@badabing88: Wow…same ages of my stepkids when I met Mr. 99….
You have some experience on the other end of a step mom…that’s good, stick with that, sometimes the best role models in our lives are the ones we didn’t want to emulate.
Don’t force it….you love their dad and they love him too, let that be a lynch pin for you all to spin on until you have enough time together to form your own relationship.
Be flexible…this is probably as weird for them as it is for you, a good sense of humor and a lot of patience go a LONG way in those awkward moments.
Be available, these kids have parents…so they don’t need any more of those, but no one is so rich to turn away a friend, or confidante. I still remember the first time my step daughter got it over with and just did a brain dump in our kitchen while I was baking pies for Thanksgiving…she liked this boy, didn’t know if he liked her, there was this other girl, and she’s all self conscious about her butt, but big butts are in right now, maybe its not so bad, when’s the first time you had sex Nona? WHAT WITH THE WHAT NOW? But I kept my cool, was honest and open with her about it all and you know what? She felt like she could talk to me about a lot of things she couldn’t with her mother…so it was good…but it brings me to my next rule…
Be transparant, these are not your kids…so any and all information you glean from your interactions with them must be disclosed to the primary parental units, I always told Mr. 99 exactly what we talked about, what was going on in her life and he made sure it got passed through the proper channels, not so anyone could get in her face and freak out over it, but so that we all knew what we were dealing with and what to look out for….raising teenagers is like being in the Cold War, if you’ve got an operative with intel…you don’t blow their cover, you exploit it for as long as possible.
Be yourself, I’m a pretty kooky, exxentric person, everything is cool until it isn’t anymore….when the step kids came to stay, and they wanted to a lot, because it was fun at our house, they had to dance to my crazy, crazy tune or face my unorthodox consequences….just because they’re step kids doesn’t mean they don’t have to walk the line, respect me or obey the house rules….I had 100% support from Mr. 99 when it came to keeping those kids in line and it made all the difference….and now as young adults, some of their favorite stories start with, “This one time, at Nona’s house…..” which makes me happy because I’m a part of their history…even if it is for making them pick up dog shit with a plastic spoon, or tying all their clothes together in one long knot.
Either way, step-parents have to be fearless and bold, you’re an outsider inside your own family unit and you’ve got a lot of forces beyond your control which can influence and change things in the blink of an eye. As long as you can navigate the territory and have open and civil communication with the other side of the parents…it can be one hell of a ride.