Do your stepkids ignore you sometimes (or maybe like all the time)?
If this is you, I get it. It feels horrible and kind of humiliating. My stepkids used to do it to me too.
But here’s the important thing: my stepkids no longer treat me this way.
And here’s how I changed it:
I decided that their behavior truly wasn’t about ME as a person – I could have been any woman in the household and, the same thing would have happened.
Because here is what is true: children who ignore their stepparents simply aren’t ready to accept their new reality of divorce and remarriage.
So once I understood their behavior wasn’t about me, I was able to have a calm discussion with my husband about a new set of rules and expectations based on our values as a family (e.g. we don’t ignore other people when they speak to us, or when we’re all at the table, etc.)
Then I took on the responsibility of also enforcing consequences for the ignoring behaviors. Calmly. Every single time I noticed.
And eventually their behavior changed.
So the real secret to making this happen in your household? You can implement my 3-part solution too:
Depersonalize: Remember their behavior isn’t about you. It’s about them. (And let’s be real: all kids are kind of born as sociopaths until we teach them otherwise)
Solve: And then from there, you come up with a solution with your spouse (There’s lots of advice on the Googles for how to enforce rules!).
Enforce: And then you get to calmly enforce the solution, whatever that looks like in your family. Show the kids what your values are as a person, and as a couple.
And eventually the kiddos will learn. And they’ll accept you and respect you way more. But only because you decided that their behavior wasn’t personal and then showed them, with calm, how to treat you.
P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.