Friday, November 11, 2011

Stepmothers can go from wicked to wonderful following simple steps from the Blended and Step Family Resource Center

Stepmothers face a challenging new role when marrying a man with kids. Marriage or remarriage in a blended family presents complications for stepmoms, particularly when it comes to avoiding the wicked stepmother label. Stepmothers who are open to taking positive steps can make the difference between being called wicked or wonderful.

How do you know if you are a wicked stepmother?
Stepmothers do not usually come into the job with a set of rules or guidelines regarding how to parent step kids. Often, innocent mistakes are made by stepmoms in an attempt to gain some sort of footing within the family. Here are some clues from the BFA that may be earning you the title of wicked stepmother: If you ask your husband to choose between you or his kids; you don’t know much about your step kids; you don’t celebrate step kids’ birthdays or other special events; you interrupt your husband when he is on the phone with his kids; you treat your kids better than his kids; you leave his kids to fend for themselves when they visit; you have different house rules for his kids and your own kids; you don’t let your step kids invite friends over; you ask your husband to take you out to dinner on his child’s birthday, and celebrate with his kid another day. Stepmothers should pay special attention to these clues and decide if they need to make some changes.

Stepmothers face difficult challenges with long-term rewards
Stepmothers have one of the hardest jobs in the world. According to The Blended and Step Family Resource Center, marrying a man with kids means you commit to love and care for them as your own. Stepmothers who make that commitment also should understand they may not be appreciated by their step kids for awhile, or ever, but it should not diminish how important the success of the blended family remains.

Competition best kept on field and out of home
Stepmothers sometimes feel as if they are in competition with step kids, but there could be nothing further from the truth. In reality, the love between two adults is much different than their love for kids, and there is plenty of love for everyone in a blended family. Creating and sticking with house rules will set the tone for a stable home. Stepmoms who work with their spouse as a team to surround the kids in a remarriage with love and security, will create a peaceful, positive environment for their stepfamily.

Step kids need to feel part of new family
Stepmothers who take a sincere interest in their step kids’ lives will find themselves building a positive relationship with all parties. Stepfamilies are like any other families, forging bonds by celebrating birthdays and special events together to build a unique blended family life. When stepmothers recognize their step kids’ special events, they reap the rewards of a more stable and positive home life.

Privacy means a lot in blended family
Stepmothers who offer step kids privacy while visiting can help kids feel at home in a blended family. Though a private bedroom is ideal, BFA recommends that stepmoms offer kids a secure place to keep things and a space to hang out. Just like in any other family, kids need time alone with individual parents to build deeper and more meaningful relationships. Sensitive stepmothers understand that step kids need individual time with fathers while visiting, and can take that time to bond with their own children or enjoy some time for themselves.

Stepmothers can avoid being labeled wicked by taking a few simple steps to build positive relationships with step kids. Getting to know step kids by taking an interest in hobbies and activities goes a long way toward forging connections in a blended family. Stepmoms should never feel in competition with step kids. Everyone needs privacy, especially in a blended family. Stepmothers should respect and encourage individual time between step kids and their fathers. Stepmothers needing more information on how to lose the wicked stepmother label can find more information at The Blended and Step Family Resource center at

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