Be a Good Step Mom
From Tips and Steps
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Whenever you get married to a man with children, there is pressure on how you should act around his children. Here are some helpful tips on how to act right and not be the "Wicked Stepmother".
- Determine how much the child likes you and wants to be with you. If his child/children don't like you, then make sure not to get "in their space". If they really like you and want you to be active with them, then spend as much time as you can with them: take them to movies, go get ice cream (or coffee, depending on age), etc.
- Form a bond with the REAL mother. Nothing's worse than having the real mom not like you. It will cause all sorts of trouble, and can make the relationship with you and the husband's kids bad. If you knew her before you were with the kids' father, then it will be less awkward: call her, and ask how everything is, etc. If you didn't know her at all, then still call, but ask if she would like to get together with you some time. If she declines, then still be happy (even if you're upset she doesn't want to "bond" with you) and ask her how things are going. However, don't take this step as trying to become "best friends" with her: the kids, although not yours, should always come first, and this is the purpose of this step.
- If the mother has deceased, do NOT try to become "Mom", unless invited. If you are invading the childrens' space and their mom has passed away, it can make them despise you more. Respect their privacy.
- Don't give personal talks to the kids. Whenever it comes time for the sex talk, period talk, etc., don't talk to them about it, unless they either come to you, or you have permission of the mom/dad. It can be hurtful in some ways if you take that "right of passage" of discussing personal, life-changing situations with children who aren't your own.
- Don't be upset if they call you by your first name. Especially at first, if they call you by your real name instead of "step mom" or even in the rare occasions "Mom", don't be sad: they need to adjust.
- Don't force them to call you "Mom". Similar as the above step, you shouldn't be upset if they call you by your first name, or "step mom". Especially don't force them to if their mother is still around, but even then, it's wrong to force anyone, let alone a kid, to call you anything.
- Keep the kids involved. Don't think that just because you marry a man means they're all yours. Schedule times that are just for you and him, but also schedule times to where it's a family thing, where you, him, and the kids watch a movie or play board games. This also takes place if you knew the kids before the wedding. Keep them updated with wedding plans if they're interested, and even let them help in making some decisions.
- BE NICE! This is one of the most important steps. If you're mean, rude, and hate kids, you're not going to go very far with them, even in your marriage. Be nice! Be helpful! Be respectful! Just because they're kids doesn't mean you can stomp all over them!
- If you have a kid with your husband, don't treat them better than your step children. It might seem hard to love your own blood the same as someone who's not related to you, but get to the point where they seem like your own children and you feel comfortable calling them your step children.
- If the kids are treating you bad and you're upset, let the father know. Don't act totally mad about it, but calmly explain how you feel and see if there's anything that can be done.
- When in doubt, find a fellow step mom who can help. There are literally millions of step moms in the world, so if you know they're doing a good job, ask for advice. Chances are they had to do the same thing.
- It's not uncommon for the step children to despise you at first. Be patient. With patience comes great rewards.
- Don't call them "my children". They can get really upset, and it will cause more trouble.
- If you have had kids before this marriage, your husband will be a step parent, too, and the kids will now have step brothers/sisters. Be patient in this as well because if you move things too fast, it will be a big mess in the long run.
Related Tips and Steps
- How to Get Your Stepdaughter to Stop Making Your Life Unpleasant
- How to Begin Again As a Single Mom when Your Last Child Graduates
- How to Deal with Step Parents and Step Siblings
- How to Deal With Your Jealous Adult Step Daughter
- How to Be a Good Stepfather