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Sunday, 25 March 2001

My Stepfather

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By Adina Buxbaum, 16

When I was 12 my mother got remarried. My stepfather says that I was very lucky because I got to be at my own mother's wedding. In the beginning, I did not feel that tickled. I was hesitant about the big step that my family (mom and 2 other sisters, both younger than me) was going to take. The meaning of my mother getting married was moving to a whole new place and moving into my stepfather's house. It also meant that I was being adopted into a whole new family of people I didn't know.

My stepfather has four brothers and sisters, and four children of his own. Even two grandchildren. So my uneasiness was understandable. But now at the age of 16 my uneasiness is gone. I realize now that my mother's marriage was one of the better things that happened in my life.

One of the good things about having a stepparent is that two parents are better that one. This sounds crazy, right? Who would want one parent, let alone two? But actually it's true.

When my sisters and I were living with our mother, a single parent, she was the boss. Now, however, my stepfather can interfere with decisions that she makes about me. He convinces her to give me later curfews and to let me stay up later watching TV. He does this because he is less strict with me. Because he is not really a parent, he's objective so he lets me do what I want, yet he can also tell my mom to go easy with me. That's what is so special about a step-father: he's not really a parent, so he let's me do as I please, but he still cares about me.

Think of it from his point of view- he decided to take care of my sisters and me even though he wasn't our father. If I think it was hard accepting the whole extended family who I didn't know, how easy could it have been for him accepting three new children?

Despite all the fairy tails like Cinderella that portray stepparents in a very uncomplimentary and evil way, I think that having a stepfather is great and I like all the changes in my life that came as a result of my mother getting married.

Last modified on Sunday, 29 May 2011 08:03
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Positive Steps to Happy Step Fathering
Assuming Their Other Parent Is Involved

By Anonymous

1. Relate to your stepchildren as if they are your biological children.

2. Hug them and kiss them a lot.

3. Invest the same time and money on your step kids as you do on your own children.

4. Always speak positively about your stepchildren's "other" parent or just keep quiet.

5. Be involved in your stepchildren's life. Help them with their homework; ask about their friends.

6. Share your life with your stepchildren. Tell them about your childhood.

7. Listen to your stepchildren, "check in" with them from time to time.

8. Hang out with them.

9. Discipline them with care.

10. Encourage closeness between your children and stepchildren. We are all one family.

11. Surprise them.

12. Be open and consistent.

13. Be watchful of your own behavior as much as your kid's.

14. Remember: they did not choose you, you chose them!

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