Stepmom on Facebook Listing Stepchildren as Her Children

Updated on February 19, 2011
K.S. asks from Tampa, FL
27 answers

My ex husbands new wife has decided to list my son and daughter as her son and daughter on Facebook, she posts on her wall daily calling them her kids and refers to herself as thier mother. My kids (ages 13 and 14) have me "tagged" as their mother so the new wife has created a forced tag of my kids on her profile. Both of my children are not comfortable with their stepmother referring to them as her kids and labeling herself as thier mother.

Are there stepparents who have their stepchildren listed as their son or daughter on Facebook? Refer to themselves as the mother (not step mother) of their step children? If so, why? And do you feel this disrepects the childrens biological mother?

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So What Happened?

Dawn - you make a good point in that I should have referred readers to my previous post about this specific step mom. I'm new to this site, been a member just a few days now and am still learning the ropes.

I guess bottom line is it depends on the relationships between all parties, mom, dad, kids and step parent. This is my kids second step mom, dad has remarried twice since me. Their first step mom had kids of her own and was wonderful and respected me as their mother. This step mom never had kids, is pushing 40 years old and has zero respect for me. BUT I wanted to learn more about tagging step kids and step parents on Facebook, with good and not so good relationships. Just the overall protocall I guess.

Thank you all for your feedback. I do appreciate the comments and insight. And I think Mark Zuckerberg needs to add a "step" option under family members :)

Featured Answers



answers from Augusta on

you are really taking this too seriously,
There is no "step" option on facebook
My own stepmom is listed as mom on my facebook page, I have two moms on my fb page
I call her by her first name and always have.
no "mom" on face book does not disrespect the biological mother

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

My husband loves my daughter as if she were his own, but because Facebook doesn't have a "Step" relationship option, he asked her if it was okay for him to list her as his daughter. She said that she would rather he not, since she has a dad, and has a good relationship with him, and while she loves my husband dearly, he isn't her dad. That was fine with him, and he understood completely.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Shreveport on

You stated they aren't comfortable with it. So let the kids deal with it like one person said it can be removed. Also the Stepmom comment on her statuses sound good to me.
You can if the kids want to block her from their pages. That way they wont have to see her statuses,and she can't tag them in her profile and so on.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Spokane on

I am a step-mother and my SD has tagged me and her Mom as Mother b/c FB does not give "step" options. As far as I know her Mom is not offended but has always referred to me as her other Mom.
The issue with your children is different. They are not comfortable with it therefore it should be removed.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Your children can actually report her to facebook, delete the tags themselves (everyone has the right to untag themselves even if it's them), and each and every single time she refers to herself as mom they can comment STEPmom.

As long as THEY do this, and not you, the world will see what's going on and they can have a bit of vindication. ((If I'm remembering correctly, your kids are teens/preteens, yes?)) So ask them if they want to have a 'puter party with icecream and brownies and go through and spend a couple hours changing everything. If that doesn't shame stepmom into stopping, at least from then on it'll only take 30 seconds of their day to comment.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Victoria on

I'm not in that position, but since fb doesn't have a step option, I would vote to lean toward the positive & not take it as rude or disrespectful. I realize this is touchy & you are entitled to feel the way you do, but with that said, the healthier option is to view it as though it can't be harmful for your kids to have another person who loves them or at least wants to and she may be doing so to acknowledge that and not leave them out. I would pick battles and this isn't one I would choose to take a stand on. hope this helps, as I can only imagine how hard it must be. Take the high road, you and the kids know the reality.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

i think there is nothing wrong with this. if the stepmom treats my children well id allow my children to call her mom as well...

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I don't think fb has a "step" option for tagging so she probably listed them as her children so as not to exclude them from the family. I've never been in that position but I imagine it's a fine line between making the children feel included and overly trying to make sure they know you are not replacing them in their father's life. She may be a bit overly zealous in making sure they feel secure with the new family. However I think she should have at least asked the children's preference. I'm not sure of the relationship between the two of you, if it's good then maybe just mention it to her and tell her the truth that the kids told you about it and aren't really comfortable with her referring to herself as their Mom. If you don't feel comfortable talking with her directly then address it with your hubby and ask him to confer with the kids and then ask her to not refer to herself as their mother.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I have my 2 stepkids listed as my children because I have been with them for 16 yrs of their life and in my opinion I have done everything their bio-mom has done in regards as to care taking for them as I have for my own bio child. I also treat and love them as my own children. I do not feel that this disrespects their bio mother. I did not refer to them as my own children when we first became the blended family. It wasn't until it was about 5-7 yrs in. People who know you and your family, know whats real.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

If your kids are not comfortable with it then someone should say something to her. It would make me uncomfortable if she is fairly new to thier lives. My step mom and step dad both introduced me as their daughter but they have been around since I was three if she is recent that is just tacky.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I am sure I will be in the minority in my response but why does it always have to be stepmom? I am a step parent who raised my son from the time he was 2 until 12. He has always called me mom and still does. His biological mother even refers to me as his mom because she knows I am the one who raised him. He did go to live with biological mother at nearly 13 when she convinced him that we didn't want or love him. I know your situation is different you are their mother and in their lives. These children have 2 women who apparently love and care for them. Why not explain to them that she refers to them as her children because she cares about them and if they are uncomfortable with it to talk to her and dad about it. If she mistreats your children then that is another issue. I love all 4 of my sons biological or not.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

my kids call my husband dad, and my oldest son calls his step mom mom, well when he talks about her anyways. It's weird for me to hear him say, mom and i did this... or whatever, but IMO it's up to them. Now if it bugs your kids it needs to stop.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

Pick your battles - It has nothing to do with you...and their discomfort may come from the fact they feel like they are disrespecting you by allowing it. If they have an issue, they can work it out with dad and stepmom...stay out of it. I think it is a nice gesture (JMO).

