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  • Things a Stepmother should never say...

    This article appeared in on CNN.com this morning, and because both my children have stepmothers, I hear their struggles when they come home. I am not a stepmother yet, but I don't know what the future holds. :) I am just thankful that there are articles such as these out there...cuz, the truth is, all of us need a little help, huh? And let's face it - these are good rules for everyone....not just step parents.

    ACE

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Things a stepmother should never say - CNN.com

    Things a stepmother should never say
    Story Highlights
    Stepmothers need to set boundaries and develop thick skin

    Never badmouth the ex and don't let husband do it

    Ignore messy room or send dad in to organize a cleanup

    Allow stepkids to mourn, don't draw attention to their sorrow

    By Rosemary Rogers
    (Oprah.com) -- As far as hard jobs go, it's up there with air-traffic controller and crane operator. Stepmothers preside over a minefield of hidden hurts, half-concealed traditions and occasional tugs-of-war. Want the job?

    It's been said that parenting is the toughest job in the world. Wrong. It's the second toughest: Stepparenting wins hands down. Right now, approximately half of all Americans live in a stepfamily, which means that every day, millions of women are subject to the taunt -- sometimes mournful, often angry --"You're not my mother!"

    I've been a stepmother three times. I know, from hard-won experience, that a great relationship with your stepkids is possible. And if you avoid certain trapdoors like the 12 verboten phrases here, you'll not only get along, but you'll never have to ask them to pick up their socks.

    1. "Go ahead, call me Mom!"

    You're not their mother, and you never will be. They're conflicted enough, and pushing them to use a mom-name will only confuse them more.

    Corollary: "We're going to be one big, happy family!"

    You might eventually become the happiest of stepfamilies, but it won't happen overnight. Studies show the new family dynamic takes at least three years to fall into place, and the first year is the toughest.

    2. "Feel free! Do whatever you want."

    Almost as much as they need love, children need boundaries and are adrift without rules. Learn to say (not scream, please) the phrase, "In this house, we ...," so that time together will not be bogged down with endless negotiations.

    Corollary: "Let's get down!"

    No matter how close in age you are to your stepchildren, you're still a parent figure; try to be an example of mature living and not "one of the gang." This is especially true if your stepkids belong to that group of psychotics euphemistically known as teenagers. Chances are they won't think you're cool for very long.

    3. "I'll get it," "I'll drive," "I'll wash it," "Forget about me," etc.

    Don't let your stepkids (or their father) turn you into the creature everyone in the world resents: a martyr. Martyrs make people feel creepy and guilty, and when kids feel that way, they generally act out. You're better off being wicked.

    4. "Why the long face?"

    Your stepchildren are allowed to be sad -- they're in mourning. Let them grieve if and when they feel like it. Sorry, but they probably will grieve more around you, since you're the evidence that their parents are never getting back together. Don't call attention to their sorrow; remove yourself, and get Dad to be a mom at this point. Their depression will pass --they're kids.

    5. "Your dad and I always ... "

    Don't allude to the great times you have with their father when they're not around. They already feel left out and probably imagine the two of you tossing your heads back laughing, spending wads of money, and throwing Ring Ding wrappers on the floor (not to mention the sexual fantasies going on in their fevered little brains). If you want to give them a positive image of a loving couple, just be a loving couple.

    6. "Did your mother bring you up to do that?"

    Never bad-mouth the ex -- and your husband (or partner) shouldn't either, even if the fur is still flying. Studies show that it's the ongoing conflict after divorce that hurts kids the most.

    Corollary: "How could you have married such an idiot?"

    Don't stand next to him when he's on the phone with his ex, making faces and sticking your finger down your throat. Don't write her letters or e-mails, and if she's a crank caller, get caller ID. Fighting about the ex -- call it the 'ex hex' -- is the equivalent of having a stink bomb thrown into your marriage.

    7. "Have you always done that?"

    Families have traditions that are meaningful to them. So if your husband and his children insist on watching "Hogan's Heroes" reruns, putting mayo on hot dogs, collecting rubber bands, or anything else you find distasteful, just keep your mouth shut.

    8. "Your room is a pigsty!"

    Something's got to give, and neatness should be it. If the situation is desperate and the kids are growing subspecies in their space, get Dad to go in there and organize a cleanup. Life is messy, and it's even messier when you choose a man with children. But remember: It's better to have a man with kids than one without kids who flosses his cat's teeth.

