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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When Dh and I married, I had so many wrong ideas about what to expect from my stepsons. I was far too harsh, far too reactionary. Having dd led me to AP, and it totally changed the way I parent the boys. I've become much more gentle, much more laid-back, and much more understanding and accepting of them as people.

Sometimes I look back on the stepmom I was and cringe! I was so unnecessarily harsh and punitive. The birth of dd and my introduction to gentle parenting was the best thing that could have happened to us as a family.

So on Thursday, dss1 and I were hanging out in the kitchen, and I got up the nerve to bring up how harsh I realize I had been, and how sorry I was about it, and asked his forgiveness. I admited that I was too punitive and didn't have a clue as to what was normal for a 4 and 6 year old. We laughed about the craziness of those days, and agreed that things were so much better now. It made me feel good to admit what I now realize I had done wrong, and bring some closure to a difficult period in our lives.

Now I need to find a time to bring it up with younger dss. He's a bit more... silly/goofy, and I've got to figure out how to word it right. He was also younger when we married, and I don't think he remembers those days as well as older dss.
 

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Thank you for this. It gives me a lot of hope and encouragement. I read it to my partner last night. He's a great stepdad in so many ways and loves my daughter very much. But it's very hard to step in later in a child's life and have the same bond and patience that allows you to do all the attachment parenting. It's too easy for it to feel like the parent is spoiling or being too permissive. My partner and I definitely have conflict over how frustrated to get with my daughter or how to respond to certain behaviors. I am really hoping that having a child of our own will help him to understand on a more gut level. I think he really wants to get it, but just doesn't fully so it's more an intellectual exercise or an aspiration as opposed to a gut level emotional response. Your post gave me a lot of hope.
 

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This made me cry. How beautiful for both of you and what a great example it sets for him in his adult life. I hope the talk works with the younger one. I know my 9 year old is sillier and will feel uncomfortable or just won't get it if I come in all serious. It's all about the strategy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your responses. And bronxmom, having my own child made me understand both the boys and my dh so much more. I also understood more how dh felt toward them, if that makes sense. The mama bear instinct that appeared with dd transfered to dss (in a positive way, of course), and rather than fighting against them, I was out fighting for them. So there is hope for your dh! Having a child changed my heart and made it so much bigger. Everyone in the family has appreciated that I think!
 
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