For any child whose parents get divorced, it's a rough life. But it gets even more difficult when their parents remarry. The negative stigma of the stepmother is what we've seen in Disney movies, but not all stepmothers are evil. But when a stepmother becomes a new mother to a daughter they've never had before, the relationship can get off to a rocky start.
To prevent that, there are five things a stepmother should never do to her stepdaughter:
1. Never forget that your stepdaughter wants to be loved just as much as a biological daughter
First and foremost, you should not forget that your stepdaughter wants to be loved. Whatever the situation was like before you came into the picture, she wants to feel like she has a real family. She wants to be loved by her new mother and not be mistreated. She wants to be respected and loved just as much she would if you both were related by blood. It's a combined effort between you and your stepdaughter to bond and grow to love each other. Then you can start being a loving and united family.
Your stepdaughter needs at least one of her parents as a best friend; If it isn't her mom or dad who fills that role, who's to say her stepmother can't be her best friend too? You are more than capable of becoming your stepdaughter's best friend - Just as long as both give each other the chance.
2. Don't treat her like she doesn't understand hard things
No matter your stepdaughter's age, she isn't stupid. She can understand hard and complex things. She is capable of understanding, but it may take time for her to come to terms with her new family and learn to accept it. What matters most is that you, as her stepmother, give her a chance. She will come to you at the right time.
3. Don't talk badly about your stepdaughter's biological mother
As a stepmother, you should never talk badly about your stepdaughter's biological mother. Whatever the circumstances were before, she is still her mother's daughter. They still have a close, familial bond. You can form a new familial bond with your stepdaughter that could be much stronger, but that doesn't mean you should harm the bond your stepdaughter has with her biological mother. It's never right to judge other people, gossip about or talk badly about them.
4. Don't act like you don't have a part in the parenting
As a stepmother, you have just as of a part in the parenting as your husband. A new family has been created through this marriage. Your stepdaughter understands how important you are in her father's life, and she knows you are just as much of a mother as her biological mother is. You have more than every right to parent your stepdaughter, give her advice and love her for who she is.
While there may be more than two parents in your stepchildren's lives, all of them are able to raise them in good and right ways. Of course, if your stepchildren are adults, you must respect them as adults and let them lead their own lives (but they should still listen and respect your advice).
5. Do not overturn the whole family and do things your own way
There's balance in all things. Parents must work together to find the best way to raise their children. Two families have now become one and it's important for them to find a balance in raising and rearing their children. If you want things a certain way, don't overturn the family. Communication is key. Everyone must find that perfect balance that will make for a happy family.
If stepmothers follow this advice, they'll have a much happier relationship with their stepdaughters. Stepmothers and stepdaughters don't have to be enemies. They can, in fact, be the best of friends.
Callie has two Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Communication and when she isn’t writing, she’s reading. Some of her favorite things include Harry Potter, all things Disney, road trips, and telling stories.