    9. "Well, my kids and I ... "

    If you have kids of your own who live with you and your husband, your stepkids may feel like they're getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop. Mentioning trips, restaurants and the fun stuff you did the weekend they were with their mom feeds the illusion that your children are getting more. Be clear that there are no favorites and everything is even between both sets of kids.

    10. "What's the matter, never heard of thank you?"

    Don't become a stepparent expecting gratitude. (Don't become a parent expecting it, either.) While you shouldn't tolerate rudeness, choose your battles carefully. Kids generally don't have the best manners; they get preoccupied and forego social niceties. Don't be petulant; you're the grown-up.

    11. "We're not made of money, you know."

    Their father's primary motivation is guilt. (Come to think of it, that's his secondary one as well.) Dad is guilty, the ex is angry, the battle is on, and money is the weapon. Stay out of the fight, work out a family budget, and don't discuss finances in front of the children.

    12. "It's them or me."

    It will always have to be them. Your stepchildren are jealous of you. But admit it, you're jealous of them too. If you make it a battlefield, this is a battle you'll lose.

    Corollary: "Wake me when it's over."

    Rather than enduring the time you spend with his kids, enjoy it. They're never really going to go away, even if you stay under the radar. Intimacy may be a long time coming, but, like so many other situations in life, you've just got to put in the time. Granted, it's a complicated dynamic, but the Beatles were right: "The love you make is equal to the love you take." Or is it the other way around?

    By Rosemary Rogers from "O, The Oprah Magazine," May 2003

    Subscribe to O, The Oprah Magazine for up to 75% off the newsstand price. That's like getting 18 issues FREE. Subscribe now!

    TM & © 2007 Harpo Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.








    Find this article at:
    Things a stepmother should never say - CNN.com
    Everything is gonna be alright!

    Be blessed - got love???

    This b me.....

    www.myspace.com/akayo

  • #2
    Looks to me like this information came from someone who can do just like everyone else...find fault in anything said by their replacement(s). But that's just me...I mean, if the biological mother would just put the biological father in his place while they were married, then the stepmother thing wouldn't be an issue, because there wouldn't be a stepmother...but then again, that's just me. I can't imagine being concerned about my fiance's boys and not being able to ask them "Why the long face?" when I see that they need moral support. I want her(fiance') boys to have that reinforcement and peace in knowing that no matter what, OUR household WILL be a BIG, HAPPY FAMILY. And if they want to call me DAD, I welcome that title, and the responsibility that comes with it, WITH A SMILE!!! I don't know, I just feel like if the roles were reversed, and I saw a posting that put ME in the situation of "Things that a Stepfather shouldn't say", then I guess that I would feel kinda' bad. But thank goodness, that isn't the case here!!! I suppose that's why I'm just going to close with this....To me, Getting through life without severe issues takes more common sense than anything else, so all of you Stepmom's(and Parents abroad) out there, use what you have and go with what feels good between you, the stepchild, and the residing biological parent...whatever you do, DON'T let the biological parent(that doesn't live in your household) get to you with their futile attempts at causing issues, it could effect your time with your wonderful stepchild!!! But once again, that's just me.....

    Comment


    • #3
      ok just say this............was a little curious.................who wrote this???.....talk about having issues with themselves........I'm a stepfather, but I don't see it that way, my daughter doesn't either, and she knows that I'm not her biological dad, but she still calls me Dad and I tell her I love her more than anything.........we don't talk about her dad, although she has asked, she doesn't want to really know him..............her mom told her what happened and I stayed out of that conversation although she did ask me once what I thought of it, I just told her that some people aren't ready to be parents.....but I'm sure he thinks of you......and we just left it at that......that's my take..........anyway.............
      sigpic

      ...And shephards we shall be. For thee my lord, for thee. Power hath descended forth from thy hand. That our feet may swiftly carry out thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to thee. And teeming with souls shall it ever be. E Nomini Patri, E Fili, E Spiritu Sancti.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm a stepmom and my stepson treats me like Mom. I never took his bio-mom's place. I raised him from age 11 and now he is 22 and calls me mom2. I was there through all the bad times in school, tried my best to help in any way I could. I have had his Mom tell me to stay out of things, and have had her thank me! I feel if you are a Mom you treat a child, whether your own blood or not, with love and as much understanding as possible. I believe all kids need discipline and structure and guidance. You can't let a child live in the same house as you and ignore their feelings, frustrations, and all the things you deal with with children. Yours or not, they need and want rules. I treated him the same as my own and things have worked out fine, not saying there hasn't been hard times, you just do the best and treat them the way you would treat your own.

