If we talk about raising your stepson, we must also talk about your stepson’s journey to manhood. After all, the goal of raising stepsons should be for them to become responsible men of integrity. With that said, manhood is a state of being and not an event. For thousands of years, in cultures around the world, men have led and initiated young men into manhood. Village elders would mentor young men ensuring they were properly taught how to perform the duties and responsibilities of a man. Once young men became men, maintaining their manhood was a lifelong effort.
Today, we are no longer intentional about leading young men to manhood. We allow our boys to create their own idea of manhood based on what they see, are exposed to and catch. We then expect them to figure out what it means to be a man on their own. Without any clear guidance on what it means to be a man, we shouldn’t be surprised we have so many young men today randomly bouncing like a pinball between adolescence and adulthood without any direction.
As a new stepfather, entering a family without being the biological father of the children involved, determining where you stand and how to bond with a son or sons not your own might be the most challenging, and demanding task you will face. Your role as a stepfather will require time, energy and understanding of how the stepson feels about his blended family and himself before a new relationship can begin to form. The following is the first of several tips to help a stepfather establish the foundation for a relationship that will allow a stepfather to help lead his stepson to manhood.
Raising Stepsons – Working with the Biological Parents
You’ll need to partner with your stepson’s biological parents to gain their support or at a minimum, their awareness of your role in their son’s life. Without question you need to involve your stepson’s mother. She already has experience with raising your stepson and knows him better than you do at this point. Talk with her about any issues or concerns she may have with raising her son. This could be the best thing you can do to help build a relationship with your stepson. Also as his biological parent, your stepson’s mother will be the ultimate decision maker in how to handle any issues arising with your stepson.
In conjunction with his mother create a vision for your stepson. The goal is to create something that will help your stepson in reaching his full potential. Your vision will be the roadmap for your stepson path to manhood. Your vision should answer the following questions: What kind of man do you him to be? Hard working? Honest? Courageous? A good leader? Discuss what it will involve getting him there. You should address the following areas of development: physical, social-emotional, intellectual and spiritual. With a mutual vision in place, it will be easier to guide your stepson.
If his biological dad is a part of your stepson’s life meet with him or call him if he’s too far away. During your meeting assure him that you are not trying to replace him but to come along side him and your wife in raising your stepson. Having a friendly relationship with your stepson’s dad will go a long ways in supporting your relationship with your stepson. During your conversation with his father also ask him what his vision is for his son. Learn what ideas he may have to getting his son to manhood.
The next post will continue with another tip on Patience. Please rate this post using the Stars and Thumbs below. Thank you.