I thought that I might start the new year with a quiz for you? The answers you come up with will give you a pretty good idea as to how well you are prepared to tackle your new stepparenting challenge or, if you've already been travelling the step-journey for some time, will help you better understand why things may be more of a challenge than you had anticipated.
Just read the following statements and decide wether they are true or false. When you've done that, simply read 'Common Stepfamily Myths Busters'.
Stepfamilies aren’t all that different to nuclear families. True or false?
Stepparents should love their stepchildren. True or false?
Stepchildren should, and surely will, love their stepparents and their stepsiblings. True or false?
The (step)children won’t come between the couple. True or false?
There won’t ever be a need for the biological parent to choose between their partner and their children. True or false?
Love conquers all! (It will overcome any difficulties) True or false?
Second marriages are a lot easier – after all, at least one of the couple knows what mistakes not to make. True or false?
The past is the past – it won’t interfere with the step couple’s future. True or false?
The children will be just as happy about their parent’s remarriage as they are. True or false?
Stepfamilies formed after the death of a partner are easier to navigate than stepfamilies formed after divorce. True or false?
Discipline is no more of an issue in stepfamilies than it is in nuclear families. True or false?
Adult stepchildren are a whole lot easier to deal with than young stepchildren. True or false?
The ex-partners belong to the past – they’ll have nothing to do with our future. True or false?
We’ll all be one big, happy family in no time. True or false?
COMMON STEPFAMILY MYTHS BUSTERS
Myth: Stepfamilies are not very different to nuclear families.
Reality: Stepfamilies have many significant differences from nuclear families.
Myth: Stepfamily togetherness and harmony are created instantly.
Reality: Stepfamily togetherness and harmony usually take years to achieve.
Myth: If the couple love each other enough, stepfamily difficulties will be easily overcome.
Reality: Stepfamilies are fraught with many complex difficulties which require commitment, determination, hard work, patience and much time to overcome.
Myth: All stepfamily members will love one another.
Reality: Sometimes stepfamily members grow to love one another, sometimes they don’t.
Myth: If stepparents treat their stepchildren well, they will love them and treat them well in response.
Reality: Whilst it is important that stepparents treat their stepchildren well, it is no guarantee that they will be treated well in return.
Myth: Stepfamilies formed after the death of a partner are easier than stepfamilies formed after divorce.
Reality: Stepfamilies that are formed after the death of a partner can be just as difficult, as the deceased is often put on a pedestal by the family.
Myth: We won’t have any problems with discipline.
Reality: Stepchildren usually resent a stepparent’s attempt at discipline – especially in the early stages of stepfamily life.
Myth: Our adult (step)children won’t cause us any grief.
Reality: Adult children often find their parent’s repartnering difficult to accept and feel resentful of their stepparent.
Myth: All stepparents, especially stepmothers, are wicked.
Reality: Most stepparents try their hardest to be accepting of and kind to their stepchildren. However, stepparents like biological parents have positive as well as negative characteristics that will affect their stepparenting styles.