Overcoming Resentment of Your Stepchildren

27 10 2008

1) Find the Good. Write down the good qualities you see in your stepchild. For instance, you might jot down smart, witty, a survivor. Then add the lessons you’ve learned from being a stepmother. How has this experience made you a better person?

2) Schedule a Play Date. Find something that you and your stepkids love to do, then find a time to do it. For instance, if everyone loves a spirited game of charades, play it as a family. It’s hard to keep a frown on your face when you’re doing something fun; laughter has bonding power.

3) Imagine Another Life. If you were to put yourself in your stepchild’s shoes, how would you describe their life? Can you imagine what it’s like for them? It’s easier to find your compassion when you’re thinking about how someone else must feel instead of allowing yourself to spiral into the self-focused thoughts generated by negativity.

4) Vent Your Anger. Ask your best gal pal to let you get everything off your chest. But before you do, make your friend promise to remind you that once you’re finished spewing all the anger, you need to come up with an action item that will help you feel empowered.

5. Pamper Yourself. Be kind to you. It’s easy for stepmoms to feel ashamed of their resentments, anger, hurt feelings. But shame is a destructive emotion. It’s OK to feel resentful toward your stepchildren. It’s natural. It’s not OK to let the shame direct your actions. Accept your feelings and find a way to move to a place of peace with your stepchildren by doing one small thing every day to combat the bad feelings.

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