Through out this week, a lot of random topics have been going through my mind and this is one of them….
Are stepmothers as evil as portrayed in our society?
Who is a stepmother?
A woman who is married to one’s father after the divorce of one’s parents or the death of one’s mother.
Merriam Webster dictionary defined it as – the wife one’s father when district from one’s natural or legal mother.
You don’t have to dip deep to realize that stepmothers usually get a poor perception. Nigerian movies shows us a lot of them, most of our popular cartoons like Cinderella gave most of us an insight on the evil stepfamily and stepmother. Snow White had a wicked stepmother too.
Most time, when people hear “stepmother” it kind of reflects wickedness. It’s true to say most of the wicked stepmothers stories are true. But not all stepmothers are wicked.
I remember listening to Jala’s clinic last month and they talked on stepmother syndrome. The host recounted her story, saying how her stepmother treated her badly even when it was unnecessary.
Another speaker told her own story and challenges she had to go through being a stepmother. She said her husband’s children hated her because they felt she was the reason their parents divorced. No matter how had she tried explaining that she met their father 10 years after his divorce with their mother. They felt angry and vulnerable because their secret fantasy that their parents might reunite is destroyed.
According to her, it was not easy getting their love and respect. She had to overly try her best not to replace their mum but for them to see that she genuinely cares and that she’s not a wicked person.
It’s not easy for most men too. Most of them get confused on who to please. Is it their new partner or their children? For most, they try to please their partners, to make them feel at home as the new mother. While others try to please their children. This is because they feel their children are finding or had to adjust to a new mother and to an extent would still want their children not to feel betrayed for moving on.
In an article by Tim Lott (life as a stepmother is no fairytale) “When a stepchild is rude, it is hard for a stepmother to discipline them because the relationship feels fragile. Furthermore, stepmothers may find themselves undermined by the father, who finds himself torn. Because of guilt from getting divorced in the first place, fear of losing their child to the biological mother entirely and the fact that the child seems particularly vulnerable, the father will be inclined to back the child, leaving the stepmother feeling excluded and abandoned. It is a classic case of divided loyalty”.
WHY DO SOME STEPMOTHERS ACT EVIL? IS IT NECESSARY?
Why do most stepmothers feel threatened by their step children that they have to result to being wicked towards time? Do you need to prove that there is a new mother I’m town by maltreatment the child. With time, every child would adjust to that fact. I also know that Some kids are also badly behaved, they tend to undermine and disrespect their stepmothers. It’s not easy but as an elderly person and being a woman, it’s best to study the child and find out how best to rapport with the child/children. Some Children who undergo mistreatment by their step parents are affected physically and psychologically. They are not at ease with their home environment and this ends up affecting them physically, emotionally or could go both ways. According to a write up by Donah Mbabazi “Another effect is that the biological kids are likely to develop a bad character as a result of the bad example from their mothers.They get the picture that step kids are supposed to be treated that way, according to Kirabo”
According to www.sheknows.com the following are things that a step-parent should never do.
Don’t bad-mouth the biological parents
You are going to have your opinions. Perhaps the ex is way too lax about the rules. Perhaps you really don’t like her. Whatever it is you are feeling and thinking, don’t mention it. Your stepchild has the right to love his parents… even if you see them as imperfect.
Don’t be a disciplinarian
Without a doubt, being a step-parent is hard. You are treading in uncertain territory. One of the keys to maintaining your footing is to resist taking on a parenting role per se. “‘Step-parent’ is a misnomer: Parenting has nothing to do with it. It is your step-child’s parents’ job to be the parents, not your job. When the parents are not doing the job that you think they should be doing, you should be extra vigilant in getting out the pom-poms, not the soapbox,” says expert and author Ellen Kellner. “Use your creativity and positive thoughts to create environments where relationships with your step-children are encouraged, not stifled.”
That said, you still need to set rules for your house. Just do it in concert with your spouse, and don’t be afraid to enforce them.
Don’t be a replacement parent
Again, the challenging role of a step-parent is tough and uncertain. But no matter how bad the biological parent is, you aren’t supposed to take her place — or try. It could lead to big-time resentment. “Don’t try to replace your step-child’s biological parent. Be there as a support system, role model, mentor and caring ear,” says Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, author of How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce?
Don’t expect things to be perfect
When you and your step-child’s parent signed a marriage certificate, it didn’t flip a magical switch that would create a lovely family dynamic in your home. Sure, it would be nice if that were the case, but it simply isn’t. So, expect some rough patches, and wait for the love to develop over time. “Don’t expect [the stepkids] to love — or even like — you. They must treat you as kindly and respectfully as they would any other acquaintance or friend of the family.
Don’t play favorites
Step or not, a child is a child and shouldn’t have to face the fact that she may not be your favorite person. “If you do have your own children, try not to show blatant favoritism to them. Chances are, you are never going to feel the same way about your stepchild as you do your own children. Kids know this on some level, but they do not need to see it blatantly played out in front of them, which can wreak serious havoc on self-esteem and set up a antagonistic relationship between bio kids and your stepchild,” says step-mom Marifran Manzo-Ritchie.
Despite the above research, I still have some questions that I would gladly need answers to. Please let’s all try to make this a nice conversation by sharing our thoughts and experiences or give answers to the questions..
Why do most stepmothers feel threatened by their step children that they have to become wicked towards them?
Why do stepchildren find it difficult to adapt to a new mother?
Can we still find stepchildren who can proudly say that their stepmothers were and are still the best?
Why do stepmothers treat their stepchildren /Child indifferently from theirs?
I feel a lot has to be considered before deciding to become a stepmother especially when the mother of the children is still in the picture.. This is my opinion though, what’s yours?
It’s all about you….. Never forget that.