Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The 1-2-3's Of Being A Phenomenal Step-Parent

1. Encourage communication between the exes for the benefit of the child.
2. Treat your step child as your own.
3. Respect the parenting choices of the other parent as long as they are not harmful to the child.
4. Include the step child in family activities.
5. Never say negative things about the other parent, especially in front of the child.
6. Do not use the child as a message service.
7. Treat the other parent with kindness, even if you don’t like them.
8. Celebrate the step child’s achievements as you would your own children’s.
9. Make sure that the step child has their own space so they feel equal to your other children.
10. Never call the step child names or make fun of them maliciously.
11. Always remember that the child is loved by your spouse as much and the ones that you have had together.

D wasn't blessed with a phenomenal step-parent. In fact, if you add these together she would achieve a big, whopping zero.
When I picked D up from his grandparent's yesterday I asked him how his weekend was and he told me that it was horrible.
Apparently the step-monster wouldn't let him call my "fat-ass" because she knew that if D did that I would come and pick him up. D's dad was at work and D wanted to come home.
She regularly tells him that he is fat and stupid and calls me the most colorful names. I do the best that I can to diffuse the issue with D and explain to him that her actions are based out of jealousy and fear. He understands and I don't think that he really takes it very personally anymore.
I used to try really hard to not say anything negative but after 4 years of trying really hard and seeing the hurtful impact that her actions had on D I decided that I wasn't going to play nice anymore. I tell D exactly the kind of person that she is so that he doesn't take her venom to heart.
If she ever crosses the line into abuse (which is a huge fear of mine) she will be arrested and put in jail so fast her head will spin. I won't pull any punches.
At this point, I just have to make sure that my son has the emotional tools to protect himself from her evilness.


Dennis said...

It is not only step parents that can make a childs life hell.

Churlita said...

Oh my god. Poor guy. What does his dad say about all this?

My ex is like that too. Last year, my oldest daughter was getting depressed and we talked about the reasons. She said part of it was that even though she loves her dad and wants to go to his house, she sometimes feels abandoned by me when I drop her off there and things are not good. We decided that I would call more often and if things weren't going well, she'd tell me she was sick and I'd come and get her to "take care of her" at home. (her dad doesn't like to deal with the girls when they're sick) It's worked really well.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever think maybe your child is stretching the truth? All kids do, especially kids of left winged, liberal Democrats.

dmarks said...

I think most of those rules apply to non-step parents, and to children in general, right?

Dennis said...

Anon 1 unless you have something constructive or pertaining to the conversation. Otherwise I am not sure what your comments are for. They remind me of a little child who is not getting enough attention. They have to act up or yell or something else just to get attention. If you want attention find it elsewhere. You are unwelcome until you can act like the adult you say you are.

Rachel said...

Dennis ~ I agree 100%

Churlita ~ I am glad that you found a solution to some of your issues. Parenting is difficult even with parents cooperating all the time.

Anon ~ I have seen patterns develop over time and I know that he is telling the truth. Even though I am a moderate Independant.

dmarks ~ I think that some of them are specific for step parents but many of them can be applied to the con-custodial parent as well.

Dennis ~ :)

Rachel said...

Dmarks ~ oops. I meant NON custodial parent.

Anonymous said...

Dennis - Please post a pic of yourself or tell everyone what you do for a living. I need a good laugh.

Playtah said...

I hope the step monster gets kicked in the crotch and breaks both her ankles. To treat a child like that is cruel, especially a great kid like D.

Moonbeam said...

I feel so sad D has to be subject to such a mean step-parent and environment. Thank G-d he has you to open up to and discuss this with. I also, feel for you....being a Mother myself I know how ALL things pertaining to your child are taken to heart and you wish you could just crush the bad thingies and soothe their soul every minute of every day. Keep up the communication with D. I like to think lifes experiences make us stronger....that is my hope for D.

One more thing...that step-parent is a MEAN HURTFUL BITCH. There I feel better!

l.b. said...

I am always amazed that someone could treat a child like that. No matter what her feelings are about you, she must "love" D's dad and so should find it in herself to love D too.
It seems to me that you are handling the situation in the best way possible.
Does his dad ever defend him, or does he just stay out of it? I am guessing he wouldn't be receptive to a discussion about it...

