“Yours, mine and ours” makes for an amusing movie plot, but it doesn’t assure a harmonious home. With so many different kinds of families these days, you would think we’d know how to make it work, but we don’t.
It’s a challenge to be a stepparent, no matter how good your intentions are. Maybe we’ve seen too many “wicked stepmother” stories that there’s an assumption of the stepparent as being the enemy. As soon as a new “parent’ arrives in the family, the children start carving out territory.
Then the adults get in on the act. Before long, the battle lines are drawn. As the kids struggle to defeat the stepparent, their biological parent is emotionally torn between kids and new spouse.
Is Step-Parenting Driving a Wedge Between Your Family?
Psychotherapists have a name for it: “triangulation.” And even when you’re not dealing with a narcissist in the family, you might have to deal with it. So let’s talk about triangulation, shall we?
Think of a triangle with three sides. That’s what’s happening in the classic step-parenting drama: you, your spouse and kids are triangulating on every issue. It’s just constant upheaval in the home.
Kids always try to come between their parents. As early as two years old, humans instinctively know the principle of “divide and conquer.”
When the parents are divorced and there’s a stepparent in the home, the game gets more intense.
Now the kids have a strong basis to create division, the old “blood is thicker than water” principle. And it’s natural for a parent to rise to the defense of his or her child.
But when that’s a husband defending his child against his wife, the stepparent, it’s setting up a huge conflict on two fronts – spousal and parental.
The All-Important Necessity for a Healthy Family: A United Parental Front
In step parenting as well as traditional parenting, the spouses must find agreement and present a united front to the children. Even if they disagree, the couple must agree to disagree in private out of ear range of the children.
Never let the children know that they can divide you, because they will attack like hungry predators. The couple must also decide who disciplines whose children. There needs to be basic rules that can be applied by parent or stepparent.
Then the kids know that there’s no appealing for a reprieve. Break basic rules and the consequences apply equally. That also gives the stepparent authority that the parent will back up.
Step parenting is challenging enough on a good day. The couple has to remember that strengthening and affirming their commitment to each other is the best way to create family unity. The step family is only as strong as the marriage.
“We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.”– Anne Frank
You know how sometimes you KNOW that a certain choice is going to cause you a negative consequence, but you make it anyway?
Maybe you go ahead and have that second helping even though you’re not really hungry, or maybe you give up your attempt to cut back on your caffeine consumption.
Whatever your poison, you use it willingly – it’s become an unfortunate habit.
And of course, as we all know so well, many of our habits make happiness elusive. You’d be surprised how much joy you can feel when you eliminate these habits. Changing your habits isn’t easy, but it can be done if you’re committed.
Be willing to challenge the status quo if you want to see a real change in your mood.
Avoid these habits and you’ll enjoy greater happiness, guaranteed.
1. Worrying about what everyone else thinks – concerning yourself with the opinions of others. You could be perfect in every possible way, and someone will still criticize you. There’s no possible way to impress everyone. Instead, focus on making yourself happy and surround yourself with those who are happy for you.
2. Hating on yourself – engaging in negative self-talk. There’s no reason to make life even more challenging. Nip your negative self-talk in the bud and replace it with something positive.
3. Focusing on lack instead of abundance. Always wanting more than you have. If you’re living under a park bench, it’s natural to want a home. But as long as you have what you need, wanting more can be a source of stress and frustration. Strive for more if you like, but be reasonable. No one needs a personal jet or a $10 million home. The point is that you’ll never have “enough” if you can’t be grateful for what you have. So get your gratitude on, girl.
4. Trying to keep up with the Joneses. Comparing yourself to others. Everyone has their own unique strengths, weaknesses, past, and challenges. If you want to make a reasonable comparison, compare your current situation to your situation 5 years ago. If you’ve made progress, celebrate. If you haven’t, figure out why and get busy.
5. Beating yourself up over mistakes. Mistakes are a daily part of life. Learn from them and move on toward a brighter future. Has torturing yourself ever provided any benefit?
6. Failing to accept responsibility for your life. Blaming others. Believing that someone else is a cause of the difficulty you’re experiencing is harmful, because you lose control. If you believe that your situation is your own doing, you have the power to fix it. Regardless of whom is to blame, it’s still your responsibility to handle it.
7. Saying “yes” to every request. Most of us need a little down time to regenerate. By saying yes to everything, you rob yourself of this important time. You’ll also find yourself spending time on many activities that you simply don’t enjoy. Learn to say “no” when necessary.
8. Not living your life in the now. Waiting for perfect conditions. Whether you’re waiting for the perfect time to have children or start your own business, that perfect time will never arrive. Get started right away on the activities that mean the most to you. Time is ticking away.
9. Being closed-minded and set in your ways. Avoiding new experiences. What’s the point in living the same day repeatedly? You only have so many years on Earth. Get the most out of it and live a life of many experiences.
10. Expecting it all to happen overnight. Trying to change too much at once. Humans are remarkably adaptable in the long term. However, it’s very challenging to make major changes in the short term. Make smaller changes in your life and build upon them. You can’t change much in a week, but you can make major changes over a year or more.
Are your habits putting a damper on your mood? Your habits create your life. Evaluate your habits and determine which are negatively affecting your ability to enjoy life. Happiness might be closer than you think. Give it a shot.
Thoughts? Share them in the comments – let’s talk about this.
Are you truly happy? Can you say that you LOVE your life? Is there anything you’d like to change, or something you think you NEED to change in order to be truly happy?
Do you believe that you deserve to be truly fulfilled and ecstatic about your life? The truth is that finding happiness is the right of every human being alive, and you’re no exception.
What would you say if I told you that you could find your personal bliss, starting right now, without a doubt?
If I guaranteed you that if you tried these methods, you could find true happiness within 24 hours?
Or how about if I told you that you could do it instantly?