A series of guests: Part 5

Posted On August 14, 2009

Filed under Guests

Comments Dropped 4 responses

Tricia from Shout has always made me think.  She has post questions and topics on her blog that leave me thinking long after I have finished reading.  Sometimes I can’t leave a comment right away, because I need time to think about it.  I hope you enjoy her post and I hope she makes you think as much as it made me think.

*****

When I saw “WickedStepMom” as someone’s online name, I was compelled to click through to her blog. I too am a wicked step mother, or as my step daughter loving refers to me… “The Evil One.”

I’m incredibly fortunate to have four adult step children. We’ve had our share of strife over the years and it’s not always been an easy road but for the most part, the dynamics of our blended family have been a blessing rather than a curse. I know that’s not always the case for families, and really I have to give a ton of credit to my husband’s ex wife. We’ve been thorns in each other’s sides at different junctures, but she always encouraged my relationship with her children and as time passed and my love for them grew, she had more wisdom than I did to know my healthy relationship with the kids was one of the keys to ensuring a healthy relationship with between the children and their father.

Statistics related to step families aren’t collected on a routine basis, and best estimates indicate one in three people are a member of step family in some capacity.

When you are an in-tact nuclear family, aligning parental values and sharing with your children what’s important to you seems fairly simple. If you live and act based on your principles, your children will take note. Once a family is torn apart by divorce and stepparents are added, aligning values becomes much more challenging.

In a step family environment, when parents disagree, it’s very hard to create resolution. The reality is that the original parenting team couldn’t resolve their marital problems and most likely had terrible communication patterns…thus the divorce. Add squabbling throughout the child-rearing, custody and child-support years, PLUS new spouses or significant others, mix it all together and the differences that exist are magnified.

I’m always intensely curious about other people’s successes, and our ability to learn from each other. If you’re part of a step family, or have first-hand knowledge of the inner working of stepfamily dynamics, what have you found to be the most challenging aspect of creating healthy interpersonal relationships with new family members, and how have you found solutions?

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4 Responses to “A series of guests: Part 5”

  1. Casey

    Wow, that’s great (but rare) that your husband’s ex was wise enough to encourage your relationship with the kids.

  2. Sprite's Keeper

    I can’t offer suggestions considering I come from a nuclear family (Homer: “It’s pronounced “NUKE-ular”) (Sorry, it keeps coming into my thoughts..), and so does John so we don’t have any direct experience. My sister is divorced and working with her ex to raise her son is difficult sometimes, but they’re both being adult about it and that’s what matters most. I think, learning from that example, if the parents do what’s right for the kids, the resolution should be a bit easier on everyone. The only winner would be the kids.

  3. Jamie

    Love this post and we are still plugging away and I only pray we are successful. Our situation is tough in the sense our home and “her” home have two VERY different sets of values and ideas. Of course I hope my step daughters go our way and I pray the fact we have the 26 days a month while “she” only has them 4, makes some inpact, but it is a dicy situation when things are so wide spread…. I am always torn between tactfully disagreeing with what “she” says or does but not bad mouthing her… It will be three years this October since Big Sis and Little Sis moved in full time and I have no idea whether or not we will be successful or not. For right now the good times far out weigh the bad times if that is a measure of success???

  4. Jenny

    I have two stepdaughters that I have helped raise for almost 6 years now. We have had our ups and downs, but hopefully the ups are outnumbering the downs now. One issue we are having now is backtalking. They just don’t talk to me with respect.
    But I will say that their mother and father try to work together in respect to their children. And their mother and I have a pretty good relationship. That helps.

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