‘Tis the season to be jolly…wait, do I have the right season? For those parents that can’t wait to see their kids back to school, they are probably in the “jolly camp.” Those that shed a tear as their kiddos leave for school may not experience the whole “jolly” thing!
No matter what camp you’re in, this is the time of year for transition…back to normal. Whatever normal looks like to you! Although my kids aren’t in school anymore, I still feel the change in the air. This season with your bio kids and step kids can be an adventure.
When our kids leave our front door they are going into a battle field for their heart. Our kids have to deal with so much more than we ever had to when we were their age. Getting good grades, keeping those grades, bullying, sports, cell phones, internet, sexting, drugs and friend drama are just a quick sampling of what our kids will experience, sometimes all at the same time…in one day! Do we give our kids a safe place to be at home? I’m not talking about a warm house and dinner on the table. Do you listen to your child’s heart?
Now, everything I just shared above can be overwhelming to the woman who desires to be a great mom. Let’s overlay a step child in the above scenario and add: traveling between homes, having to live in a house with people they may not have a lot of history with, living in a house with people they don’t trust, missing their bio mom/dad, feeling like a visitor, a change in the line-up of the family…shall I go on? Do you listen to your step-child’s heart?
As step parents, we can be so excited about our new marriage and have our rose colored glasses on. The same can be true if you’ve been remarried for quite some time. Either way, remember just because we are happy does not mean that the kids will be. Have you asked them if they have grieved the loss of their previous family? It can be a scary question, but it is huge to be able to talk about the “pink elephant” of the previous family with your kids, both bio and step. Being able to acknowledge their pain will help build bridges with your step child and offer safety in a crazy world. And with the stress of a new school year starting, this may be one thing you can help take off their plate.
Yes, by being a good stepmom we should have all the extra scissors, paper, paste and computer paper handy, but more than anything we should have a willing and understanding heart to our stepkids. The hug we give them today may be the only one they get!
Be jolly and love well.
article by Brenda Stuart
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