STEP-DAD.net

What I’ve learned about being a Step-dad

Posts Tagged ‘step kids’

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…

First things First

Before I start giving any advice or anything I should probably tell you all a little about me and why anyone should take anything I have to say seriously.  First off, don’t take anything I say too seriously.  I know what I know from my own experience, and just because it worked for me doesn’t mean it will work for you.  There’s no guarantees in life, and doubly so online.  Now that that’s out of the way… 

I was born into a normal home life (at least as normal as a child can understand) I love my mom, loved my dad, and dealt with that sister of mine (yeah, I love her too).  All was normal for most of my childhood, up until I was 16.  My father passed away.  We all mourned as it goes and life moved on.  Mom began to date other men a couple of years later.  Eventually she met my step father “pop”.  I look back now and realize just how hard it must have been and how easy he made it all look.  Here he was in that vacant spot a good father used to fill and he had to perform up to par without any of the benefits a dad gets from his kids.  But he did it, spectacularly.  Simply put, he just did what he did.  He didn’t try to be a dad or even a friend, he was just always there and ready to help when we needed it.

It’s amazing just how much it helped to know that there was someone there just in case you needed it and wasn’t trying to replace my father. Granted, I think I was a pretty well adjusted kid so I didn’t have too much baggage to deal with. My acts of rebellion weren’t all that rebellious when I look back at them now, even if my mother would like to tell me otherwise. J

As chance would have it I find myself now the step father to three children, a nineteen year old, a seventeen year old, and an eight year old. The eight year old is beautiful little terror. She’ll melt your heart with a smile and kick you in the nuts at the same time. Her father is still very much involved in her life. It can be trying sometimes and I’m sure I’ll get into that later, but for now let’s keep it to the facts. The other two don’t have that type of connection with their father. The nineteen year old stays at school, so I don’t get to spend much time with her, but the other two live with us. And although I describe the little one as a terror she really is a wonderful child, and my seventeen year old is already “daddies-little-girl” even if she doesn’t know what that means yet. I get into more trouble for defending her than anything else. But it’s worth that and so much more just to see them smile.

Finally you may be reading all this and wondering where there mother fits into all this. Well, she fits in right here. I love her, and she brings me joy and happiness every day. That’s right fellas, she cooks me eggs every morning… I joke, she does cook me eggs every morning, but she does a lot more for me than I could explain here. We’ll get more into my wife as we go along. But I could probably write an entire blog just on her.

So there you have it, I have a step father and now I am a step father. I hope to pass on some helpful information to all you step-dads out there that just need to know there’s help out there for you. And although every legal website or person will tell you that you have no rights what so ever when it comes to the kids, you still have the responsibility to be a good father figure, friend, and always ready and willing to help them grow up to become good people.