With the high rate of family breakups, having stepparents has become popular. You have seen it in movies and real life where a family goes to an outing and the stepmother/father is wearing a plastic smile while the dad/mom tries so hard to please everyone…and the kids are grumpy in an all round fake and unauthentic scenario.
Even though not all stepparents are terrible, several stories of the rift between children and stepparents are popular. Here are some things/ statements that stepparents should avoid using if they want to bond with stepchildren.
“You must call me mum/dad”
Jade Nsenga a mother of four says a stepmother is not the children’s mother and will never be. “Forcing children to call you mum or dad when you’re not just confuses them. Try hard to set a good relationship with them and it’s their will to call you what they feel is best,” she says.
“Did your mother/father bring you up to this?”
Never bad mouth a child’s biological mum or dad in the presence of the child. Your relationship with them will just go down the drain and become worse than it already is.
“Your dad and I always….”
Vanessa Kaitesi a secondary school teacher says stepparents should not tell the stepchildren about their fantasies with their spouses.
“You wouldn’t like the kids giving a picture of you and their dad spending a lot of money and going out on dates. It makes them feel so left,” Kaitesi says.
She also adds that rather than a stepparent trying so hard to impress the children by saying they are lovely, they should show love to them.
“Have you always done that?”
Natasha Byengeru who has been living with a stepmother and her dad for four months says families have traditions and a stepmother shouldn’t come and disregard them with new rules.
“It’s best she just keeps her mouth shut than make it seem like our old life with our mother was awful,” she says.
Why the long face?
Byengeru also talks of the need to mourn and be sad after their mum is replaced with a stranger.
“Clearly the stepparent is evidence that the parents are never getting back, I don’t know why they even have the nerve to ask why children can be sad,” she says.
“It’s either them or me
This is the worst thing a stepparent can say to a spouse. Clearly, the children are frustrated with the fact that they have to live with a new parent, but that is not reason to place them as a wager.
Forcing a father or mother to choose between his children and a new partner is heartless. Any reasonable parent will choose their children.
On the contrary, several adorable stepparents show love to their stepchildren and raise them as their own.