THE STEP SERIES
1. Name Child After New Spouse
If you did not name your first son/daughter after you it is very disrespectful to give your second son/daughter your name. It is double disrespectful to do it if your first son/daughter was named after you. He/she will hold resentment towards you, the child and the new spouse.
2. Take Sides
Taking sides is a bad sign to your children and will leave them to believe you do not love them anymore because you remarried and have other children. This will cause unrest in your home and constant arguments between the kids and none stop competition. Siblings will start to lie on each other to get your attention to make other siblings look bad.
3. Exclude Children
When you exclude siblings, or give one something that the other never had will cause jealousy. Example: New children play extra activities and are supported by parents, where as the other siblings were not encouraged or supported when doing activities.
4. Separate Them When Introducing
Yes you had children before your new family or maybe you had them afterwards. However when you are out and you run into someone and they ask, “oh are these your children?” Your response should not be, “these are my kids and those are my spouse kids”. Those words will stick with them forever and they will always feel you think and look at them separately and not part of the new family.
5. Make Them Feel They Are In The Way
We are going to the store with the kids, you all stay here.
Watching TV with one set on kids and when the others come in, you say “we were doing good until you all came in with all that noise”.
6. Talk About Kids To The Other Kids
Horrible, Horrible, Horrible, this is a big no no. Any negative thing one sibling did, done, or do should not be shared with the other siblings. It can be done in a family meeting, so that everyone can comment at one time, not shared to give the perception one child is worst or better than the other.
7. Compare Children
Why don’t you do like she/he does.
You are fatter than she/he is.
You should take a note from she/he and dress like that.
8. Talk About Biological Parents That Do Not Live In Home
Do not allow you current spouse to talk bad about your children parents. It does not matter to children what their parents have done they will love them still. Children will lash out in other ways when their parents are attacked and unable to defend themselves.
9. Make Sibling Call Each Other Step
Step-brother/Sister is not endearing so encourage siblings to say, “my sister”, my brother. You start first by saying go help your sister/brother, where is your sister/brother, or tell you sister/brother its time to eat.
10. Treat Them Different
If you give one something then make sure they all get it, unless one says they do not want it or say they are too old for it. Example: Everyone gets a cake on their birthday, everyone gets an Easter basket for Easter. Punishment should be handled by both parents in home, not I am going to let your father/mother handle you. Both parents should sit down with the child and tell them why they are in trouble. It is a cope-out when one parent tells the other parent to “handle your own child.” This can be interpreted as the step-parent does not care or does not want to be a parent to the new children.
When you decided to married or be in a relationship with someone that has children you are taking on a huge responsibility. If you feel you cannot be an asset to a new family or you do not have enough love in your heart to love other children, you should not be with someone with children. Consider all parties involved before making a decision to become a step-parent. The actions you make today good or bad could last a lifetime.