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5 Rules to being a stepparent

Being a stepparent can be exhausting and hard. It isn’t a job we ever thought we would have or even wanted. However, that all changes when we marry someone who has kids. Sometimes you will get lucky and have great step kids and other times you will not. We have all seen those snotty kids who are screaming in the store and throwing a tantrum because they didn’t get a toy they wanted. Sometimes this kid even belongs to us…eek! The difference is when you’re the parent you can put a stop to it. I remember when my oldest son was about 3 years old and I told him he would get a toy if he was good, while I did my shopping. He did great but as it came time to pick said toy, he couldn’t decide which toy he wanted. I explained he only got one and he threw a fit because he wanted two toys. He started to cry and scream at the top of his lungs so I did what any rational mother would do, I picked him up and put him over my shoulder and walked out to the car. There was no toy that day.

Most of us have been there with our kids but when it comes to step kids all the rules change. You will not feel the same connection with these kids as you do your own and that is ok. Do not let anyone tell you anything different. Eventually this may change but, in the beginning, you will have a different feeling and that is ok. Just remember how important it is to make these kids feel loved.

If you are would like to watch the video on the 5 rules you can do that here…

However, if you are the type of person who prefers to read it then here are the 5 rules, I give you today.

Rule One…. Be Loving…

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This is very important as children need to know that they are loved. This situation has not been easy for them and they need to know that you love them and welcome them. Remember that you just joined their family not the other way around.

Rule Two… Be Open…

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This goes hand in hand with the first one. Be open to them so they know they can trust you. Keep your promises and let them know you will be there for them as well.

Rule Three… Don’t force your way in…

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This is really important to remember because the more you push the more, they will pull away. Don’t come in and try to be their parent or replace one of their parents. That is not your job. As a stepparent we have to realize that our roles in their lives are different. Let them come to you.

Rule Four… Don’t put down the ex…

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The kids don’t need to hear you trash talking their parents. This will not make them like you, and they will get defensive and hurt. Keep those feelings away from the kids and out of their earshot.

Rule Five… Don’t talk about money to the children…

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Money is something that we deal with as grownups and the kids don’t need to hear that one of their parents was late with the child support or not using the child support correctly. If you think that you are not getting what is fair, then you need to work that out with your ex and leave the kids out of it. If you can’t come to terms, then allow for the court or child support office to determine what is a fair amount. This is not the child’s problem.

Remember that this situation is different and fragile. You are blending families and kids sometimes don’t understand why that is. Stay calm and have patience and things will develop on there own.

A couple of great step-parenting books I recommend are…

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