Parenting

Top Seven Tips To Become A Good Stepmother


Becoming a stepmother can undoubtedly be one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, experiences in a woman's life.

Every family's circumstances are certainly different in some ways. There are numerous uncontrollable factors, which will inevitably effect your relationship with your stepchildren, like: whether the children have a living biological mother; whether they have any contact with their biological mother; how long ago and why their biological parents are no longer together; etc...

Consider the following seven suggestions to help you be the best stepmom you can be...

1) Remember that they are not YOUR children. You do not automatically become equal to their father in any way - particularly when it comes to discipline, enforcing rules etc... Discuss your role in their lives with their father and then with them. Let him tell them how he expects them to interact with you. (For example: Your husband may say that his children must listen to you just the same as they listen to him... or He may decide that he is the still the primary care-giver, law-maker, rule-enforcer...) Make sure he is fair to you and them, so you do not become the instant "enemy."

2) Make time for your stepchildren. Show an interest in their daily lives - how they're doing in school, what they do after school, their hobbies at home, etc... Get involved with their social life, sporting events, extracurricular activities IF they want you to. Do not try too hard or push yourself into their life. And definitely do not pry into their business.

3) Do not break their trust in you. Develop an open line of communication by talking to them and respecting their wishes. If they ask you not to tell their father something they've shared with you, DO NOT betray their confidence by running to him. (Unless of course, it is something critical that he must know and then ask him not to tell the kids that you were the person who told him...)

4) Be yourself. Develop a totally unique relationship with your stepchildren - in a way that does not try imitate their mother. Do not try to be like her or to replace her.

5) Never talk badly about the children's mother in front of them. Try to establish some level of communication with her if she is still involved in their life. It can help the kids tremendously if you and their mother get along. And it can hurt them deeply if you don't.

6) Have patience. Do not expect miracles to occur overnight. This is not an "instant" happy family... But if you try to make the transition a pleasant one and create an positive living environment, time will do the rest.

7) Remember that you are the "outsider." They did not choose you. Their father did. Their standards are probably extremely rigid. You are the adult. They are children and you have to earn their love and respect.

Resource Box - Danielle Hollister (2004) is the Publisher of BellaOnline Quotations Zine - A free newsletter for quote lovers featuring more than 10,000 quotations in dozens of categories like - love, friendship, children, inspiration, success, wisdom, family, life, and many more. Read it online at - http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art8364.asp


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