Rachel said...

Playtah ~ You know the old adage...wish unto others what you would want done unto you....that is my version of it anyway :)

Moonbeam ~ That is exactly how I feel. When she hurts my child she is torturing my soul. I am sure she enjoys that fact even more.
Even with my non-confrontational communication style I have gotten into a few doozies of arguments with the step monster and the ex.

l.b. ~ The step-monster is very good at doing these things when there is no one else in the room. She walks past him and whispers hurtful things in his ears. When Butthead (D's dad) is at work she mocks D and laughs at him.
Butthead refused to believe D for the longest time that she was doing these things. He threatened to leave her over it if she continued. She still does it but is more subtle about it.
D has said things to his dad but feels that his dad doesn't believe him so he doesn't really tell him anymore. He tells me though.
I did tell him next time that she said something to him when Butthead was home to say back to her really loudly to stop whispering mean things to her. Loud enough for his dad to hear.

Anonymous said...

I guess Dennis is off working. Dennis, I will take a number two, no mayo, extra pickles. Salad in place of fries. Hop to it.

egan said...

I think these steps could be useful for all types of parents.

I'm glad to hear you're keeping a close watch on her. Nobody deserves to be abused.

Dennis said...

If my job is to be a whopper flopper or a CFO, you have no right to criticize. I am working a job and contributing to society and to this conversation. I am not saying that you are not working or that your job is worthless. I am saying that until you walk in my shoes you cannot comment on my life. You are not adding anything constructive to these statements. So go ahead and throw your tantrum and ask for all the attention that you think will make you a whole person. I hope someday you see that your opinion is not the only one that is valid and also that your little digs show you lack of confidence and also you lack of maturity. Enjoy.

Babybull40 said...

I can say I am a step-parent and it hasn't always been easy. The kids mother is the type of person that does not like to compromise so everyone is happy. Her kids happiness ought to be the first thing. She unfortuantely will be alone due to her lack of compassion& uncondtional love. I have tried over the years not to say anything bad about the their mother, especially in front of them. But she is now making herself out to be the ass everyone knows she is.. The kids are both at the age that they know the difference between right and wrong and they believe her to be wrong. When children are young and impressionable they soak it all in.. I would like to think that I have been the better person.. although I would be the first to admit that I have lost my cool more than once.. I figured that I was looking out for the kids best interest..I have been there for these kids since they were very young (14 yrs) and have been the stability and loving them and as nurturing as one can be.. it's sad that we have them every second weekend but I still see myself as their parent regardless.. As a parent to my own little guy I have to be sure that no one treats him the same as she treats her kids.. As for Anon 11:19.. you need a life.. come back when you have something more constructive to say or keep your big mouth shut.. You obviously don't have kids and know nothing about parenting..
Thanks for the graet tips Rach.. you keep blogging girl...

Rachel said...

Egan ~ I agree. They can be modified to fit any kind of adult - child relationship

Dennis ~ I would still like you even if you were a whopper flopper instead of a professional with mad medical skills.

babybull40 ~ I am not a step parent but I have seen good ones and some horrible ones.
The good ones are fantastic but the bad ones can easily destroy a child.
It sounds like you are one of the good ones.
There are shitty parents everywhere whether natural or step.

Indiana said...

My question in all this, where is the dad? I gather from the post that he was working, but everytime his son visit's in the last 4 years...

...I mean fair enough the new missus might be polishing his knob, but she can't be that good that he would stand by and just let this happen...could she? Or is that just the type of man he is?

M said...

what a bitch! And why isn't your ex husband telling her to shut it? It's his child too and he should be concerned about what his wife is saying about his son and the mother of his son.

I'm sorry but I don't have to have a child to know that if a lover/hubby so much as even thought about being a bastard in this kind of a way to him/her I would kick his arse so hard he'd never be able to sit down again.

Erica said...

How dare she call him names? She should be denied all access, she is so horrible. You are doing the best possible to ensure D. wouldn't take anything she says to heart, but I would still like to teach her a lesson, tell me where and when....:)