Step-mothering is the most difficult responsibility of the blended family; the way you are you are regarded in the family makes it extremely difficult to build that stepchildren- stepmother relationship compare to step-fathers.
In many cases your stepchildren may act exactly to tell you “You are Not My Mom”. How you ever heard that?
For that fact that I grew up in blended and having a stepmom in my life, I understood what you may feel, but I also understand how those children feel as well; because I was one time in the same exact situation. So how do you respond to this as stepmom.
It does not matter even if you make it point to them that you are not trying to replace their biological mother, even if you want to act like a cool aunt; trying to have fun them, planning their birthday parties, cook their favorite foods for dinner etc. Over time you will still noticed that despite all your effort, you will still have problems.
How your stepchildren regard you
You are not regarded as their parental figure, but more like a dad`s new wife. And with siblings rivalry, they would say things like “Dad Said!”, which is another way of saying “you are not my mother”; no matter how hard you try; you would be at a loss because the reality is; you are made to believe you don`t really have authority or rights over them. From “experts” point of view and the society.
What even makes things more complicated is; if you constantly have arguments with your husband (children`s biological father) about parenting these your stepchildren.
You will feel powerless, and most of the time you cannot avoid this; because he may not allow you to parent through him and have him to be the only disciplinarian, with having to do with ex issues when came up.
However; the fact is, your stepchildren only wanted to feel like they are special to you. But what our society tells them about stepmoms often creates confusion on their minds; when children are younger, they may not realize this until they hear people talking or explaining this to them.
As a step-mom what you need to realize is while they may not want you to replace their mom; but actually they want to feel like if they are special to you how things would have been like.
Deep down, in their hearts there is a part of them that would like to be considered as special in your eyes; at the same time they don`t want to feel like they are betraying their biological mother; and that is main cause of your disconnection emotionally.
Is because our society taught us to put most of our focus and efforts on defining who is the biological parent and who is not, but the reality is; your relationship with your stepchildren is unique in its own way.
So; to overcome this sentiment you need to work as “AS IF” your stepchildren were your own; and see how things would turn around; this will change everything, and give you the opportunity to parent them partnering your husband; becoming equal in decision making and discipline.
You can implement these tips below to change their attitude about who you are to them.
To joint parenting with your husband; when making or deciding on “house rules”, after you come to a joint agreement that incorporates both of your desires as parents; share it with your stepchildren, and making sure they get a clear message that these decision is coming from you and your husband (their father).
Try to create fun time with them individually; at initial start it might seems difficult, but this could be a common interest you share them, so use that to create special memories with them; not just when their father is around, even in his absence; in fact that is the best time do this, it will help you nurture your individual relationships with each child.
Treat them as they are yours; avoid having negative feelings towards them, ask yourself “if these are my children what would I want for them”, don`t believe in what the society portray about step-moms; when you remember that you will always be able to connect with them.
I have seen cases where step-moms and stepchildren relationships are even stronger compare to their biological mother, this all depends on how you regard them; and also remember the time they spend with you is not the same opportunity they have to see or talk with their biological parent.
No matter how hard things may seem; if you open your heart for them, mostly likely you will succeed in build that strong relationship.
The most important factor that may contribute to distance that is often created between you and your step-children is the term you use “step”, stop referencing them as “my step children”, just call them “my children” this is a key factor to make them understand that they are special to you.
And “my children” subtle word will reinforce that everyone is part of one family. If you are dealing older kids, it’s wise to come up with nicknames that they can call you.
Just to let them know understand you are a different type of relationship in their lives. for example; “Nana” a nickname we call our grandmothers, something like that.
Try to develop a working relationship with your husband`s ex-wife; with regards to the affairs of your stepchildren; although this part could be tricky, but just remember that you are working with someone who love them and have their best interest at heart too. If you have that kind of friendly relationship with her; that could save you a lot, at the same time help you build a strong relationship with your stepchildren.
Also remember that children don`t like to be told what to do; but overtime they will begin to understand that they are special to you; and start showing you much respect as they would do to their biological mother.
Therefore; if you step children go hostile on you saying “you are not my mother” just keep your calm and respond with ” I understand. I like to think of you as my sweet daughter”.
My name is Lamin Darboe, i am an admin of aviralblog.com, I started this blog to motivate and inspire people, using my life experience and knowledge to help to offer solutions to personal issues, family and parenting problems, to bring out the best in them. The articles on this website are based on life experience and personal educational researches. Read more about me