C.C. asks from Broken Bow, OK on May 30, 2008
Step Kids - Broken Bow, OK
I don't know how to be a step-mom. I try to love them as my own, but I don't know how. I'm told that my tone changes when it comes to my step-kids compared to the tone I use with my child. I'm not trying to make a difference in them but I don't know how to do this. Any suggestions?
A.S. answers from Houma on May 31, 2008
I have a 6 year old step son who my husband and I have custody of. He was 2 months old when my husband and I started dating and I think that has a lot to do with it. My step son is never introduced as such. He is my son just not by birth. He calls me mom and most people don't even realize that he truly isn't mine. His real mother has only recently begun to take an active interest in his life.
I have found that there will be differences in how you treat the kids no matter what. I have a 9 year, then my 6 yr step, then my husband and I have 2 together 4 and 3. Each child has their own personality and you have to repspect that. I have a straight A very athletic child and my hubby's boy, has fought though ADHD, severe depression, and clumsiness and is only a c student. he strives to be like big brother, but it would be unreasonable to set his standards as high because inso far he has shown tobe capable enough of that. Each child whether they are birth children or step children will each need something different from you. Each child will need coddling at different times and for different reasons. Each discipline strategy is different as well, because they each respond to something different. My question would be How much time did you spend with your husband's children before you guys got married? Loving children is not hard to do. Search deep and you'll find you love them too!
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M.G. answers from Oklahoma City on May 30, 2008
You are the step mom no matter what you do your the outsider. Ive been one for 7 years. Some love step parents and other blame step parent for everything. Ive done everything for mine but im still not there mom. Dont beat yourself up. Ive learned just to go with the flow. Hopefully your husband will stand beside you. Mine doesnt.good luck if you need anything let me know..
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A.E. answers from Little Rock on May 31, 2008
I do understand that it is sometimes hard to look at your step kids in the same way that you do your own, but you have to dig real deep inside yourself and pray. I have a 16 year old step-daughter who has been in my life since she was 5 and we have a wonderful relationship. I also have a two daughters of my own who are 15 & 6 yrs old. It was not easy at first, we had to work through many barriers. At first, I did not try to control her, didn't give many commands just sat back observed and just got to know her (and her mom). I watched the interaction she had with her dad and just paid attention. After about 6 months to a year of that, then I started to assert a little more control such as: when it was just me and the kids at home, she would often ask to call her dad if she wanted to do something or go somewhere, so I would tell her no because I am the parent here now and if you need something or want to do something then you can ask me. Now she didn't always like my answers and would sometimes try to go over my head (to her dad) but I stood my ground (you will need your husbands support). But understand this, if he doesn't think you are treating his children right he will not support you, so you have got to make sure he understands that you love them and are trying to build a relationship and how much you need his support and feedback. There have only been maybe four or five times that she has really been mad at me, so once I saw that my methods were working I continued. Also, sometimes you have to almost treat your step child BETTER than your own. I know it sounds crazy, but there are times when you really need to show that child how much you really love them and want to be apart of thier lives. My husband and I are divorced now, but I have a lifetime relationship with my step daughter. She calls me weekly, she stays with me when she comes to town, I go visit her. I tell people I have 3 kids instead of 2, because I feel like she is mine. Believe me it is not easy, but you can do it if you are determined to. I had to say to myself, I will be the best stepmom ever and now that is what my stepdaughter tells her friends. "I have the best stepmom in the world"! She knows I will always be there for her! Feel free to email me if you need some more advice about how to be a wonderful stepmom. Here is my email, ____@____.com.
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C.N. answers from Baton Rouge on May 31, 2008
You may never be able to FEEL about them as you do your oen child, but as long as you TREAT them equally, that's what counts.
It could be that your tone changes because you're purposely trying NOT to change it - kind of like trying NOT to think about something makes that the only thing you CAN think about.
How old are your step-kids? Are they old enough that you could sit down and talk about this with them?
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C.E. answers from Fort Smith on May 30, 2008
I feel your pain! I have been a step mom for 10 years now. My step son is now 22 years old. My hubby and I went to couseling the 1st year of our marriage to deal w/ the issues we had. It helped us tremendously! The 1st couple of years was so very hard. My hubby treated his son like a little baby! He did EVERYTHING for him and it bothered me alot! The most important thing is your marriage! You must make it a priority to get on the same page w/ your hubby. You could see your pastor or talk to other blended couples or even go to counseling. The longer you wait to get help the more your resentment will build up. We joined a blended sunday school class at our church and that was a huge help too. 2nd marriages are at an even higher risk for divorce so getting yourselves in check is soooo important. You could even do research on the internet about blended families and read it together as a couple. Also, you can post house rules and reinforce them w/ your daughter, but you should leave all the discipline of your step children to your husband. This is very hard to do, but believe me it will free you from lots of frustration! I know it is so very hard, but w/ open communication and honest discussions between the two of you.... you will make it! Please feel free to email me if you need anything at all!!! ____@____.com
B.L. answers from Oklahoma City on June 01, 2008
I can't believe someone said "you don't have to love your step kids". Can you imagine growing up in a home where you weren't loved? Or even where you were loved less than the other kids? Or perhaps even worse, where someone tried to fake loving you even though you could tell they didn't? You DO have to love your step-kids and if you aren't already in love with them, you need to spend some one-on-one time with them, take them on "dates", get to know them, enjoy them, do things to make them feel special, until the feeling becomes real.
As to your tone, it is probably coming from your expectations of them or your level of annoyance by their behaviors. Because you love your own kids when they do something they may get a calm reminder or told in a calm tone to "clean it up" or whatever. Because you are more easily annoyed by your step kids (just guessing here) you snap at them more easily or use a sterner tone when telling them to "clean it up". It is hard to fake it and not be noticable to everyone around you.
The easiest way to treat them all the same is to fall in love with your step kids and then your natural maternal behaviors will be the same for all the kids.
A.H. answers from Oklahoma City on May 31, 2008
As far as you having "step children" I think you should look at this as being their second mother. They get two chances at this one. They have not asked for any of this to happen and if you think it is hard for you think how hard it is for them. If your husband can tell a difference you should sit down and talk to him about your child and his, and maybe you can come up with a couple of ideas.I am in you situation at this point of my life but my children are the "step children. One more thing maybe you can sit spend some one-on-one time without your daughter to try to make some kind of bound or trust? He could do the same with your daughter.
J.H. answers from Tulsa on May 31, 2008
You don't have to love your step-kids. You do have to treat them kindly, and with respect. Keep in mind that their lives have not been ideal, or they would not be step-kids.