Saturday, January 28, 2006

Avoid the 'wicked stepmother' woes


Things you can do that will help smooth the transition to stepparenting:

Let relationships progress at their own pace. Relationships take time. You cannot force these children to love you, so don’t be overeager or desperate for approval. It will happen over time, organically.

Be available during ordinary moments. Include the kids when you’re doing everyday things, like watching TV, shopping for food or washing the dishes. This gives them time to warm up to you.

Team up with their dad for discipline. Otherwise, the kids will pit you against each other. Don’t grant them the power to create discord.

Brush up on child development. If you don’t have children of their age, do some reading on developmental issues. That way you won’t be blindsided.

Spend separate time with your own children and your stepchildren. Everyone should feel special enough to get your undivided attention.

And the biggest one: Never, ever speak ill of their biological mother. It doesn’t matter how much you dislike this woman. These are her children and they have a relationship with her, possibly a close one. Criticism from you will be hurtful to the children, and drive a real wedge between you. So if you have negative things to say about their mother, say nothing.

Be sure to pop over to the link provided above to read the complete article.