Categories
Stepparenting

Disciplining As A Team

Probably one of the more notable challenges of raising kids is adjusting to the various lifestyles and attitudes each member of the parenting team (a married couple, a divorced couple, stepparents) bring to the table. My stepkids were old enough, when their biological mother left, to remember some differences between her style (everything from clothing to discipline to attitude) and mine, and their father had been a single dad for almost two years and was very independent about everything. The kids had been, from my perspective, somewhat coddled in the inevitable guilt that follows divorce.

While our differences were probably what made our relationship and marriage so much more successful than the first marriages we each had ended, it also challenged (and continues to challenge us occasionally) us to some degree – particularly with how to handle child-rearing issues. What is funny is that some of the frustrations I had with my stepkids when they were young Dave now has with our kids as they go through the same phases. (Yes, that makes me laugh a little).

We make every effort to stay consistent with discipline, not only because there is less commotion, over-reaction, and overall frustration (hence less household tension) but also because we want to become architects at keeping the focus on the issues.

This is an excerpt from Shadra’ s book, Stories From a StepMom, available on Amazon Kindle. Read more or request a review copy.

Categories
Stepparenting

Disrespectful Stepchildren

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.

Categories
Stepparenting

Managing Discipline in Blended Families

Discipline can be difficult in a blended family. Children are used to whatever style of discipline their parents have employed. When you introduce a new authority figure into the mix, it can cause frustration, misunderstanding, and downright rebellion.

Especially difficult to balance is how you treat step kids versus how you treat your birth children. It is a rare person who is capable of absolute equality. We are, by nature, inclined to believe and protect our own.

This becomes exceedingly difficult when it is the children (a biological child and a stepchild) who are fighting with each other and you are forced to intervene. The step child will be expecting the worst – and your biological child will be expecting you to take their side. How do you balance it?

This is an excerpt from Shadra’ s book, Stories From a StepMom, available on Amazon Kindle. Read more or request a review copy.