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Monday, January 23, 2012

Nuggets of Wisdom from Laura Petherbridge, co-author of "The Smart Stepmom"

I had the privilege of attending the first "stepmom retreat" this week-end in Dallas, hosted by http://www.blendedandbonded.com/ with Laura Petherbridge speaking. It was a wonderful time of connecting with stepmoms from around the country, meeting stepmom friends I talk with on Twitter and FB, and hearing some nuggets of wisdom from long-time stepmom Laura Petherbridge, co-author of The Smart Stepmom.



I want to share a few thoughts I came away with that spoke to my heart in hopes of encouraging you in your stepparenting role. Many I had heard before but they were good reminders for me.

1. God can teach me how to love kids who are hurting me. I ask Him to help me see them through His eyes and He does. "Chosen" love is still love. I can choose to love my stepchildren.

2. Children are fiercely loyal to a biological parent, even if the parent is unkind, abusive, detached, or emotionally unstable. The more dysfunctional the other biological parent is, the less likely the stepchild will bond with the stepparent. I can't control that.

3. All stepfamilies are formed due to loss. Re-marriage is viewed as another loss for children and the children are at least two years behind the parents in the grieving process. Give them time to heal.

4. Money is going to be tight. My husband is OBLIGATED by God to support his children (I Timothy 5:8). They didn't chose a stepmother or more siblings.

5. The children who do the best after divorce are those who maintain a healthy relationship with both parents. Stepchildren need alone time with their biological parent, without the stepparent.

6. God will reward your efforts. "Let us not become weary in doing  good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

There is so much more I could share, but instead I encourage you to read Laura's book. She has walked the path and offers reality with encouragement through her writing.

Do you need encouragement today? What nugget of wisdom spoke to you?

Related Posts:

Marriage is Not Always Blissful, Especially in Blended Families

Tip for Healthy Stepparenting: Learn to Cope with Rejection

Mantra for Stepparents: Don't Take it Personally

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5 Comments:

At January 23, 2012 at 10:50 AM , Anonymous Debra Whitehouse said...

Hi Gayla! Thank you so much for posting. Definitely needed to read #2 today. We have opportunities in this area, and even though I know that it doesn't have anything to do with me directly, it helps to know the underlying reason behind behaviour. Glad you had a good weekend with the stepmoms! Hope to be there next time :) Deb

 
At January 23, 2012 at 11:29 AM , Blogger Step Parenting with Grace said...

Hi Deb, Hope you can join us next time too - we had a great time. Glad the post was helpful. It does help to acknowledge that, even though we can't change it or control it. Thanks for your comment.
Gayla

 
At January 23, 2012 at 8:50 PM , Anonymous John Faulkner said...

I can relate to the point about children being loyal to their biological parents, especially their mother in my case.

No matter what she does, she can do no wrong in my childrens' eyes.

Although their eyes are opening up a little bit to what she does.

John

 
At January 30, 2012 at 2:27 PM , Anonymous sue said...

My stepchildren are the same way, John. Their biological mom cheated on their father, abandoned them, broke promises, defrauded the government, failed to show up at their important events, ... lies, cheats, steals, always puts herself first--the list goes on and on--over and over again with no end in sight.

And yet? They seem to think she is the greatest thing since sliced bread. We just don't get it. People keep telling us to wait until they get older, but? They are older now, and nothing has changed. If anything, they are even more loyal to her.

I alternate between being angry and marveling at this incredible example of unconditional love (theirs for her).

 
At January 30, 2012 at 7:11 PM , Blogger Step Parenting with Grace said...

It is definitely a tough situation when the kids continue to be so loyal to the bio parent, in spite of dysfunction. I applaud you guys for your continued efforts and perseverance. It doesn't go unnoticed by God and He will bless you.
Gayla

 

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