Will disciplining my stepkids ruin our relationship?

Woman covering her ears on couch

Before officially marrying my husband and becoming a stepmom of 4 kiddos, I had read that I shouldn’t discipline my stepkids because I will forever damage our relationship and scar the children. 


👉 So fast forward to me being at home alone with 4 kiddos between the ages of 4 and 9 who all needed to eat dinner, go to bed, and then be ready for school the next morning.


And I remember thinking: Um…that advice is absolutely ridiculous! 


After several years of coaching stepmoms, and learning what works best in my family and countless others…well…


👉 I still think that advice is totally wrong. 


The truth is that children need rules and structure to feel safe at home. 


And, it’s not the ACT of disciplining that hurts relationships  – 


it’s HOW we discipline our stepkids that matters the most. 


When we’re feeling so angry and frustrated and then immediately go into punishment mode, and start taking away all of their toys, privileges, etc…


👆👆 THAT kind of discipline isn’t effective {And if this is you…it’s a totally normal human thing to do!}


In this situation, the kiddo can sense the intensity of our emotions, and they’re literally going into a ‘fight or flight’ state. 


And they’ll be much more likely to freak out on us, push back, be defiant, or totally ignore us.  




When we feel angry or frustrated or outraged by something our stepkids did…and INSTEAD of immediately going into punishment mode…


🌱We take some deep breaths. 


🌱We count to 10.


🌱We collect our thoughts, and recognize the behavior isn’t personal…


🌱And then we calmly enforce a consequence…


👆👆 THAT kind of discipline works so much better over time.  


Because when we are feeling calm, our stepkids feel safer and calmer too, and they’re going to be more receptive to what we have to say. 


And the beautiful thing is that calming down, and feeling grounded when we discipline is 100% in our control. 


It just takes a simple moment of pause to bring us down from our outrage. 


It just takes a simple reminder that their behavior isn’t personal…they’re doing this because well…they’re kids. 


So just consider… it’s 100% possible to have connected and fulfilling relationships WHILE disciplining our stepkids. 


And with a few small adjustments on our end, it’s a done deal. 

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.

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