Encouragement for Dads in a Stepfamily
About Unsung Heroes
Do you feel disrespected by stepkids? On the receiving end of frustrations from your wife over loyalty to your own kids? Not sure how to manage emotional outbursts in your stepfamily?
If so, Unsung Heroes is for you. An eight episode series intended to encourage dads in a stepfamily, Unsung Heroes is has practical solutions shared by Gil Stuart, a veteran stepdad, who is still learning yet willing to share his experience. In addition, a panel of stepdads were interviewed to provide a wider perspective.
We suggest you share the series with your wife. She may not have a clue what you are dealing with and you may be uncertain on how to bring it up without having a fight!
Many men have heard “You’re not my Dad.” Although an obvious comment from a stepkid, it can hurt you to the core. It’s easy to get caught up in the emotions of it. How can we state the truth, in love and respect?
Here’s what we we'll talk about: Yes, I agree that I am not your dad, but I am your mother’s husband.
You're Not My Dad
The positive impacts of engaged fathers also benefit the next generations of dads. Boys growing up with an engaged father are more likely to be engaged with their own children. Good dads create even better dads.
A Dad void can be created in all the kids due to a dynamic called “parent alienation” which is a nasty form of sabotage at work by a former spouse. This is profoundly serious for your biological kids and if not understood by you and your wife can inflict havoc on your marriage and your ability to connect with her and her kids.
Too Much Too Soon
Demanding your rules be honored and respected too soon can be blocked by children’s grief. Not honoring others burdens first will be met with resistance. By taking a stance of listen, learn and love you can create a solid foundation to receive compliance to basic and reasonable requests, i.e., such as being considerate to you as you are to others. You get what you give is the idea here.
Allow Kids to Love
Allowing kids to love both of you (their mom and you) reduces the strain on them. If forced to pick sides they are in a squeeze to show favoritism to either of you which results in resentment. When kids are poisoned against you, know that a game is afoot to create a power struggle using the kids as pawns.
Rock and a Hard Place
Sticky situations where your allegiance to your wife and your bond to your biological kids will put you in the middle. If you hesitate to establish the order of who is really running the family, a mutiny will often break out either now or down the road. It is vital to stand with your wife for the sake of unity and trust between the two of you. Remember the strongest bond for the blended family system is the marriage commitment.
All clear down the shooting range? Boom! Shooting a loaded gun can be exhilarating and deadly at the same time, just like shooting off your mouth. Words bring life or death when overloaded with emotions! Without creating emotional safety, your influence will be overpowering. Trust and confidence in you will be damaged by your careless words just like a stray bullet.
About Gil Stuart
“Always Forward” is Gil’s motto. His desire is to share heartfelt concern for people during life’s testing challenges through the eyes of Christ. Gil spent 30 years in the property / casualty insurance business which provided a real world prospective to his present career as a counselor. Gil has pastored, lead small groups, raised teenagers, seen them launched as well as crash. He is a co-author of Restored and Remarried with his wife Brenda, about their personal story of blending a step family of 7 kids.