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I am a stepmom and my 2 stepsons both "invited" me to be tagged as their 'Mom' on i accepted. They do not have their real mom listed as 'Mother' even tho they are friends on there?

I have been the stepmom to my stepkids since they were 5 & 3, they are now 19 & 16...and I have never asked or made them call me Mom, they call me be my first name and I like it that way, as I am not their mom. I have never really thought about whether or not their Mom feels disrespected by this? But now that I have...I imagine she would...but they invited me...what was I supposed to do, deny them? I don't think so.

If I remember correctly your kids have to accept or acknowledge the family relationship for it to show up in the right the son/daughter word in the correct color? If yes, are you sure they dislike her as much as you do?

I mean no disrespect by that last question...I just wanted to remind you of the colors and how that actually works...the kids have to actually push a button that says deny or acknowledge, maybe the situation isnt as you think it is?

I am sorry that your feelings are hurt? This must be a new and fresh wound for you...I can see why you would feel disrespected by's like rubbing it in kinda, huh? Like she is taking your kids away....or like she has some sort of 'claim' on them...that would piss me off too!

~For the record I do refer to my stepkids as my kids in certain situations and as stepkids in others, it just all depends...but...we have been in each others lives for a very long time and I always take my cues from them...I never did it til I heard them refer to me as their Mom while talking to others.

***And to answer your "Why" question...the answer is simple...because we think of them as our kids too, that's why!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Lincoln on

I know its painful for you, but really its a good thing that she sees them as "her kids" too. She obviously knows you're their "real" mom, but wouldn't you want their stepmom to take them in as her own rather that seeing them as just yours and your ex's?
When she married your ex she married his kids and they became her kids too. That doesn't lessen your roll at all.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think you need to keep out of it. You are your kids' mother, you should not be threatened by their stepmother. If they don't like her referring to them as her "kids," tell them to discuss it with her.

Meanwhile, if she actually considers them her "kids," it's a better relationship than her not loving or liking them. Tell them to be happy that their stepmother loves them and to consider it a compliment.

The more people that love your children, the better. This is a GOOD thing.

This is trivial. You should not get worked up over it, and you should teach your kids to do the same.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My stepdad always refers to me as his daughter. I know for you it is a big ouch, but I don't think step parents are always trying to replace the biological mom. I don't know the whole dynamics here, and I don't know how I would feel if I were in your place. This is only coming from an outsider. But, I would hope that if my husband and I were to ever get divorced and he remarry that he finds someone who loves my children enough to consider them her own. Again, this is so much easier for me to say since I'm not in the situation.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Rockford on

I am a stepmom and a mom. I think it's wrong. The kids do not like it, so you or they should contact facebook and have that removed. The kids could try to talk to their father and tell him they don't like it. Do you have a decent relationship with him, enough to say something so he can tell her to change it? I would think he would respect the wishes of his children if they told him how they felt. They are aged 13 and 14, so they know what they want and he should respect that. I don't see a problem if some families call their step children their children or the children call a stepparent mom or dad, but if she did this without respect to you or without even talking to the children about it, I think she has over stepped her boundaries. Plus, you said she is his new wife, so she has not been a "mom" in any capacity to them for long and that is different than someone who raised stepkids for years and years. She is new to the family and has assumed too much for herself way too soon.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Well I guess the point here is:
WHAT are the 'intentions' of your Husband's Wife and your kids Step-Mom?

IF she is overall Looney and/or disrespectful toward your kids.... then I can see how it seems like she is commandeering the kids and tooting her own horn.
Which is how you feel about it?

IF she mistreats your kids as a Step-Mom and is just a Witch... then this will affect your kids. As it stands, they do not seem to like nor want... their Step-Mom stating such things. To them, it is a "lie."
To a child... this is how they feel. It is real to them.
It disturbs them, right?
They are NOT comfortable about it, nor her ongoing behavior.
the Step-Mom seems a bit.... off in the head?

So, what does their Dad, do about it?
Or is he, just a off-base, as his Wife?

And, since Step-Mom is stating HERSELF as their "Mom".... then where does this put you? It, puts you... in a lower place, in the totem pole. And ripples from there... as in, so will one day EVERYONE think that "SHE" is their 'real' Mom? Or will others KNOW that YOU are their Mom?
How will this play out?
For you and your children?
To me, it is very important, that your kids feel comfortable about how they are being portrayed online.... and it is 'their' lives too. They are not objects or "Trophies"... to display online for the Ego of one woman.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I am not a step-parent but I have have step-parents as does my son. I feel that anyone who becomes a step-parent should be willing to accept their "step-children" as their own. This to me should include caring for, taking responsibility for, and treating them as their own. If they are not willing to do that, they have business getting serious with a single parent in the first place and certainly shouldn't become a "step-parent".

