~Welcome to my personal story as a first time wife and stepmom. I use this space to share real life happenings in a blended family, funny stories, my personal frustrations, failures, and occasional victories as I journey through this life with two beautiful and challenging stepdaughters. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find something to help you have a better day!~

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Must Read Article

This article was being passed around on FB this week, and I really think we should all take a few minutes to read it:

What Really Happens When We Give Kids Everything They Want

I think there is even greater danger in blended families of the problems mentioned in this article because in addition to the kids being pressured by their peers, we parents are pressured by the other set of parents. "Well, if her mom buys her $80 Sperry's, then I better go get her a pair too so she won't like her mom more than me." This kind of insecure reasoning and bending over backwards to make sure we get our kids everything they want, and do a better job than their other parents is very destructive to building character in the kids' lives. I was reminded of that this Christmas, when Jane came over wearing a new present from her mom--a hoodie from Victoria's Secret Pink. Sure, it was innocent enough with just the word "Pink" and a picture of the dog, but J and I have a major problem with it. We don't want our 11 year old daughter wearing a brand of clothes that is all about sex. We don't want men or boys looking at her and thinking "Victoria's Secret" at 11. How do we tell her? I got two words out of my mouth, and she immediately went to defense mode--"Isabella and Becca and Casey all wear it." It's tough, but we have to stick to boundaries even if it makes us the "mean" ones, or if it worries us that they will resent us, and want to be around the parent that lets them do whatever they want.

That's where I get discouraged and want to give up so many times. I put so much energy into teaching, teaching, teaching, but then for 50% of their lives, the lessons are either opposite, or just not reinforced at all. So I ask myself time and time again, "What is the point?" Why do all this teaching and character-building, risking their dislike, when it's not going anywhere because of lack of reinforcement? Amy I wasting my time? Should I just be fun and let whatever chaos of the day rule the home, since that is what happens at their mom's? No, I don't think so. If one or both of them ends up being a better person because of my influence, then it is worth it, and I can go to sleep each night knowing I am doing and have done everything within my power to affect these girls toward as much good as I possibly can. Whether anyone ever realizes it or thanks me doesn't matter.

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