NEW! My helpful e-book has just been published.
Click to learn more!

Thriving at the Holidays Subscribe to Step Parenting with Grace by Email

Enter your email address to sign up for my mailing list to receive newsletters and other updates.


 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stinkin' Thinkin' Creates Bitter Quitters in Blended Families

Are you guilty of stinkin' thinkin' - do you know what it looks like?





Here are some examples:

- My stepchild will never like me so why do I bother trying to have a relationship with him/her?

- No one understands these feelings of rejection as a stepparent - I'm living on an island by myself.

- My husband has no idea how difficult this is - it's useless to talk to him about it.

- Re-marriage is just too hard - looks like I'm headed for divorce again.


Have you had those thoughts? Can you list others? It's easy to get tangled in a web of negative thinking about our blended family. But we can make a choice to think differently and have positive outcomes.

Well known poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "A man is what he thinks about all  day long." In other words, if we dwell on the negative parts of our life, every aspect of our being will reflect negativity.

But if we focus on the positive nuggets of our situation, we create positive surroundings for ourselves.

In his book, "The Power of Positive Thinking," Norman Vincent Peale supports this thinking when he states, "Conditions are created by thoughts far more powerfully than conditions create thoughts. Think positively, for example, and you set in motion positive forces which bring positive results to pass. ... On the contrary, think negative thoughts and you create around yourself an atmosphere propitious to the development of negative results."

Conditions are created by thoughts far more powerfully than conditions create thoughts. I love that!

Dr. Peale is suggesting that we influence our situation with our thinking. So, if we want our stepchildren to respond positively toward us, we need to create that scenario in our head. When we think positively toward them and expect positive behavior from them, they will begin to respond that way.

Our demeanor reflects what we are thinking. When we have negative thoughts circling through our mind, we give off negative vibes toward those around us. Our stepchildren can feel our negativity and will react accordingly.

I've seen this happen with my own stepchildren. If I choose to dwell on negative thoughts toward them, I respond to them with an insensitive spirit and critical remarks. Even if I don't say anything, my nonverbal language speaks volumes. They can sense my negativity and respond in anger or frustration.

On the other hand, if I choose to think positively toward them and my verbal and nonverbal language reflects a like demeanor, they feel loved and accepted. It's easy for them to respond favorably toward a loving spirit.

Are you up for a challenge? Think only positive thoughts about your stepchildren and re-marriage today. If something negative creeps into your mind, turn it around and find a positive twist. See if it makes a difference. Leave a comment and let me know the results.

Will you make an intentional effort to focus on positive thinking with your stepchildren and re-marriage? 

Related Posts:

Is it a Privilege to be a Stepparent?

When Stepparenting Feels Too Hard: 4 Tips for Overcoming Discouragement

It's Always Too Early to Quit

Labels: , , , , ,

3 Comments:

At September 29, 2011 at 8:29 PM , Anonymous Sue said...

This post was very timely.

Lately I've been thinking about how my step-children may never love me and wondering how much longer I should keep putting myself out there to be hurt. After over ten years of marriage, I am still treated like an outsider. I had nothing to do with the break-up of their parents marriage; she had been gone for four years and the divorce had been final for two before I came onto the scene.

If they were a boyfriend, and my love was not returned, the healthy thing to do would be to cut my losses and move on, right?

So, what does one do about step-children who, at best, are apathetic?

 
At September 29, 2011 at 9:42 PM , Anonymous Gayla Grace said...

Sue,
When I have those days,I try to focus on Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men..." You've been put in those children's lives for a reason - you may not ever see the rewards for what you do in this life. But God sees what you're doing and will bless you. And I pray your husband is also thankful for you and what you offer his children.

Don't ever give up, though, on a meaningful relationship with them. It took longer than 10 years before my stepchildren chose to embrace me as their stepmom and realize that I really do care about them. Pray for your stepchildren daily. You might be surprised one day when your love for them is returned!

Gayla

 
At September 30, 2011 at 6:52 PM , Anonymous Sue said...

You have those days too? Oh, that makes me feel better.

I will claim Colossians 3:23. Thank you so much for sharing this verse with me.

I believe that God brought me and my husband together. And yes, he considers me a blessing and thanks me often for loving his kids and taking such good care of them.

I need to remember that God put me in the kids' lives for a reason, and I need to pray for them more regularly.

Thanks for the encouragement, Gayla.

Sue

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home