My Step-Kids have the distinct privilege of always hearing me nagging them to clean up their rooms, pick up their trash, do their homework, eat with better manners, and turn down the volume on the television. Lucky them, right?!?!! Well, in a way, yeah…lucky them! They have someone teaching them discipline, rules, respect, and that they can’t always have things their way! But, there is a “however” here…

Yes, the items mentioned above are important to instill in my children (Son, Step-Son, Step-Daughter) but they can’t be the sole focus of interaction I have with them. There needs to be a healthy balance of discipline and just plain old fun bonding time. For example, if I want Zack to open his door for a while and crack the windows to get some fresh air in then I am far more likely to get positive results without attitude if we have recently spent some time throwing the football, going out to grab some food together, or something along those lines. Additionally, that bonding time spent doing the “good” stuff may inspire him to open up about his daily life and tell me what’s really going on with him from day to day. Perhaps there are some things he really wants to talk to me about but is turned off because I may come across as too “bossy” or “militant” at times…I don’t know but it’s worth a shot!

Girls might seem a little tougher for men to relate to at first. Aleah is into dolls and dolls really freak me out for some reason but I’ve noticed she also likes to play iPod games or get on the computer with me. She likes to color, write, and even excel by practicing math problems which I’m all in for! Maybe that’s a bonding opportunity in itself!

The bottom line is that all our Kids, Step-Kids or Biological, are longing for our attention. They just want to know they are loved and we have to make time to ensure they internalize the fact that we do love, care, support, and want the best for them.

I have been great at instilling a “sort” or discipline but I really need to work at the playful bond effort to be more effective in all areas. It’s important to me for my Kids to see and respect me not only as a dictator or rules but also as a comforting, loving, and reliable confidant.

Best of luck to each of you! Step-Daddin’ ain’t easy…but it’s definitely rewarding and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Generously Integrated 😉