One of the first things I learned (after counseling & reading material) was the difference in expectations of stepfamily life versus biological family life.
We are raised, programmed, to have high expectations for ourselves, our kids and our family. This is a noble and worthwhile practice within a biological family but it just doesn’t work in the dynamics of a stepfamily. It is so counter-intuitive to say this but… lower your expectations… keep going… lower than that… that’s better.
You see, when we have high expectations of our stepfamily we set ourselves up for failure. The failure of the stepfamily to meet these expectations can create frustration, anger, hostility, resentment and rebellion. This will start the ball rolling toward absolute torment and unrest within your stepfamily.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you get to be a lazy stepparent or that you have NO expectations. I’m saying you can’t use the same scale you use with the bio-family. You can’t look at your friends with bio-families and compare it with your stepfamily. You can’t take the advice from friends and family that have never swam in the deep, dark waters of stepfamily problems.
So, what should you do? Breathe… be slow and deliberate… guide your family but don’t push… love lots… let forgiveness and mercy be the order of each day. There will be mistakes, attitudes, failures and disappointments. Be prepared to respond to the negative with positive. It will help you and your stepfamily when everyone can learn to adjust the expectations. Adults as well as the children must learn to make those adjustments.
What expectations have you adjusted in your stepfamily?
What expectations do you see you should adjust in your stepfamily?
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– Written by Nacho Dad