Refering to the children as theirs or tagging them as their children on FB (or elsewhere) is not disrespectful. I don't know how you "force a tag" but if that is what has been done, and your children are that uncomfortable with it (not sure whey they would be), can they contact FB to have it removed? or block her?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Hi, K. -
I have two ways of thinking on this, so this may not be helpful to you, as you probably do, too. My first thought is "what is Facebook in the scheme of things?". It SOOO doesn't matter what she calls them on her Facebook page, so I'm thinking it's just best to let it go. You are the kids' mother. They know that. She certainly knows that. Don't dignify her behavior with responding to it. She may just be doing it to get a rise out of you. If, however, this is the symptom of something larger going on that is truly making your children uncomfortable, then it should be addressed. Rationally and civally, either you or your children should discuss with her that no matter what affection or respect they may hold for her, YOU are their mother and that her titling herself as such is not appropriate. Unless she's some sort of wicked witch trying to undermine you, perhaps she will just accept it and adjust her behavior. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Mother is a sacred word and it belongs to you and you only. She could be the greatest person in the world but is still not their mother. I really wish some family think tank would come up with a brand new word for steps -- Stepmom just sounds yucky.

Anyhooo...You don't say how old your kids are? But if they are on FB I assume they are at least 14? Let them take the lead by talking to her (or their father if that feels easier) and insisting that she NOT call herself their mother. They can tell her she is special to them but that they already have a mother and feel this title of honor and love belongs only to you. If she doesn't comply, then she gets "un-friended" which will sever the FB connection tho the core issues will remain.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I refer to my step kids as my kids on facebook. there is no choice for step mom. my step son is the one who got me started on it. in his family there are not halves and steps just brothers and sisters and his mom is ok with me doing it. If i thought it would bother her I wouldnt have done it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Im going to play devil's advocate and mean no disrespect to you.But hopefully my take will give you a different perspective. Im not sure that the stepmom is disrespecting you with a malicious intent. In her home all the children including your own are her children and Im not sure you would want it any other way. I know you want your children to fell loved , cared for and comfortable when they are at your ex-husband's home.
Hopefully at home she is treating your children well and she treats them like you would want them to be treated. I wonder if FB has a way to list step-parents? That is probably the only question I have.
I am a parent that has children and my children have stepmom's. I guess I don't really care if the other parent lists the other as a parent on FB. Since we are both listed there and they do act as a parent when Im not there. I know that the bond I have with my kids is much stronger than the one with this new person in their life. I hope that this newer person in their life protect them and care for them like a "mom" and only hope that this person can love my kids and protect them when Im not there and be there when I can't be. The more loving, responsible adults my children have the better is for them.
Your children may also be telling you (about feeling uncomfortable) what they are telling you because they feel a certain loyalty to you. I wonder if they would say the same thing if they knew that you did not care and this issue did not bother you. Your children will alway be loyal to you. No matter what. The bonds that tie a mother and child relationship are sooo strong.
Again, I don't know the details on the relationships but this is my perspective. I hope you can find some peace with this situation.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tucson on

If she tagged a picture of them all they have to do is click the picture and underneath it, it says "un-tag") it will take their names off and remove it from their page. I don't know if it removes it from her page though!

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answers from Redding on

It seems to me you are feeling very threatened.
The one thing you need to remember is that your kids will never forget who their mother is.
That's simply never going to happen.
She can say what she wants. You gave birth to them. There is no changing that.
My parents divorced and I admit I called my step father "dad". That took nothing away from the fact that I loved my real father. My father and step dat met each other and liked each other. I didn't have to be afraid of who was called what or explain the intricacies to everyone.
By the same token, I had a step mother. My mom wasn't offended by the fact I had two sets of parents and I was ALL their kids.
When you divorce and remarry, kids are exposed to the blending of families and in my experience, the kids are okay with it as long as the parents are.
There is no changing which two people actually created a child. Children can understand that, especially at your kids ages. They also understand that marriages don't always work out. This is part of what goes with it.
Would you REALLY be happier if she didn't acknowledge them at all and couldn't stand them and didn't want them around to invade in her life with her new husband?
If your answer to that is yes, then it seems you aren't really thinking of the kids.
Maybe your kids aren't comfortable with any of this because they know it bothers you and they are torn in their loyalty once again.

I think if it doesn't bother you so much, it won't bother them so much.
And, you certainly don't want this other woman knowing how much it bothers you if she's trying to get under your skin.
Be confident in your love and relationship with your children.
No matter who comes along, you're not going anywhere. No one can replace you.
I'm just so glad that neither of my parents were upset that I had other "parents" in my life.

This is just my opinion. I hope you can let go of it a bit.
Your kids are old enough to tell her themselves if they don't like it.

1 mom found this helpful
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