What I’ve learned about being a Step-dad

Last Day of School & First Day of Work

Ah, remember those days sitting in the classroom with everyone including the teacher staring at the wall clock waiting for that final bell to ring, the sweat dripping from your forehead and back because the AC wasn’t on.  And all you can think about is getting out for the ENTIRE summer.  Tic toc tic toc tic toc…  The seconds just keep plucking away, and you finally realize just how much time you spend in each classroom.  And finally it happens, the bell rings.  You run out to your locker, pull everything out and dump it on the floor and head for the door.  We were all set up for disappointment it seems…  My office for one doesn’t break for summer.  I can’t pull the contents of my desk and office and toss it on the floor.  Nope, I’m here day in and day out, no summer break but for a single week when I’ve accrued the adequate time to take a small vacation.  So what better way to save our kids from this disappointment than to send them off to work themselves.  It may seem a little cruel to take away a summer of nothing but fun for these kids, but think about it this way.  Do you remember how good it felt when you paid for something with your own hard earned cash, something you wanted, and something you worked for?  I want to give the opportunity for this feeling to my kids, so they will work through their summers.  Sure, I’ll still help them however they need, but if they can do it on their own they’ll feel much better about it.  It all comes down to that old fisherman tail “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man too fish and he’ll eats for a lifetime”.

Now working is great and I’m all for them paying their own way with things.  But…  and it’s a big but.  The opportunity to volunteer their time is better.  Sure, they don’t get paid, but they get an experience and an even better feeling of accomplishment than getting paid can ever give you.  Now remember last week I told you how we go to the library every weekend.  Well, my 17 year old got a volunteer job at the library.  She goes for an hour a day to help out.  Of course she’d be there an hour a day if not more anyway, but that’s not that important.  What is important is the sense of responsibility and the willingness to follow through on those responsibilities.  This is good for me too, because when I was her age guess where I worked?  Yup, at the library.  Of course I wasn’t volunteering, I got paid, but still.  The point is that it’s something we share in common, something we can talk about and share stories about.  It’s all about finding those little things that you can bond with them on.  And you’ll find that to be a common theme in all my posts, finding a way to make every experience a bonding one.

There’s another saying that comes to mind when we think of Summer time for kids out of school…  but before I share it let me say, I’m not one of those crusading Christians or anything, as a matter of fact I’m actually a Wicca (but more on that later).  Now here it is “Idle hands do the devils work”.  What I mean is that if they’ve got things to do than they don’t have time to get themselves into trouble.  Of course my kids are perfect so I don’t have to worry about that…  yeah right. Given enough idle time and boredom kids can find ways to do stupid things even if they’re the most brilliant minds you’ve met. Not that I have any experience with that…


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  1. JoAnnW says:

    Great post again. Working at the library is perfect for her, in fact, I’m a wee bit jealous. lol

    Keep up the good work, you’re doing great as a step-dad.


  2. Colleen Olsen says:

    I really enjoy your blogs. Love how you use the words”my kids” and not stepkids. My late husband always said my kids too and they remember that. They also always said that he was their Dad, the one who was always there for them, not just when he had to be! Family is love not just blood. I commend you for doing a great job.

  3. TheStepDad says:

    Thank you Colleen, It’s nice to know someone other than my family is actually reading my posts. lol… I had a step sister growing up and she used to over emphasize the whole step thing, so its always had a bad taste in my mouth. As a matter of fact there’s a women I work with who has a step son and apparently she can’t stand him. When I was telling her about this blog she started to say things like, can I go on and write how horrible it is being a step parent and how much I hate my step son and wish he’d just get the hell out of my house. I couldn’t believe what she was saying. To me using the whole Step emphases is like building a wall between you and your kids. Granted it’s my website name, but still, I prefer not to use it as often as possible. As a matter of fact the only times I do use it is in instances where its necessary to specifically state what the relationship is between me and the kids. I’m sorry, by the way, to hear about your late husband, but it’s nice to know that the time he did have made an good impact on your kids. Thanks again for you comment.