7 years ago34 views
Parenting: Disciplining Stepchildren - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. Hello, I am Dr. Laura Markham of ahaparenting.com. I am often asked, "how can I discipline my stepchild?, because I do not want her to think that I am being too harsh with her". Well, I am sorry, you may not like this answer very much, but the answer is, you cannot. Whatever you do, you will be perceived as being too harsh. There is a long tradition of "wicked stepmoms", that is how you will be seen. Because in fact, children only behave for us and accept our guidance because of the relationship we have with them. So if it is your own child, naturally, your child trusts you completely and knows that you have her interest at heart, and your child will do generally what you say, right you have a good realationship with your child. But when you are a new step-parent, you do not have that relationship. You are starting from ground zero, you have to build that relationship. Ninety percent of parenting is actually connecting with your child, and as a stepparent, focus on that ninety percent. The other ten percent, do not even try with that for a long time. Once you build up a very good connection with your stepchild, you will be able to actually provide more guidance. In the meantime, first, let your spouse do the guiding, and secondly, talk with your spouse, and maybe the stepchildren as well, depending on their age, about your house rules. There is no reason that you cannot have house rules that you expect to be met in your house, it is your house, and that your stepchildren should not be expected to follow those rules. But if they do not, that is really something for your spouse to address, not for you to address. In the meantime, enjoy your stepchildren. It can be a wonderful relationship, and as you get closer, you will find that they will come to you for advice and then you will know that they are ready to accept your guidance.