Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Do Stepmothers Have Unrealistically High Expectations?

I know a lot of us stepmothers feel frustrated with our stepchildren on a fairly frequent basis. (If you’re one of those saintly stepmoms who never get mad at their stepkids, then please, leave me your secret in the comments!)

I was wondering today if we sometimes set unrealistically high expectations for our stepkids. Most kids act out and talk back from time to time. They break things and, in the case of my youngest brother, cover the shower head in several packs of gum hoping to make the world’s biggest bubble. They’re not mini-adults--they're kids! They can be moody and irrational and sassy, especially when dealing with the frustrations of a new family dynamic.

It’s a tender boundary, though. How much is too much back-talk? How much do you let them get away with? After all, I’m a big proponent of the fact that you shouldn’t compromise too much and that you should feel comfortable taking charge in your own home.

But we can’t expect our stepkids to be perfect, either. I think I can stand to remind myself of this more often, and I wonder if other stepmoms could, too.

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