We all know the golden rule…”do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Well, I think there needs to be a golden rule to step parenting…”do unto your step children as you would have others do unto you and your kids.”
I have had two profound experiences with step parents that are sub-par. One with my own step mother and one with my son’s step mother. Both made a huge impact on my life. Coincidentally, the experience with my step-mother gave me the insight and wisdom to talk to my son’s step mother, and help her to see that she needed to change.
My situation with my step mother has turned out very different than that. She is bitter, mean and extremely hurtful. Everything is a competition between her daughters and myself. She has pitted her children against me and has caused major damage in my relationship with my father. Only after years of hard work on my part was I able to forge a relationship with one of my step-sisters and repair the extensive damage with my father.
My step sister and I are very close now. Sadly, my step mom caused major damage to her relationship with her own daughter. My step sister saw that the what her mother put me through was not fair. She learned who I was and the fact that her mother tried so hard to make her hate me discussed her. She lost respect for her mother, but our relationship has flourished.
I used this experience when I saw that the same thing happening with my son and his step mother. After our talk she was able to put herself in my son’s position and things have completely turned around. She now has a great relationship with my son, her son’s half-brother, and we have become friends. We compare parenting notes. We talk about life and truly do share a friendship. Our children will be better off because of it.
I beg you, please if you have step children treat them with respect. It is a horrible feeling to grow up in a home where you are not wanted. Children are innocent and even if they have behavior problems they still do not deserve to be treated badly. There is a good chance that they are dealing with a lot emotionally and being unkind to them will only make things worse.
If you are not able to do this please do not choose to be in a relationship with a parent. There are plenty of fish in the sea. Choose the one without children.
If you are interested in reading more about my experience growing up with a step parent I will be posting that story soon. I hope that my experience will help others, because I do not want anyone else to go through what I went through.