by Shadra Bruce
There are certain parts of step parenting that do not come into the light as often as they probably should. While most blended families have struggles or issues – and some blended families have more than their share of additional stresses – it’s not often that people talk about what happens when step mom or step dad is being mistreated or manipulated. You may find it very difficult to tell the man or woman you love that his or her child is causing you pain or has a part of their personality that is sometimes only visible to you. While I always, through my articles and in my life, advocate giving the step child the benefit of the doubt, what I may not be stating clearly enough (and therefore will do so now) is that no matter what the child has experienced at the hands of divorce, you, as the step parent, deserve to be treated with respect.
I have been lucky, for the most part, in my step parenting experience; my step kids have been respectful and have allowed me a large role in their lives. I have seen, however, both within my own family and within other blended families, the divisiveness that occurs when a step child manipulates a situation.
Parents believe the best about their children – how else would we learn to tolerate the terrible twos, the even-worse threes, and the challenges of raising teenagers? We see the best in our kids, and we give them the benefit of the doubt. We sometimes even go so far as to make excuses for them or their behavior. We do it out of love.
There are times, though, when a step child discovers a way to make life miserable for the step parent. This is an excerpt from Shadra’ s book, Stories From a StepMom, available on Amazon Kindle. Read more or request a review copy.