Posted by: The Saffa Mom | March 24, 2011

Guidebook to being an Awesome Step-Dad…..NOT!

Initially when I wrote this all up in my head, I was in a really bad mood. My knight and I had had an argument, and the last words before we rolled over were “NIGHT!” Before the argument arose, I was literally falling asleep……. a few minutes later- I was wide awake, and I could hear him breathing. Fast asleep. I could literally feel my bones grinding against each other. My night was all about the toss and the turn. I was awake before any of the animals, or my alarm clock…… lying waiting for something to give me an excuse to get up.

One of the thoughts that went so prominently through my head was the topic of step fathers. (It wasn’t the reason why we fought…. but my thoughts had moved onto that topic ultimately because My Knight and My Princess were not really family. In fact, these days there was no pretending either.)

I would like to give you the Guidebook that I believe My knight follows in his plight to be a great Step Dad. (Although we are not yet married, it really is easiest to refer to him as that.)

(Let me state that for the record, I believe that many Step Fathers who are completely “new” to children follow the same guidebook.)  

This picture came from the ileadbookshop.co.za

Below would just be a few excerpts from:  BEING AN AWESOME STEP PARENT! YOU CAN DO IT!

Communication:

This needs to consist of “Hello…(name)…..” and “Instructions” on what needs to take place at that point in time. Sometimes this may lead to more “instructions” because the first “instructions were not taken literally. Most of your communication should start with “Don’t” and “Stop”.

For example: Don’t talk while you are eating. Don’t run in the house. Stop playing with the puppy, if you don’t want her to bite you.  

Any form of Further communication may be directed at the mother of the child, especially if the child is still not following your instructions.

Please note that if you have to repeat yourself a third time, this child is not normal, and should be admitted to the army.

Tip: You may notice that child generally does not open up to you about the day, or answer any of your closed ended questions with an open ended answer.  We believe that you should not bother wasting any of your time trying to open that communication line.  

If respect is not shown, I suggest you demand it. All kids from the nappy stage should know that the adult is boss. If this is not the case, I would suggest once again that you contact the nearest military base.

Keep in mind at all times that child is not your child, and therefore you do not have the responsibility of showing child good communication skills.

Intimacy:

At no point does a intimate relationship (close or warm friendship) need to be formed. Mother of child may feel that this is a necessity, however mother of child should realise that you are a part of the relationship for her and not for child.

If it is further argued that intimacy should evolve (by mother of child), we would suggest that you share some moments that you would not share with anyone else with child. This can be regarded as bonding time. For example farting.

Keep in mind at all times that child is not your child, and therefore you do not have the responsibility of showing child intimacy.

Affection:

As with “intimacy” above, this would not need to be generated from the step parent’s side. Please note that child may have many germs from the day, as well as bacteria on her, and therefore we suggest that you avoid all forms of touch. (At least until child has washed up, and brushed her teeth).

Any forms of kissing or hugging will not be necessary as child should receive enough loving moments from mother of child. If mother of child is not loving enough, I would reconsider having further children with her.

If child does approach you for a hug or other form of affection, do so. However keep in mind that this only needs to be initiated from child’s side. At times you may notice that mother of child will instruct child to give you a hug, often before bed time. Mother of child is trying to change the standard that has been set. I would suggest that you continue with steps set out in this guidebook, and all will fade away.

Keep in mind at all times that child is not your child, and therefore you do not have the responsibility of showing child affection.

Story telling:

Story telling may be something that is put in place by Mother of child. Generally Mother of Child does this, or something similar, to create time for child and you to bond.

As mentioned above, child is not yours, and therefore this would not be necessary, however at times you will notice that it would be to your benefit to entertain mother of child.

Most children (especially at toddler stage, and early child stage), do not realise when you skip a number of pages throughout the story. If they do, it would not be often that they voice this concern. Often they may believe that they lost concentration, and catch up to the place you are currently reading. This is a simple trick in order to make story telling time as quick as possible.

I would suggest that you instruct child that they are not to ask questions, as this can lengthen the process drastically. (Please follow our communication guidelines above if you have to instruct child again).

Once you have turned the light off, I would suggest that all communication made by child is ignored. Child will communicate with you. Child will try and communicate with mother. If you ignore child, child will eventually stop.

It is important that a standard is set as soon as possible, that child cannot think for themselves, especially when light goes out. Child needs to realise that they must only think when you instruct them to think.

Keep in mind at all times that child is not your child, and therefore you do not have the responsibility of reading child a story.

Real Parent/ Father:         

Child and father may communicate on a daily basis, depending on the actual situation. Under no circumstances must you allow child to believe that it is acceptable to communicate with father in “your” vicinity.

Child may believe that this is a special moment in which they think sharing with you may create a sense of intimacy, but there is no reason why you need to be aware of this conversation.

I suggest that if child continues to communicate with father in your vicinity, you make that time unbearable. For example when watching the television, increase the volume of the television to such a point that the speakers start to vibrate.

Mother of child may communicate that your actions are unreasonable. Do not at any point give into this theory. This is about you, and not child. Mother of child may have a theory that your actions are reflecting to child that communication with father is not seen in good light. Mother of child may also try to explain to you that child does not understand the dynamics of relationships.  

As the head of the house continue to stand your ground, child will learn eventually that father is Satan.

Keep in mind at all times that child is not your child, and therefore you do not have the responsibility of initiating any communication, or encouraging any communication with child’s father.