        Comment


        • #5
          To answer the questions here, I saw it online at CNN.com. It was written By Rosemary Rogers, and taken off of Oprah.com. Then reposted on cnn.com.

          I have two children that have step parents. I know there struggles and it is always tough, but I thank those parents that care and love my children. It is unfortunate when the parents (us) sometimes forget about the importance of the situation - and that does entail allowing our personal agendas aside when it comes to the raising of our children. No matter what - they are the most important of all.

          To John Wesley - bless you my ex - you continue to think of things to bring my name up in your household - I am honored. I have no ill will toward you - wish you the very best - and encourage you to continue being the best dad you can to our son, and your other children as well. Children are a blessing - no matter who their biological parents are. They are all gifts from God. In reference to the statement you continue to bring up - as I told you when you brought the situation to my attention - it is a mute point. I apologized to you for any misunderstandings, and said to you then, as I am now publicly - I think, after 5 years of being divorced - I have moved on - and wish you and your wonderful family nothing but the absolute best. Life is too short, dude. Live it - enjoy it - savor each moment and cherish your accomplishments. Be a good father to our son - that is my only issue - ever.

          I hope everyone has a great weekend, and am glad that this thread is at least being read - it was posted with no one in particular in mind - just caught my eye......

          Be blessed.
          Everything is gonna be alright!

          Be blessed - got love???

          This b me.....

          www.myspace.com/akayo

          Comment


          • #6
            Children are a gift and should never be put into the middle of adult issues. Unfortunately, not all parents--no matter what their physical ages are are adults.

            First of all--giving birth doesn't make you a mother (or providing the sperm isn't an autimatic daddy either). There is so much more.

            However, we all need to remember that the children are the ones who come first--not us or our own egos. My nieces and nephew have a step-mother who is constantly putting down their mother and grandmother to them and has nothing nice to say at all about them. The kids get all confused and come to me and ask me about it and talk to me. I never put down their father to them--I don't care for him and have no use for him--but I don't hate him either, mainly because How can I hate someone who has helped to create someone that I love so much? I never put the childrens father or mother down to them. I have, many times, told the kids "Your father is who he is, not perfect, but human. He loves you the best that he knows how to." And I leave it there. The older one asked me point blank if I hated her dad and I told her what I said above. The same with their mother. Too many times children are put in the middle of a sick and twisted tug of war between so-called adults and they don't deserve that. I've seen it as a game so much that it makes me sick and I speak up really loud too. And I think that it's the childrens decision if they want to get to know their parent after a split and long absense. We should encourage them to do what is right for them, maybe suggest that they give them a chance, but always support their decision as to what they want to do about things like this. I went through this with them a few years back when both of their parents wanted visitation of them and they hadn't seen their dad in many years. The youngest one was pretty oblivious to the whole thing, but the oldest one really had hard times about it and the middle one was so confused--she just cried. It was some of the hardest stuff that I had to deal with as a mother (not their birth mother --but thier Aunt) and they got through it, but their step-mother still puts their mother down and she and their father has a young son and when something happens--they have blamed the other children and that has caused many hard times there too.

            People simply need to think and realize that the children come first. Again, not us or our ego trips.

            I have alot of respect for people who raise other's children---step mother's and father's who are good to the children and show them that. I know a man who raised another mans child as his own and she is now an adult. She talked to me about it and said that "He's not my biological dad, but he raised me." I looked at her and said "Then, baby, he's your dad and no one has anything to say about it.".

            Comment


            • #7
              My Daddy passed on about 5 years ago but, my stepmamas still my stepmama (shes my other mother )
              Anyways shes been seeing this guy for about 2 years an i've got some realy strange looks when people who don't know us hear me talking about my stepmamas boyfriend

