Back in 1988 King Rama of Thailand had a momentous birthday...He turned 60 years old. To celebrate the occasion he decided to give his country a gift. BUT his best intentions ending up releasing a horrible plague into his entire country. AIDS was primarily conatined in Thailand's prison system. Prisoners had it and passed it to each other, but it was not widespread, almost nonexistant in the mainstream of the country. The King decided to release (grant amnesty) to about 30,000 prisoners. His "gift" also released the AIDS virus into his population and begin to spread, infecting millions.
Can you imagine how he felt.... If you are a stepparent, you most certainly can. Ok, no we haven't released a deadly plague that has infected the USA...but we can count on all our fingers and toes how many of our best intentions caused a mini war in our home.
All you wanted to do was be sure they left the house looking presentable-they see it as an attack on their fashion choices and how they were previously taught. All you wanted to do was be a good steward and keep your house clean and when you move their things from where they don't belong, or tell them to do it...you're considered a clean freak or picky. WHY is this happening...I didn't mean for it to be interpreted this way....blah blah blah...These stories can go on and on...but the truth of the matter is, just as King Rama learned...somethings are better left alone and on lock down.
You may think that what you are doing, or saying, allowing, or how you are reacting is what you should do.. but there may be a reason behind the imprisonment you see and trying to give instruction in an area where it will not be well received has the potential to infect your whole house. PERIOD.
So what do you do? Well, I have learned a few things.
Children imitate their atmosphere. They act and react based on what they have seen and have been taught directly or indirectly. Step children, my children or the children down the street they are the sum of three people (mother, father and the uniqueness of themselves)...The more I get to know my step children, the more I see things in them that people have told me was in their mother (positive and more importantly the negative). My children are the same way....I see me...I see their dad...I see them. That's alot of wacky personalities to manage and administrate.. Its takes grace. It takes God.
Please understand if your stepchildren are not meek (teachable) and you do not have the support of your spouse. . In most situations you need to backoff-today...literally. Its not that you don't love them or that you dont care, but ultimately the responsibility for those children belongs to the parent and they have to LEAD the charge in the teaching and the discipline in their lives. That is not your place. Your job is to support your spouse. Your job is to set the best example you can in word, deed, action, demeanor and simple things like making sure your spouse is happy. That is one of the most important things that they can see that 1. Their parent's life does not totally revolve around them and that their life and happiness is becoming more and more their responsibility. 2. Showing love in a marriage models before them what a marriage should look like and will hopefully cloud any negative exchanges they saw in the past in previous relationships. Is that to say you cannot correct, or instruct, NO...You are an authroity figure in that home and you deserve respect but it is to say just like the ROCK says...know your role...and shut your mouth....and I will add PRAY!
Pray for patience, pray for grace, pray for wisdom, pray for instructions. I am a witness that God will send "children" (yours or somebody elses) into your life that ARE willing to listen. The student seeks out and finds his teacher. God is truly a rewarder of them that diligently seek him....I promise.