Why do stepparents get such a bad wrap? They are the ones who have stepped up and stepped in when the other parent wouldn’t.
We always hear about stepparents, especially stepdads getting a super bad wrap. I’ve heard things being said about stepparents that have seriously made me want to cringe.
Getting A Bad Wrap
I really do understand, most people think the stepparent is breaking up the parent/child relationship. That is not often the case though. Stepparents are the people who chose to step in and love a child when they didn’t have to. Or in those really bad cases, when the absent parent wanted to abandon not only their responsibilities but their children as well.
The most common bad wrap I have encountered is the “evil stepparent.” This is such a stereotype from Cinderella and hardly ever the case. Although it does break my heart when I see cases like that, you can’t always expect that from every situation.
Knowing The Whole Story
A huge difference in parent vs stepparent is, the stepparent knows what they are walking into, and in most cases are comfortable with it and do what they can to improve the family unit.
The parents, on the other hand, we normally have no idea and are learning as we go along. And let’s face it, unlike a stepparent, we made the choice to have children and no matter what life throws at us, we are the number one person responsible for our children. This includes even when we don’t want to be.
Making A Difference
Knowing the whole story, stepparents can make a huge difference. Differences you as the parent may not be able to make. And by far, it has nothing to do with you as a parent, it has to do with having a different perspective on the situation.
For example, my husband and I have different parenting styles. He see more of the problems and does what he is able in order to correct them. Myself, because I went through so much with them, I tend to be over protective. At this point in their lives though, the boys need less protecting and more guidance to stay on the right path.
Knowing When To Step Back
Knowing when to step back and allow the stepparent to take over can be one of the hardest things. Although you want nothing but the best for your children, you want to protect them from any harm. I get it, I am the same way. And it can be difficult, but it is something that will need to be done.
At this point, you have to evaluate if you are helping or hindering the situation. And understand, it is okay to hand off a situation you feel is going wrong.
In The End
In the end, the only thing that will matter is the health, well-being, and happiness of your children. And if that involves a stepparent, so be it. You are the one who has to look out for your family. But if you do suspect an “evil stepparent,” talk to them. If you feel it goes deeper than that, “see something, say something.” You never know whose life you could be saving.