Missing The Bus
As a step daughter and step grand daughter, I followed the examples that were set for me years before when I became a step parent. The way my stepson finally came to love and respect me as his step mother, was through all of the "trying" experiences we had. Excuse the pun, but raising kids is a very trying experience!
One of the first times my stepson "tried" or tested my word and consistency was over catching the school bus. Nick was not a morning person and that made getting up in time for school in the morning a problem. Myself having lunches to pack, and two other kids who were already responsible for getting themselves up, Nick knew that I expected him to do his thing in the morning. When he missed the bus the first time, I informed him that I would drive him to school that one time, and one time only!
Just a couple of weeks later on another early school morning, I could tell Nick was going to miss the bus if he didn't move a lot faster and told him so. I left it at that, went about my business, and sure enough Nick came to me with a sorrowful look on his face saying that he had missed the bus. I said, "You had better get your rollerblades on then or you will be late for the start of school!" Nick was incredulous and asked if I was sure I could not take him to school, and I told him that he got his one and only ride the first time he missed the bus and he better get a move on.
His next excuse was that he was going to be all sweaty if he had to blade all the way to school (about 4 miles), and I told him to take an extra shirt. When next I saw him, he was sitting on the curb in front of our house lacing his skates up, shirt off, back pack at the ready and I watched him skate off down the road with a smile on my face.
He had just experienced the result of testing my consistency as a step parent and found that it was the same as my habit with my biological kids! Whether they know it or not, all kids feel safe, special, and protected when rule is consistently applied.
Sandy Williams, Life Coach at International Stepfamily Foundation, member of Stepfamily Association of America & founder of http://www.stepfamilysuccess.com
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