Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Top 10 Strategies for Stepmothers … the First 3

There are some things that stepmothers can do to have the best chance of thriving in her stepfamily. Here are some suggestions.

1. Stepmothers need to find ways to be patient and go slowly.
There are lots of complications and twists in people and relationships in step families. Nothing can be ”fixed” immediately. Many of the problems are not about you. As they say in al-anon, “You did not cause it. You cannot control it and you cannot cure it.” Be patient, go slowly and find ways not to take things personally.

2. Find your role as the stepmother in your new family constellation. Don’t expect to mother another woman’s children. Look for a different role with them that can evolve over time.

Work with your partner to define your role and responsibilities. Make sure that everyone in the family is aware of what these roles and responsibilities are …. and what they are NOT. Ask him to be your ally in this and work with you as you all figure this out together.

3. Spend time alone with your stepchildren.
Relationships take time to build and it is hard to achieve respect without a peaceful relationship. Spend time each day that you are together just learning more about them and their lives. Ask a few questions, without judgment, and listen carefully.

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