Saturday, January 23, 2010

Stepfamilies Are Different - Part 4

If you are tuning into this Blog for the first time, please be sure to read the first couple of segments of this series, before continuing.

e. Your stepchild may have been raised with very different values and beliefs to yours.”

You may have certain values and beliefs which you hold very dear and which you are busily imparting to your own children. Your stepchildren, not having grown up in this environment, may have totally different ideas about all that is important to you. This can naturally cause a lot of angst and a lot of conflict.

Hint: Don’t expect your step kids to drop the values and beliefs they have grown up with just because they are not the same as your values and beliefs.

Stretch your own horizon. Learn to accept the children for who they are (including their values and beliefs). As a consequence they will (in time) accept you for who you are (including your values and beliefs). Impart your values and beliefs by consistent role modeling. Be prepared to compromise.

f. If you decide to have a biological child with your partner, this child will never be your partner’s 1st child.

aving a baby with a partner who already is a parent means that your child will never be their “first”. Depending on the family circumstance, especially if your stepchild lives with you permanently or for prolonged periods of time, it may feel to you as though you cannot ever revel in the experience of having a first baby. This is so especially if your time needs to be shared between stepchild and biological child. Thus you may feel cheated, ripped off and overwhelmed and will need to walk through your own grieving process.

Hint: Accept that the baby you have with your partner will never be your partner’s first child.

Come to terms with the fact that your 'together child' will never replace the stepchild. Understand that, if your stepchildren live with you permanently, you will have to share your attention and affection between them and your own child. Don’t allow the closer bond you feel with your biological child to cause you to become unfair towards your stepchild.

This series was a brief exploration of the most striking differences we encounter in stepfamilies as opposed to nuclear families and contained a few equally brief suggestions as to how one can tackle these. If you'd like to explore these points more in-depth you would benefit from reading my book Hell...p! I'm A Stepmother. Click here for purchase information.

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