Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I'd like to say they'll love you

I read an article online today that was advice to stepdads. It went something like this:

Your stepchildren may not like you right away because they may still hurt from their parent's divorce, but stick in there and be patient and then they will really learn to like you.

Well, I'd like to make such promises and make you feel all good about being a stepparent, but placing such promises out there is not only wrong, it is dangerous.

DON'T be patience and stick it out because they will like you some day. Be patient because it is the right thing to do. Be good to your stepchildren because they need someone to be good to them, not so you will get something out of it, like their approval.

Self-interest is not healthy motivation for good parenting or stepparenting. It might sound nice and appeal to what you feel like you want, but when you allow your success as a stepparent to be tethered to the choice of child based on their feelings of the moment, then you have given away your power and influence. That's irresponsible.

Goodness, not self-interest should be your guide. Self-interest rarely results in wisdom and health.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good point... it's been very helpful to remember if my step children accept me then it could be double their age in years before it happens... after 6 years my youngest accepts me as a parent he's 11, the 14 yr old accepts me as a coach... a couple yrs ahead of schedule :) The oldest 17 yr old will probably be more in her late 20's if at all. Everything I do I do in Christ's name not because they might like me or love me... I started out with lofty goals which at year 4 had to be evaluated... I accept whatever kindness the offer and return it with love.