A stepfather is not a true father. There is a way he can become a dad though. A dad is a man that teaches the son to play baseball, talk about sports, advise on getting the first girlfriend, and help them make difficult decisions in life but accepts their decision. It is hard when the stepfather does not do any of these and more. When a man gains enough trust to become father and then fails later in life they may lose the trust they had from the beginning as stepfather.
Dos and Don’ts A Stepfather Should Do
The reason I am writing this is because I am one of the 2/3 of the people of the United States in a divorced family. I have had good and bad times growing up, but looking back it seems to be more bad times. I hope a stepfather, mother, or child reads and shares this to help others out like all of us in broken families.
1. Stepfathers Don’t Criticize Your Stepchildren, Instead Complicate What They Do Well and Encourage Them Positively To Do Better.
Now I can hear everyone now, “I never criticize my stepchild.”. Well you may not think so, but I will guarantee if it has a negative word in it the child takes it negative.
When I was a child and my stepfather was teaching me how to use a drill I always had problems holding the drill straight and perpendicular to the board. He would always yell at me and tell me that is not the way you do it! I always felt like a failure, I could not make him happy, and if i could not do it then he should do it himself. He still really has not changed over the last thirty years, but you can.
Instead of talking negative, talk positive. Tell them they are doing a good job. Then ask them what are they doing right and what are they doing wrong. Whatever they say do not say NO. Let us say they are like I was as a child and could not drill straight through. Let us also say they do not mention they are drilling wrong. Well then ask them to show you how they drill without turning the drill on. As soon as you see the drill incorrect then ask them if they see anything wrong at this moment. If they continue to avoid the problem then tell them the drill is in the wrong position. It needs to be straight up and down so the drill goes through the wood nice and easy. Pointing out a problem is not being negative, it is actually positive because you are avoiding a problem by making the child aware. They may not listen the first few times, but eventually they will listen willing and not to stop you from yelling at them. When they listen to you a few times you will get respect from them and with respect comes trust and honesty. Also love is where all these emotions come from, so the more respect, trust, and honesty you get from your child the more love will grow.
2. The Difference in Generations Have a Bearing on What We Like on Television
There can be a pretty big gap in generations when it comes to parents getting remarried. There are many differences in generations. When I was a kid there was no internet, the Atari came out a couple years before I was born, I grew up playing the Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and Sony Playstation. I was in high school when the internet came to the home on dial up. Now there is PS4, Xbox, Netflix, and high speed internet no more weird sounds when getting online. Just think that was almost 40 years ago. What if I was married to a woman from 60, 65, or 70 years ago things were different before the 80’s.
It is not wrong to marry the person you love, rather it is your first marriage or second marriage. What is wrong is not taking in consideration the whole family. If it is a remarriage then the children need to be considered. A mate that is about your age would more than likely be better than one with a great age difference, rather they are 20 years older or younger. If it is a mate that is 20+ years difference then the children definitely need tested on how well they can relate.
One of the great things today is technology. One thing you can do is give them some alone time with their potential step parent and point a webcam at them to see how well they get along. They may behave or act differently with their parent there, so leaving the room is a good way to see their reactions. Do not need to make it all day. Just go get something from your car and watch it on your smartphone. You see problems from the child or potential mate talk to them to solve the problem. Also stepfather will be step father not dad. Give them the choice rather to use their name to address him, stepfather needs to treat the stepson with a little more love and respect, and there needs to be bonding. If this cannot begin before the marriage then he is not what is needed for the family. Mom is not marrying for a husband, but a husband and father. It is like buying a Big Mac combo. The Big Mac is hot and good, but the fries are old and cold. The Big mac represents the husband and the fries represent the stepfather. What would you do if you could not get fresh fries, toss them in the trash. You may eat the cold fries now and then because you are really hungry, starving for love, but eventually you will see the truth, that it is not worth to satisfy the hunger now and then you would rather have it fully satisfied. When this happens you will feel rejected from you stepfather. You may spend time trying to figure it out or you may just accept it and move on. It has taken me a long time to accept that I have never been accepted as a son. This year I have decided to move forward and live my life, my way, and follow Jesus Christ.
The difference in years may cause many conflicts. These need resolved before marriage or the family will fall apart and there will be no happiness. Some people are meant to be friends, not spouses.
3. Having Support Growing Up
We all need support everyday. It helps our confidence. That is why when we have a positive person with us at work the day goes great, but when a negative person is there it seems everything goes wrong. It is all in your mind. It is the same but different when growing up with a negative stepfather or one who does not support your decisions as you grow up.
I want to talk about video games. The reason is because i was so into them when growing up especially the role playing games (RPGs). My sister on the other hand enjoy playing video games, but she loved writing and still does it today. We both have a creative mind, but I am more of a visual and she has a greater imagination.
When I would be downstairs all day playing the video games my stepfather could not comprehend why I would play them all day. I would tell him that I put them on pause to eat. He took it too serious. One problem was he could and never did understand what a video game meant to us. It was intriguing, solving problems, reaching goals, beating things up, and just having fun. I tried to relate it to what he did as a child. I told him to think about the one thing you did as a child you did that was the most fun. Now today that is video games the most fun thing to do. He told me he didn’t have any fun. Well I do not believe that. The point is he would talk negative of what my interest was. When Facebook came around he talk down on that and he never even gets online. Speaking negative about everything your stepson has interest in hurts your relationship and hurts his emotions and confidence. Show him support to their interest, as long as they are legal, rather you have interest or understand it. Setting limits is a good thing. Especially while the child is still in school. You do not want them to get distracted chatting on Facebook when they need to be doing homework. Although they can be chatting with a friend to help them with their homework or to study. They need to make you aware what they are doing. I believe go over video on Facebook would be better to study with a friend than typing. Free up your hands to take notes, look through books, and do flash cards.
It is also great to know when you do a good job at any stage in life. It builds confidence. If you always get criticized you will develop a negative mind a think everything you hear is negative. Saying “thank-you” or “please” is not hard to do, but it means so much especially to a child. It makes them feel appreciated. Also an allowance as they grow up is good. Not only does it give them positive mind, but it can help them budget money for the future. I know with income vs. expenses these days it is not easy, but when it comes to lunch money, money for sports or band, camping, or any other extra expenses you have for them that you just hand them money for make them earn it. Give them chores and tell them that this money is for whatever you intend it for. That they need to save the money so they can get lunch, let’s say. Also tell them if they have any money at the end of the week they can keep it for whatever the want with your permission. This will help them learn when to spend and when to save. May even teach then to take a sacrifice for what they really want. It will just be like transferring money from a savings to checking account. Money is still in the bank, but will be spent. it takes responsibility off of you as well.
Conclusion Of StepFathers
When growing up from a child to teen to adult it can be hard when there is almost no support through the challenging times we have in life. When a boy does not have a man to bond with it feels like you are alone and fighting an endless battle. It takes a team to win the Super Bowl, not just one player. Family needs to be a team. They need to talk, agree on solutions, give a little to get a little, and to show love. I did not get much of this in my life, but I did learn from his mistakes. God works in mysterious ways.
Bon Jovi: It’s My Life – Official Music Video. (2017). YouTube. Retrieved 15 January 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUEe5cFotww
Check out more