              Comment


              • #8
                Ok, I am soooooo glad that there are some stepdad's out there that are standing up and speaking their mind's on this issue...also, it makes me feel pretty good that I'm not alone in my thoughts on the initial post as well. It's all about the kids.
                To smokin' ace - bless you back. Know this, the ONLY time that your name is ever brought up by me is when I am stating a FACT about you or when I am asking our son how you are doing. And I do that because I do not get into rumors, and because I want our son to see that we can get along. You can ask anyone you see talking to me and(as long as they are being honest), they will let you know that this is factual. All I wanted to do here was make a post of what I thought about the topic, that's it. And now I feel like you have gone and taken the time to make a stab at me and my household, why? Please understand that I do not want to get into any negative issues here on this website. Nor do I want to be banned from this website simply because of a misunderstanding. I really don't need your blessings, but if you are handing them out, then thanks. It feels good that you are giving our family a blessing(Me, Wendy, and our four boys). It shows that hopefully we can move on and live in peace. We all do accept your blessing with happiness and a big, warm embrace!!! Just remember, just as you as me to continue to be a good father, I ask you to be a good mother! Take Care!!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by John Wesley View Post
                  Ok, I am soooooo glad that there are some stepdad's out there that are standing up and speaking their mind's on this issue...also, it makes me feel pretty good that I'm not alone in my thoughts on the initial post as well. It's all about the kids.
                  To smokin' ace - bless you back. Know this, the ONLY time that your name is ever brought up by me is when I am stating a FACT about you or when I am asking our son how you are doing. And I do that because I do not get into rumors, and because I want our son to see that we can get along. You can ask anyone you see talking to me and(as long as they are being honest), they will let you know that this is factual. All I wanted to do here was make a post of what I thought about the topic, that's it. And now I feel like you have gone and taken the time to make a stab at me and my household, why? Please understand that I do not want to get into any negative issues here on this website. Nor do I want to be banned from this website simply because of a misunderstanding. I really don't need your blessings, but if you are handing them out, then thanks. It feels good that you are giving our family a blessing(Me, Wendy, and our four boys). It shows that hopefully we can move on and live in peace. We all do accept your blessing with happiness and a big, warm embrace!!! Just remember, just as you as me to continue to be a good father, I ask you to be a good mother! Take Care!!!!


                  John Wes - there was no stab - I don't have that kinda energy - let's just move past this let the thread stand as it was intended - just as a generic tool for the board to read. It's all good - have a great night.

                  ACE
                  Everything is gonna be alright!

                  Be blessed - got love???

                  This b me.....

                  www.myspace.com/akayo

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My stepdaughter and I got along better than she and her mother did. She used to spend weekends with us and she always made it a point to get me aside for some "girl time". I never, ever put her mom down, but offered sympathy for all the problems she had with her mom-and there were tons of them. We were going to go shopping for her prom dress the weekend she disappeared. She didn't want her mom to help her. Her mom called that weekend and said she wasn't going to let her come to our house. Her mom was jealous of our friendship. My SIL called us a couple of days later and wanted to know if she was with us because they couldn't find her and she and her mom had had a whopper of a fight. I said no and that's the last we heard of it for 3 weeks. We found out that the police had found her body on the 6:00 news. It was awful to say the least. I'll always remember her telling me that she loved me and she was glad I wasn't like some of her friends stepmoms. I realized then that there is nothing better in this world than the love of a child even if she isn't your biological child.
                    Take nothing for granted. Life can change irrevocably in a heartbeat.

                    I will not feed the troll-well, I will try.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by subeeds View Post
                      My stepdaughter and I got along better than she and her mother did. She used to spend weekends with us and she always made it a point to get me aside for some "girl time". I never, ever put her mom down, but offered sympathy for all the problems she had with her mom-and there were tons of them. We were going to go shopping for her prom dress the weekend she disappeared. She didn't want her mom to help her. Her mom called that weekend and said she wasn't going to let her come to our house. Her mom was jealous of our friendship. My SIL called us a couple of days later and wanted to know if she was with us because they couldn't find her and she and her mom had had a whopper of a fight. I said no and that's the last we heard of it for 3 weeks. We found out that the police had found her body on the 6:00 news. It was awful to say the least. I'll always remember her telling me that she loved me and she was glad I wasn't like some of her friends stepmoms. I realized then that there is nothing better in this world than the love of a child even if she isn't your biological child.
                      Oh my - I think that is every parents (and stepparent's) nightmare - I am so incredibly sorry that happened to you - she knew you loved her and you have to know that carried her in times of strife. The love of and for a child can never be measured -- bless anyone who has experienced that glorious feeling.
                      Everything is gonna be alright!

                      Be blessed - got love???

                      This b me.....

                      www.myspace.com/akayo

                      Comment

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