100_5863 An interesting question was asked on face book by one of my brothers last night. And it made me think a lot about it. He asked what a step parent’s role is in life? What is a step parent supposed to do?

Well I become kinda philosophical when it comes down to a question such as this. For as most of you know, Mark and I are both “step parents” to each others kids. Me to Adrianne and Him to Jeff. Step parenting has something common with parenting… and that is the function of parenting. We try to take the word “step” out of the equation…

Someone somewhere said “Anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad.” And the flip side is that “Anyone can be a mother but it takes someone special to be a mom.” I found this very comforting many days of my adult parenting life. I know being a parent- step or natural is the hardest most responsible job that anyone can have. They need to take it very seriously, for the parent figures are who the children, who the teenagers and who the young adults need for guidance.

The “role” of a parent- ( step and natural) is to be a disciplinarian in a way that sets limits. No parental figure should try to be a friend. The friendship with our kids can come after they have grown up  and become adults themselves.

It is tough in a step parent environment, because the natural parent will sometimes unintentionally side with their natural child, and the step parent sometimes is not sure how far to step into the parenting role. It is tough ground to tread on, but there is as much of a commitment from a step parent as there is with a natural parent. 

It is tough because sometimes the step child may subconsciously dislike the step parent because in their subconscious it must be because of the step parent that the natural parents are apart100_5493 …which is far from the truth in most situations I have ever been exposed to. Kids want their parents together- plain and simple – and I believe the step parents realize that. As a step parent I tried to be fair,  I tried to make sure things were even, I tried to give room for Mark and his daughter to have some bonding time each time they were together, and I also tried to have Jeff and Mark have bonding time. I tried to 100_5110 never put down the kids natural parents, but instead focus on all the good of their parents. Mark does look at Jeff as a son, and I look at Adrianne as a daughter. We never claimed to be their natural parents, but have always been their “dad” and “mom”. And their spouses are in-laws and their children are our grandchildren.

I think the step parent tries very hard not to play favorites, and there are times no matter how hard they try not to play favorites, any action can be misconstrued as one of a favoritism move. I know for Mark and for me we never tried to replace the natural parent, and we tried very hard to create a peaceful environment for the kids. Oh there were times when it might have been tough to not show a frustration or a tad bit of anger towards the situation- but all in all- the goal was to NEVER put the kids in the middle.  So in answer to the question, being a step parent is not an easy job… you go into a relationship with another adult who already has a relationship with children of their own, and you sometimes are bringing your own child into a relationship you are hoping will turn out well, for you do not want your kid(s) to go thru another loss. So tonight I give lots of credit to the step parents out there, and I know how difficult it can be.Peace to all, have a wonderful evening, day… until we meet again, Love to all, Mrs Justa.. alias Cindy

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