How to Deal with Awful Step Kids: 5 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Mutual respect is vital in blended families.

If dealing with stepkids makes you regret ever attempting to blend your families, realize that you are not alone. Even the most compliant stepchild throws a barb into the “white picket fence world” you imagined your life might be. Whether this egregious action is subconscious or a blatant attempt to undermine your wedded bliss is not your concern. Making a conscious effort to allow your spouse to deal with these problems is sometimes impossible for moms who are innately wired to try to fix everything. This is especially problematic when her own children are quite a bit younger than the stepkids.


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    Work on building a fulfilling and lasting relationship with your spouse. Whether you have children of your own or are the lucky recipient of a ready-made family, this must be your primary goal. If you build a strong foundation together, it enables you to weather any tumultuous storms that come your way via the stepchildren. When you have children that are toddler age or just a bit older, a stable, happy environment is crucial to their feeling of security.
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    Discuss the ground rules from day one. Agree that it is vital that all kids in the family -- whether yours or his — treat you both and the other children with respect. If you have a preschooler who clings to your legs crying, "Mommy, Mommy," because an older stepkid slams his fist into tables or acts out of control when angry, calm her down before you and your spouse speak to the older stepkid. Explain that the belligerent behavior must not continue and that it is upsetting to the younger child. The stepkid does not have to like you, but in your home, you, your property and your children deserves respect. Enforcing zero tolerance for obnoxious or rude actions from the start is a wise way to avoid awful behavior. If the stepkids are already acting in this manner, have a family meeting. Tell the kids that this behavior must stop now, and that you'll enforce swift consequences. Be consistent whenever they dare to cross this boundary. If the children realize that they will reap the consequences each time, they will soon learn not to push your buttons.
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    Tell yourself -– on a daily basis, if necessary – that the stepkids' behavior is not your problem. They are the responsibility of their father. He is in charge of discipline, and teaching them that you and your young children deserve respect while they are in your home. Remember that the stepchildren's actions do not reflect on you as an individual.
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    Ask yourself to work on loving the stepkids who are in your care full or part-time. Stepkids often come into a new family as a result of a divorce, via the death of their mom or as a result of a nasty custody battle. Toddlers and preschool children often become “like one of your own” simply because they join your family at a young and impressionable age. When toddlers or preschoolers say, "I love you" within a few months of coming into your family, they mean it. If you practice religion, pray daily that you can love the stepkids with all your heart, despite the stress involved in building a new, blended family. Another effective option is to seek private, family counseling. Prayer and counseling enable you to see that the reason the stepkids seem to be awful rarely has anything to do with you personally. It is often a byproduct of past issues.
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    Treat your spouse with compassion when confronting him with your problems with the stepkids. He may feel extreme guilt from placing his children in a less than perfect reality. Your spouse may feel that he has to be the good guy all the time because of the guilt that results from his previous marriage, the death of the children’s mom or other difficult issues. Encourage him to discuss these feelings with you or to seek counseling to work out the passivity he feels when dealing with his ex or the kids. Help him understand that your main concern is that the entire family thrives in your home environment.inAllow yourself to accept that you cannot control everything. The stepkids may experience a lifetime of grief over their broken home or the death of a parent. All you can do is deal with the daily disputes in a respectful and loving manner. This provides security for the stepkids. They eventually realize you and your young children are not going away and they cannot treat you badly without consequences. The stepkids may not respond to you with a glad heart or a cheerful smile, but realize it often has to be enough that they treat you and your kids respectfully.

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