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
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Children grow up and parents still need to feel needed. Today almost 60% of parents need to provide support for their children, 18 to 39. It has become a lot more difficult to get a job, pay off student loans, and be able to afford a place you can call home.
The last 30 years have been rough due to inflation and money hungry capitalist. According to My Budget 360 a house in 1975 cost $48,000. Today, due to inflation, it should cost $209,417; although it actually cost $270,200. That is a $60,783 difference. Today people are money hungry and the average worker does not make a great enough income to live on their own. We all need help. We all need to compromise and get along.
There is so much difference between the children, parents, and grandparents. No one can demand another generation to live like their generation. We all grow up and need to live our life at the stage it is currently at. I am going give you do’s and don’ts when living with mixed generations.
1) Do Not Tell A Person What or How to do it
This can happening everyday from almost anyone like a friend, relative, or boss. Some people are allowed to tell you what to do, like your boss, because that is their job. Some people are at the same level as you and are granted permission by you, like a friend. Although some people, like your parents, need to be careful on telling you what to do. Why? Because for 18 years they raised you, taught you right from wrong, and told you how things are done now it is your turn to prove to them that you were listening and learned life from them. Also as an adult you have a lot more to do other than homework and video games. No one can jump and do it as soon as they are told all the time. I will give you an example.
There are two parents and a son living together. The son has a job, pays his bills, and a third of the house bills. He is on his computer chatting to a financial adviser for college. His mother says, “The paper needs taken out. He replies, “I know I am on a scheduled call will do it when I am done.” She replies, “Well it needs done now!” The son just rolls his eyes and continues to chat about college. When he finishes his conversation with his financial adviser he goes to do the paper. He is too late, his dad already has taken it out. His dad also mocks him because he had to take it out because he was “busy”. The son is hurt on the inside does not feel needed or wanted by his parents. Eventually he gives up on trying to help because he feels no wanted and not needed.
This is wrong on so many levels. The main point I want to have with this the son is not being treated as an adult. An adult shows being responsible a child does not. So why should the son pay part of the home bills if he is not an adult. Treat a person as they are. The second point is the mother is abusing authority. When the child is an adult and has responsibilities that are greater than taking out the paper then a parent should trust them that they will do a chore when he/she is able. Also letting the child know means do not be acting like a boss. Instead of saying, “The paper needs taken out.” or “Well it needs done now!” It is better to say “I will appreciate if you took the paper out the next time you have the time, thank-you.” This is a lot more positive, this is known as negative-positive restatement.
2) Talk About Common Interest and Plan a Day to Have Fun Together
In the new Millennium there are so many things you can do. Now we have the internet, Netflix, 180 channels on Satellite, and Smartphones. There has to be a way to find a common interest that mixed generations can agree on.
I know sports is a big thing that people disagree or agree on together. What happens if two people in the same house like two different teams or two different sports. Well there are many ways. You can do it the old fashion way and flip channels. Now it is easier with Dish Network and DirectTV. They have a recall button and you can flip back and forth between two teams or even two different sports, like NASCAR and NFL. You can also record one and watch it later in the day or the next day. Like if on team starts at 1pm and the other starts at 2pm you can schedule the 2pm game to record and then watch it from the beginning after the 1pm game is over. You may also extend the timer in case it goes to overtime. This is a win win scenario. You can enjoy both games and do it as a family.
3) Keep Negative Responses, Words, Phrases, and Ideas to Yourself
This is not just for adult children living with their parents, this is for everyone in the World. We all have a negative thought now and then, even the most positive people in the World. Although we do not need to spread the negative feed to others, especially family.
Generations are so different. It is by what we wear, what we watch on TV, and our expectations for a career. I am in my mid 30’s and I get aggravated when my dad says. “It was done this way when I was a child.” He has just reached 80 years old. he was my age almost 50 years ago. A lot changes in 50 years. A new car in 1975 cost $3,800 and today it cost $31,252. That is a 820% increase in the last 30 years. According to census.gov the average rate of pay in 1975 was $11,800/ year or $5.67/ hour based on a 40 hour week. Now 820% of $11,800 is $96,760 or $46.52/ hour. Who gets paid that much?
Today’s generation needs help. We need support from our parents to know it will be OK. Hearing about getting a better job, or how to spend our money, or save gas and don’t go out tonight. It gets annoying and hurtful. What parents do not know is the adult children think about going out every Friday night and they do not. Then one Friday a month or every other month they decide to go have fun with friends. Then they get told from their parents do not do it to save money. It will not hurt to have fun once in a while. In contradiction, if the child goes out every night, has a minimum wage job, and not paying for groceries or heat then it is a parents business. You as their parent needs to address it non-aggressive and give them sound advice and have proof to back you up. Go to the internet and do some Googling. I learned the hard way to be financially responsible and even when I learned my lesson I still depended on my parents as a security. Now I am independent and have learned to budget my finances and save money for a rainy day. We all can do this.
We all need to find a common ground. If we do not there will be conflict and chaos. You will always love your family, but you may not like being around them anymore. If you want to stay being part of your family, be a friend before being a parent or a child.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8New King James Version (NKJV)
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there isknowledge, it will vanish away.
The Bible Gateway, 1 Corithians 13: 4-8, New King James Version, Thomas Nelson.
Columnist Christopher Mims writes that startups, and Google, are racing to solve Wi-Fi’s “home-spectrum crunch.”
Source: Why Your Home Wi-Fi Is Lousy
I have not thought about this, but Wi-Fi is going to get more busy. The more wireless devices coming out we are going to need a better Wi-Fi.