Originally Posted by cakoala
Again, this has been a very rewarding thread for me. I heed the warnings, and the mother and I are "feeling out" the relationship. I will propose that there are personality types that love children easily. Many of you are exactly that type. I will be curious to see how my own emotions evolve over time. One thing is clear, the bio-dads are not coming into the picture again. So, even if I leave, the male influence won't increase. Also, Mom was not looking for a life mate when I showed up, so it is unlikely that another male will be easily brought in.
Breeder, thank you so much for the terms. I am glad I have a break between classes right now to get "up to speed" on this parenting subject. A crash course is usually very effective for me.
And for the rest of you that have blessed the relationship, Thank You! It is blessed beyond my wildest dream. Somehow, I think the "kid" issue will work out fine. In fact, the teenager and I seem to have better repertoire than her and her mother. The mother finds it comforting that someone can 'talk to her.'
I think you've set up a false dichotomy here. I am a person who easily loves children, but becoming a step-parent was wrenching for me. In most ways, I believe that my "breeder" personality made becoming a step-parent MORE difficult, not less, because I had expectations about the kind of relationship my SS and I would share. It took me years to accept the relationship that WAS, instead of trying to create something that SS didn't need.
I have been married to my DP for over 8 years now, and neither of us loves our step-children in a way that resembles the love that we have for our own children. I love my SS in the sense that I am concerned that he gets his needs met and has the best life possible. I am willing to sacrifice for him and take care of him, but we don't have a bond like I have with my biological children. We have a pleasant relationship most of the time, but we don't seek each other out for companionship. He doesn't come to me with his problems, though I believe he would if neither of his parents was available. In general, it's a relationship with a much looser bond, in spite of my desire in the early years to be close with him.
Originally Posted by cakoala
I congratulate all of you who have stable, and loving children. It is quite a feat.
No, it's not. There are a million ways that it can go wrong, but a trillion ways for it to go right. It's not science and it doesn't require any specialized training. Raising kids is about living life. If you're living with integrity, love, and compassion, the kids will obviously have a better life than if you're not. What "system" or "theory" by which you choose to parent is far, far less important than those attributes.
Look, I get where you're training is taking you, but regular folks with zero psychological training successfully raise kids all the time. Attachment parenting is very simple: it's about taking kids seriously and trying to meet their needs for love and discipline in a responsive way. Books and research and theories can help, but experience is the only real teacher. I read all the books about becoming a step-parent, and I still made a huge mess of the whole thing. You very likely will, too. Kids will bounce back if they know that the adults in their world really care and as long as they have at least one person who is passionately in love with them (always assuming there's no major dysfunction going on).
I'm concerned that you're setting yourself up to relate to your new SCs from a place of fear. The only worse foundation for any parent/step-parent relationship than fear is guilt. Think about
: right now, millions of kids are thriving in blended families of all different styles and with parents and step-parents with all kinds of personalities.