For as long as I can remember, books, movies and stories have done their best to paint the name ‘step-parent’ black to the detriment of anyone bold enough to wear the label.
Undoubtedly, some mean and nasty people have traumatized kids who unfortunately are still struggling with the scars in their adulthoods in the name of stepping in for the parent who bolted, walked away or kicked the bucket (as if it was their fault).
Because of the stigma of being evil, most people are reluctant to commit to raise another’s kid. Any instance of serving discipline could be seen as an outburst of hatred or sheer wickedness. Children are somewhat pre-conditioned to be defensive against and untrusting of step-parents so at most times, the relationship starts off rocky. Some think the new parent is the reason their family broke up and try to punish him/her for it. The new parent also assumes the kids are always planning on coming between her and the spouse and so want to put in measures (sometimes extreme) to keep them in check. It gets messy sometimes.
In spite of this, let’s not fail to appreciate the heroes and heroines who not only stepped in but actually stepped up! They poured out their hearts in making the family feel loved and original. They say blood is thicker than water but life has also taught me that family goes beyond blood. It is intentionally making the effort to make a relationship work and staying committed to that goal.
This photo really spoke to me when I came across it on Facebook. Although society has a perceived notion of the label probably because there are some bad nuts out there, there must certainly some great ones as well.
If you are the parent who stepped in and stepped up, may God bless you. It’s not easy raising a kid who’s not yours like it is even when the kid gives you several reasons not to but you kept the faith. May you reap the fruits of your labor.
Were you raised by a step-parent? How was it like? What words do you have for him or her in appreciation? Kindly share and thanks for reading.
© Josephine Amoako 2019