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The Remarried Life

Dec 8, 2020

Brian Mayer discusses how as stepparents that we too can also do things that the stepchildren will remember for a lifetime.  These things can generate positive feelings in the future for your stepchildren.  Hard to do because it may seem like they don’t like you now, but often that turns around in adulthood.  For more information and additional resources please visit our website at

Today's Goodies

  • Often as a stepparent, I hear others say things like “I don’t matter” or “I feel like an outsider” or “The kids don’t listen to me.” No doubt these are real and valid feelings and sometimes actually going on in a family dynamic. 
  • Being a stepparent is often like coming into a well established television show where one actor left for various reasons and another was brought in to actually play the same character. Most often are initial reactions are more negative. 
  • We build an affinity for those we know and trust. But over time those feelings can fade somewhat as we begin to develop new thought and feelings toward our relationship with others. 
  • A silly little example this involved the show, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” which starred Will Smith. The show lasted for about 6 years.  Vivian Banks was played in the first 3 seasons by Janet Hubert and the last 3 by Daphne Maxwell Reid.  Of course when the switch came it upset many viewers me included, but as the change matured an affinity developed for Daphne as the new mom by many. 
  • In the same way, a stepfamily can often develop in the same way. However, we would like to propose that we do a bit more to nudge us in that direction but with a major focus on your stepchild’s future as an adult and the memories that are created as a child. 
  • In my own experience there were a few childhood memories that really stand out that if I am honest probably were pushed more by my stepmother than my father. These really stand out as positive memories now. 
  • The first memory is that Christmas ornaments were bought every year for each child and our names were etched on each. I still have these ornaments today and proudly hang them on the tree. 
  • A second memory involves getting a T-shirt every year for my birthday with a number that represented my age. I remember receiving these around ages 6-13 or so.  I still remember the number 7 shirt, was green with a white number. 
  • There is something about things that are done with repetition that can hold some significant deep meaning in our lives. Do something once and the memory often doesn’t hold. 
  • Do something more than once but randomly, often the memory will hold but the meaning and the deep emotional connection won’t happen.
  • Do something repeatedly with regularity aligned with a certain like say every Friday or every birthday or every morning and then the memory not only holds, but it can create a positive emotion which will cement the significance even further.
  • So all that being said what are some ideas for some things you can do to help your stepchild look back fondly on a tradition and maybe even implement this same tradition in their lives as adults.
  • Here are some suggestions:
    • Every morning, spend 5 minutes asking your child about their day including what they are excited about and anything they are anxious about.
    • Once a week do a game night or a fun food night. Try as best you can to make this a regular thing.  If once a week is too much, then maybe once every 2 weeks or once a month. 
    • A small token like a Christmas ornament with a name inscribed or the T-shirt with age on it as was done in my childhood. Or really any other small material tangible item that a child might be able to have for awhile or even years. 
    • Read to your child regularly and once they can read to you have them do it.
    • Do something for someone in need. Say every Thanksgiving, prepare a meal for a family that might not have what you have.  Make sure to involve the kids in the planning and delivery of the meal. 
    • What ideas do you have?
    • What ideas do your stepkids have?
  • Creating lasting positive memories is way that you can ensure that tough times now will be viewed through a different lens as the stepchildren get older.
  • A lasting legacy can start with some small changes today in your stepfamily. What will you do?


  • None Mentioned Today

Thanks For Listening!

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As always remember that marriage is not something you have, it is something you do.  Talk to you next week unless you are binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in about a minute!  Take care.