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An Adult Step-Childs Understanding of Stepparenting I was a stepchild I can tell you from first hand experience that step relationships can be some of the most trying we face as social animals Often times children enter stepfamilies with a history of loss and change which is beyond their control They may have endured a troubled possible abusive marriage and or the painful death of a parent In either case the family structure has been changed dramatically In many cases the will wonder if they are somehow to blame for events which have changed the family dynamic Some children feel that they are unworthy of their parents love Many children assume that they are responsible for the absence of their parent Many children believe that their misbehavior may have been the reason The childs subsequent lack of feeling worthy can cause children to behave or misbehave in different ways They may withdraw from activities with friends and family they may even think things like How can anyone love me my own parent didnt even love me Children may misbehave because they are angry with themselves One method of helping the child deal with his or her feeling of guilt is for the adults parents to visit with the children right away Discuss the changes and how they may affect everyday life and provide them with non-judgmental information about what is happening in a straightforward way Do not underestimate your childs ability to understand that changes are occurring Common sense dictates that you dont tell them all of the messy details but a clear explanation that is age appropriate of the situation which includes the assurance that the child did nothing wrong you could possible and your DadMom and I will always love you No matter where we are or what we are doing Guilt can also consume a child if they feel disloyal to one biological parent A child who likes or enjoys
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