Thursday, August 2, 2012

Being a step parent is like being on a roller coaster

image courtesy of

Being a step parent feels a little like that sometimes. That is not to say that being in a blended family is like a day at the amusement park, but most step moms and step dads can identify with the comparison.

Step parents need not seek approval
You feel like you finally have a handle on what makes your step kids tick. You have figured out what makes them mad, what makes them laugh, and now and then you catch a glimpse of what makes them happy. Then one day one of your step kids looks at you as if you are totally stupid, or at the very least, woefully inadequate.

Step parents rule!
Whether your step kids like it or not, you are married to their parent, and are not there on approval. While it is your obligation and your joy to always be caring and considerate, and to model that behavior for everyone in your blended family, it is important that there be no misunderstanding about who is in charge. Step kids who try to hold the adults in their life as emotional hostages are usually in pain, and need our understanding and support.

Your blended family is a unit which needs maintenance and repair
As with any growing and changing organization, your blended family needs regular maintenance and upkeep. Routinely review your plan to manage your blended family, and make any necessary revisions or establish needed re-training programs to make sure everyone is still working toward a common goal. As a caring and supportive blended family, the needs and rights of all your members must be nurtured as well as protected.

The rollercoaster ride that is step parenthood is a long one,thrilling, full of surprises, a little scary and not for the faint of heart, but the kind of experience that makes you feel like you’ve achieved something once you survive it! For more information, visit The Blended and Step Family Resource Center.

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