the sake of the child, I think the step parent may have to take a backseat to the wishes of the bio-parent. It sucks, you wish everyone could get along, but it doesn't work that way.


answers from Dover on

My opinion is that if a person gets involved with a single parent they should be willing to step up and treat the child as their own or they shouldn't get involved. Therefore, if they are the step-parent, they should be considered a parent (clearly not bio but should not treat the child differently than they would their own) and therefore should be there for those events.



answers from McAllen on

I don't think that that event exists. I remember wanting my mother's husband to allow me space to miss my father when my son was born, but he was still welcome in the hospital room. I just wanted him to stand down a bit.

I don't think that stepparents should stay behind while the rest of the family celebrates or supports the children.

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