Sunday, November 14, 2010

Step 4 - GIVE STRENGTH to your partner

Continuing with our '10 STEPS TO SUPPORTING YOUR PARTNER' series, here is step 4:

Stepparents - just like biological parents - wear out on occasion. When this happens to a biological parent, he or she can usually draw strength from:

* Other parents’ assurances: “Don’t worry, all kids do this sort of thing, they’ll grow out of it!”

* Relative’s input: “It’s amazing how Johnny is the spitting image of you and how he gets up to just as much mischief as you used to!”

* Their own memories: “She was the most wonderful baby, she’s bound to grow out of this stressful phase sooner or later”.

Stepparents don’t have this luxury. They don’t believe other people’s assurances unless they come from other stepparents who are in a similar situation. Their relatives cannot draw comparisons because after all, stepparents are not related to their stepchildren. Additionally, stepparents don’t have reassuring memories. All they see is a stepchild who may be driving them crazy. So, that leaves YOU as their major wellspring of strength.

You can impart strength to your partner by:

* Telling her how much you love, cherish and adore her.

* Assuring her how much you admire the courage and determination she has shown in taking on such a difficult task as stepparenting.

* Letting her know (often!!) how much you appreciate that she has chosen to tackle this situation together with you.

* Being there for her when she needs you.

* Reassuring her that no matter what, together you will find a way through any difficulties.

Be sure to return for step 5 of our '10 STEPS TO SUPPORTING YOUR PARTNER' series.

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