Tips for Understanding Your Stepkids – Start the New Year off Right! by Claudette Chenevert
Being in a stepfamily is no walk in the park for any of us. There are times when things are great and everyone is getting along— even having fun together. Then there are other times when being in a stepfamily is a nightmare. As stepmoms, we know this only too well, but it’s also true from the children’s perspectives.
While living through the separation and eventual divorce of their parents, our stepkids experienced a lot of insecurity. Where would they live? Who would they live with? And for how long? At the time, they were (and probably remain) understandably scared, unsure, angry and distraught at losing control over nearly every aspect of their lives.
When their parents repartnered, it brought on additional disruption and caused old insecurities to flare up. It may have even generated new insecurities they didn’t know they had.
Kids rarely have a say in what goes on during separation and divorce. It’s not often they’re asked where they want to live or what they think makes sense. Very often, the only people they feel they can relate to are their friends. Everything from divorce and living in a one-parent household to then moving in as a stepfamily has the potential to make our stepkids feel less and less sure of their footing.
Differing house rules and uncertainty over our role complicates things even further. But what if you could get inside your stepkids’ heads? What if you had access to a handful of tips that might make stepfamily life that much easier on them—and on you? Would you put them to work?
If so, read on. There are a number of ways to start the New Year off right, by stepping into your stepkids’ shoes (as well as your partner’s) and making your life less stressful in the long run. …To read the rest of this article, log in to your account and download the January 2016 issue. Don’t have an account? Click here to subscribe.