 

I think for those of you that know me, you will know where this comes from. You will know that the above is completely against any thought I may have or ever have, and breaks my heart.

The above is not even an acceptable guideline to being a step parent.

I cannot imagine how difficult it may be to have a step child without ever having your own child. I cannot imagine how it feels to know that your wife regards her love for her child more importantly than her love for anything else. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to see her make decisions by herself for her child, that ultimately effect you. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to have a third person a part of your household, that does not live in your house.  

But I do believe that every step parent needs to step back- and try and see a situation from a child’s perspective. They need to realise that without love and affection, it is difficult to gain respect from a child. Without communication, it is difficult to gain trust from a child. Without trust, every child will second guess everything you say. And therefore ask their mother for confirmation.

Just a thought…….

For the record, My Knight and I became friends once again before we left the house for work the next morning. We communicated about the real issue and then we communicated about other issues….. like my feelings regarding his acceptable step parenting skills. I believe that this could possibly be the way in which his mind thinks. Perhaps he has never been able to express it, or put words and sentences into place based on the above… but I do think that once I expressed it- the thoughts may have started rolling.

Why is it that this man can show me all the love, affection and intimacy in the world, and yet find it so difficult to show the person I love most?   

Any tips?

xx

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Responses

  1. No, sorry. I wish I could offer more.

    Ideas floating in my head:
    Unresolved father issues?
    Unresolved mother issues?
    Unresolved maturity issues?

    • He definity has unresolved mother and father issues. In fact, i have often tried tod iscuss them. BUT my knight is quite a closed book when it comes to all of that. Once he did say that he wished his child hood was different, filled with more love.
      xx

      • There’s your way in to his heart then…perhaps say something like, we don’t want the Princess to grow up and feel about you the way you feel about your childhood – or something similar. Be kind, don’t expect immediate results, but I’ll bet he will go away, consider and then start to make more of an effort. Good luck. 🙂

        • I realised very quickly that i need to be patient in this whole thing.
          I am comforted by the fact that one day when he does fall in love with her, that bond and love wil be so strong, that he would fight until the death. Make sense….
          Just a hope.
          xx

  2. Ai toggie … I don’t know what to say to make you feel better …

  3. I can feel your ache!
    I agree some with Karen’s ideas. Another point is he has the best of being married without the commitment, yet? Is it time to “nail down” your future?
    Your Knight may be in a difficult spot, yes. BUT he needs to make the moves toward Princess and make himself vulnerable to her. When he does, with your affirmation, hopefully, with your affirmation, Princess responds positively. Then you will all grow closer as a family. I got your back on this one! 🙂

    Picture a circle. Love on one half, respect on the other half. More love gains more respect. More respect gains more love. The catch is both have to do it to make the circle go round.

    My thoughts. Hoping for the best.

    • Harold, i can honestly say that i am now the one with commitement issues. And i can not say why? Perhaps my heart is there but i need to make sure that this really is the best decision for “us”.
      I completely agree with everything you have said…. they all just emphasize my post! The difficult part is making it happen.
      xx

  4. Sorry to hear things are rough right now bokkie! Being a step-child I haven’t had much time with my step parents and I was already 20 or so when my parents remarried. We also live so far apart. Sometimes I don’t feel like we’re a family because there is disengagement. What I mean is, it feels like step-mom has her own agenda and doesn’t take the time to talk with me. She also deliberately puts me in the middle of an argument going on with my father (litterally she called me on speakerphone). Is that really how she should get my opinion? She has two girls much younger than me, one is graduating high school. They always take proirity over everyone else, including my father – her husband. If I did live closer, I would have wanted to be included in some of her activities and invited her to mine, to share time and space and let moments happen. 🙂

    • Maye it is wrong that i make her the most important being in my life, however i feel that i need to…… i need to do the support and loving and caring that two people normally do. She has never asked to be in this situation. She can not suffer because of choices I have made.
      It is such a difficult situatin to be in, and i think people often take for granted that everyone just adapts.
      xx

  5. Holy crap bokkie!!!
    I am a stepmom of a 30 year old. He is on the Autism Spectrum and is difficult to have a relationship with. However, I treat him the same as my two. In many respects I feel like my life would be easier without him. Yet, I recognize he is part of my family. Do I feel the same way for him as I do for my two? No. Does he know it? No. Does his Dad know it? No.
    I am worried about some choices you are making. Think long and carefully my friend.
    Much love to you and princess
    xxxxxx

    • Maybe i have made it sound so much worse than it is?
      Ed- every relationship will have challenges- right? No relationship is perfect. Is there a man out there that you would leave everything as is? Is there a marriage or relationship that doesnt go through ups and downs.
      I got divorced because i believed there was. Then i realised that every relationship is a matter of hard work and compromise.
      My Princess needs to stability more then anything. That is key in every decision i make. I can not have her think that moving in and out of relationships is okay. I can not have her believe that we should base every decision on emotions.
      I can also not have her believe that the reason why Knight and I did not work was because of his feelings towards her?
      I love the man. I love most things about him. He makes me want to be a better person every day. BUT yes, he has walls up all around, and is clearly petrified of letting anyone in. He also clearly has foundational issues revolving around being part of a family, and what family actually is.
      Is it perhaps just easier for woman to understand?
      Dont worry to much about me…. if i end up making all the wrong decisions it would create for an intersting Blog. ALSO, i may just pack everything up and move in with you!! Haha.
      Much love back!!
      xx


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