More

5 things stepkids want stepparents everywhere to know.

'There will be bad days, good days, and in between days for new families.'

5 things stepkids want stepparents everywhere to know.

I’m somebody’s stepchild.

My sons are my husband’s stepsons. Needless to say, I’ve been around the block a couple of times when it comes to blended families.


Image via iStock.

To a stepchild, gaining a new parent can be curious, exciting, troublesome, or unsettling. A young child might reject the new stepparent or they might have high expectations that a new person would assume this role with ease. And combining two households into one can be challenging and stressful, but if it’s done with care and consideration, it can also be beautiful.

I was curious though: What are the some things stepkids want their new family members to think about before the families merge? A few stepchildren, young and old, chimed in to answer my questions, and I’ve condensed their surprising and important answers below.

1. "Remember, I was here first."

Stepkids aren't saying you should bow to their every whim and make them first in every situation from now on, but before you were there, they were the center of their parent’s attention. Now that you are around, so many things have changed for them. Let them have as much of the “same old” relationship they had with their parent as possible. Give them opportunities to still be in the spotlight when it comes to special routines and one-on-one time with their parent.

Image via iStock.

2. "Make me feel like you’re glad that I’m around."

This might not always be an easy thing to do, and it might not be natural. As a stepparent, you might even have to pretend for awhile. Stepparents and stepkids have to get to know each other, and you might not know how to get to know your stepchild. Ask them (or their parent) about things they're interested in and try to find common ground. You might enjoy one another’s company right away or it might take a very long time. But if you seem uncomfortable around them, they're going to be uncomfortable around you.

3. "Please do not speak harshly about the people I love."

If you have a lot of trouble with one of your stepchild's siblings, close friends, or relatives, please refrain from discussing this with or in front of your stepkid. If you have gripes about their parent, please understand that their loyalty to them will always be greater than their loyalty to you. And if you have bad things to say about their other parent, please realize that this will only cause more division between you.

4. "Please be patient with me."

Neither a stepparent or a stepchild knows how to do this “right.” Stepkids might be uncertain, afraid, reluctant, or insecure about your presence for reasons that have nothing to do with you personally. Sometimes they won’t respond or behave the way you think they should. Unless they're doing something highly inappropriate or dangerous, please give your stepkid space and time to adjust to your presence.

5. "Don’t ask me to change too many things."

Your stepkid and their parent have been doing things a certain way for a long time before you came into their lives. You might see a lot of things that need improvement. Remember, though, things are about to change a lot for both you and them. Be careful not to pull the well worn, comfortable rug out from under them. You will both learn to live with each other if you are patient. Let the little things slide while you are still getting to know each other.

Image via iStock.

There will be bad days, good days, and in-between days for new families.

There will be many celebrations, many awkward moments, many victories, and many mistakes. Becoming a blended family isn’t always easy — but it is a task worth taking on with empathy and compassion, and a little bit of humor too!

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less
via Budweiser

Budweiser beer, and its low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, have created some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials of the past 37 years.

There were the Clydesdales playing football and the poor lost puppy who found its way home because of the helpful horses. Then there were the funny frogs who repeated the brand name, "Bud," "Weis," "Er."

We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

Keep Reading Show less
via Good Morning America

Anyone who's an educator knows that teaching is about a lot more than a paycheck. "Teaching is not a job, but a way of life, a lens by which I see the world, and I can't imagine a life that did not include the ups and downs of changing and being changed by other people," Amber Chandler writes in Education Week.

So it's no surprise that Kelly Klein, 54, who's taught at Falcon Heights Elementary in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for the past 32 years still teaches her kindergarten class even as she is being treated for stage-3 ovarian cancer.

Her class is learning remotely due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, so she is able to continue doing what she loves from her computer at M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota, even while undergoing chemotherapy.

Keep Reading Show less