Meeting His Kids/Becoming a Stepmom….advice/support/help

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
Post # 5
Member
2555 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@badabing88:  All you really have to do is be nice, generous, and kind. You guys will fall into your relationship. They are older kids, so they probably aren’t looking for mommy #2. But so long as you guys can get along and appreciate one another, I’m sure you’ll be fine.

Post # 6
Member
6964 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

@badabing88:  Awww damn those are hard ages. 

 

I’m not a stepmom but once upon a time I was a youth minister and worked with teens a lot. Considering that their mom has probably talked mad shit about you and you’re almost as close in age to them as their father, they’re going to be looking for your flaws. I would say just be yourself, be nice and don’t try to hard because they will totally see it. They don’t want you to be fake with them. They’re going to take time to warm up regardless of what you do, so don’t take one bad day as the ending of any chances. 

 

Have your BF plan something that the girls enjoy. Try to find some genuine common ground. If there really isn’t anything that you have in common, just show interest in whatever they are into. But, again, it’s totally expected that a teen girl will just give you a smart ass answer if she’s determined not to like you. Don’t get mad, make sure your BF makes them be respectful to you, and play nice. They’ll come around eventually. They just need to know that you’re not taking their dad away from them, not trying to replace their mom and not going to ruin their lives. If you two have a calm, supportive environment for them they’ll be happy to seek your home as a safe haven from their batshit crazy mother. 

ETA: My SO has a nephew who is 10 years younger than me, so I’m pretty much the same distance in age from him and my SO. We get along great but had some weird situations when we first met where he made (hilarious) inappropriate jokes about me “giving the milk away for free”. It’s a balance…. you’ll end up somewhere between an authority figure and a girlfriend. Try to think of it more like a cool aunt. 

Post # 8
Member
1817 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I don’t have children (step or otherwise), so I don’t really know for sure, but I’ve heard that you want to avoid taking on the disciplinarian role as that is their father’s job. That is if they ever live with you.

Other than that, maybe just try to be friendly with them and don’t push it if they are not ready to establish a relationship. Given what you have mentioned, they might have heard some not so nice things (even lies) about you from their mother, so it might take them some time to warm up to you.

Post # 9
Member
1312 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@badabing88:  Just reasure them that you are not there to take their moms spot but rather to be a friend.

You are lucky that at this age children are slowly starting to care more about their business then dads etc… Even though they will want to be involved in decissions and stuff. They are in the easier age to go through this.

 

Be really patient too. They are teenagers and somethings they can say will hurt. Just have lots and lots of patience.

Post # 10
Member
4893 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

No matter how aweful their mother is, the #1 rule is to NEVER stay anything bad/negative about her to or even around the kids. No matter how crazy she is, she’s still their mom, and they’ll most definitely be protective over their feelings towards her.

My brother and I gained a stepmom when he was 16 and I was almost 14. She came into the marriage with all guns blazing, promptly told us that she didn’t approve of how my mother raised us, and that rules were going to be different at their house. Let’s just say our relationship didn’t start off onto a good foot.

It took a few years, but eventually (by the time I was in high school, and living with them full time) we built a great relationship and to this day are very very close. 

The best advice I can give is to just be there, be supportive, and show them that you care about them. Try to find some things that you can do with them to have fun…where they can relax and let their guard down. For me, when my dad went out of town for business we had a girls day where my stepmom let me miss school and we spent the day shopping. I thought it was SO COOL to miss school for that, and it gave us some time to spend together. 

Post # 11
Member
6964 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

@badabing88:  Where the hell did I come up with the idea they were girls? Good thing I didn’t add my suggestion that you hit Sephora. 😛 Boys are WAAAY easier. They probably don’t give half a shit. Girls choose sides. 

Post # 12
Member
1312 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

They likely hear all kinds of craop about you from their mother.

I know what that’s like. My FI ex told the children that i am a witch and will cast spells on them etc…

Regardles of her efforts, the children warmed up quite quickly and both say I love you to me at the time when they are going to bed. They are 10 and 13.

 

It’s all about being consistant. Don’t let them push you around either cuz children try to push buttons like no tomorrow and test out your limits.

Post # 13
Member
5932 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

@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.

Good Luck!

 

Post # 14
Member
5966 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2017

@badabing88:  my step parents both came into my life when I was a teen. I can tell you I hated them both when they first came around. mostly because I felt like they were the reason my parents weren’t together. I was not right  lol but I was a teen and I was very dramatic and emotional. If I were you, I would be polite, and welcoming but I wouldn’t try to hard or be pushy. I also would let your FH take the lead in blending you guys together. its a fine line to walk for sure. Also, keep in mind, teens smell fear lol so don’t let them know you are nervous. be solid and confident and upbeat and be someone they can like first and wait for the love and real relationship to develop on its own. As an adult, I adore both my step parents and see how much better it was having my parents apart. I also, recognize now how happy they made my biological parents and im thankful for that as well. HOpefully the kids aren’t as difficult as I was, but in the event that they are, let your husband be the leader in handling any issues, he is their father and especially at that age, I can tell you that “you aren’t my momdad” was super popular for me to say 😐  ya never know though… they may be easy peasy lemon squeezy 🙂 just be really positive and let them grow to know you instead of making too much or too little effort. I suck at advice today… and I am hated on the bee today apparently for some not so popular opinions, so if this advice goes badly I quit for the day! lol I am on a roll ….

Post # 15
Member
2302 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

@starfish0116:  +1 my parents are still together, but i have many friends who gained stepparents around those ages. many of their stepparents would complain (rightly or wrongly) about their mother or father and it never, ever worked out well. so even if the woman is off the wall crazy screaming at you in front of them, they will respect and grow to love you if you can keep your cool and remove yourself from the situation.

if she’s that nuts – the kids know. but they don’t want anyone to point it out, or feel like someone’s attacking her. 

i’m sure that you’ll be able to be there for them as a distraction from the volatile relationship between their parents, especially since you have a complicated relationship with your mother (hope i’m not reaching here – but i’m familiar with your threads) hopefully they’ll feel like you’re someone they can talk to, and enjoy spending time with!

i think you have a great attitude, and you’re always very positive and those two things will serve you really well as a step parent 🙂 

 

Post # 16
Member
3514 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@badabing88:  treat them as your own. Never try to be their mother but love them and treat them as if you were. You’ll be fine.

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