Becoming a great step-parent can be a challenging task but it is also an opportunity to create a lasting bond with your step-children that they will grow to cherish. As a step-mother, I know that in my experience the process has involved time, trust and mutual respect for my step-daughter and her mother. My step-daughter, her mother and father are very close, so developing a special relationship just between her and I was important. It was equally important that I support my step-daughter’s relationships with all of her siblings. As such, I also share a relationship with her siblings from her mother’s current marriage. I realize that this is not always attainable or even something that a lot of our readers may want in their blended families, but it works for us. So, I thought I’d share my experience in hopes that some of you may begin to view your situation differently and take that first step towards creating a more cohesive family unit. Remember, it’s not where you start in this race of the blended family, but it’s where you end up that matters.
From the beginning, I never pressured my step-daughter. She is eleven years old and I have been permanently involved in life since she was six. I didn’t want to push the idea that she HAD to bond with me. I let her form her own ideas about our relationship and allowed her to open up to me on her own terms. As she has gotten older, we talk often about our blended family. I know that I have instilled in her that I would never try to replace her mother. Right there, that created a very important factor is our relationship – CONFIDENCE and TRUST. These are two of the most important factors in any step-child/step-parent relationship.
Another thing that I try my best to do is reserve judgment when her parents are arguing about something. I don’t take sides. As I have stated in other posts, I try to be more of an intermediary between the two. That way, my step-daughter knows that she can come to me with her feelings and she will know that I am not going to downgrade either of her parents. She will not have to defend them to me. Do you see where I am going with this?
I don’t want to come off as if I down-play my role; like I am not heard because this is not the case at all. My life with my step-daughter has been a journey like no other. I am the biological mother of three boys, so I enjoy having a daughter to share things with. Her mother and I are different, yet alike in many ways. I want my step-daughter to be able to share memories of me that she is fond of, not ones of defense and strife. I want to continue to connect with her in a way that she never forget and respect her for who she is and what she loves in life. Then, i will reap the rewards of a fond relationship.
Peace and Blessings,