Damn! Where is that Scapegoat When I need it? … The role of Stepparents is most Blended Families

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“I have been talked about and criticized for filling out school forms the children asked for my help with. As I have driven the children from on activity to another and made some suggestions and comments, I was made fun of that I was “too parenty”. Despite being the champion for getting my stepdaughter braces, guitar lessons, and enrollment in drama camp, I have been told by her that I am “the cause of all her suffering” and that she “can not” treat me well because she “hates” me. “………..

Soul Healing Art

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I was reading a book the other day. A memoir written by a young woman. It was humorous, alarming, and triumphant in turns.
A passage that struck me though was when she was writing about one of her father’s girlfriends.

The situation was not a positive one. There was much anger, limited resources, and confused energy on all sides.

At one point, according to the writer’s memory, her father’s girlfriend told her (I believe the author was 14 years old or so at the time), that she no longer needed to pay for things for the young woman nor give her any money.

Oh the drama! The pain! Look at the abuse! Look at how she was treated by the girlfriend/pseudo-stepmom. How dare a grown woman tell a young child, such as the author was at this time, that she was unwilling to care for this child financially?

I am…

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8 thoughts on “Damn! Where is that Scapegoat When I need it? … The role of Stepparents is most Blended Families

  1. Being a stepparent is one of the hardest jobs because you step in to love a child and spend your time/energy/resources on them and at the end of the day – they may just turn their back on you. It’s a tough job. Biological moms and dads can be forgiven, but as a step parent you may not get that luxury. You could even treat that child as you would your own but if the other parent doesn’t like you, they can easily talk the “child” into treating you bad or not liking you. It can be a tough place and is a position only for the strong at heart 🙂

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  2. Although a step-parent may feel this way or get this static and feel it’s because of their role, rest assured that biological parents produce ungrateful, blaming children, too.
    Biological parents can be forgiven — but they aren’t always. Sometimes they’re hated, even when there’s no divorce involved.

    But I’ll agree: it’s so much harder, when two people hate or fight with each other enough to get a divorce that they’ll be able to produce children who’ll be respectful, accepting and appreciative of new loves.

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    • I’m confident that biological children engrave the same feelings in their biological parents, I have a husband who tries to comfort me with the fact that his kids hate him too.
      However. The difference lies in the extra effort we have to make to leave an impression on them, play a role, be involved and find a way to be trusted after being absent for however many years. The effect is a lot different.

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      • What a comfort! Do they really hate him?

        You have a point about the extra effort to win trust. I’m not sure I’d put much forth — selfish me! — to fight a “damned if you win and damned if you lose” war.

        Years ago there was a book, Games People Play — and one of them was “Let’s you and him fight.” Like, “Mom says you never…” And then there’s the Guilt Trip. So sad that these seemingly darling and innocent little children can play these manipulative games so well!

        Rhonda was a good friend who was fond of her niece, but the mother did her best to turn the child against Rhonda. When the girl repeated her mom’s ridiculous statements to her aunt, Rhonda didn’t lash back. She jest calmly repeated,, “You always have the choice what you will believe, how you will react to what you hear. It’s your choice.” She wasn’t getting into the game. I admired her for that.

        As to being absent from their lives heretofore, next term they may meet a teacher who’s never been in their life before, and within a few months that person gets more respect and trust than the parent who’s tried so hard for so long. It’s not the length of acquaintance but the resistance.

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      • no, they don’t hate him. we are the parents with the rules. they have bed times and we follow them. they do their homework, have screen time limits, do chores and don’t get to have friends over during the week- so we are the antichrist as parents. mom is their friend before she is their parent, who isn’t quite on board with them having a step mom yet (2 years of marriage, 1.5 years of dating, 5 years total of knowing the boys/my husband and interacting with them).

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      • Ah, yes.
        One could rehash that old cliche, “In the end they’ll thank you.” And you suspect that “end” may not come until they hit 35—or become parents themselves. 🙂
        Thankfully kids do have a little voice echoing deep inside all along, telling us (though we don’t want to listen) the parent who lays down the law is the one who really cares.
        The really sad part is, “no rules” parents usually reach a point where they simply can’t stand their kids anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

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