Being a stepdad isn’t easy for many reasons. You work hard to establish an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust with your stepchildren.
At the same time, you want to part of the wind beneath their wings. Providing your kids with the confidence and motivation to follow their dreams.
Today, our children are influenced by various disjointed messages sent by the media and celebrity culture. This fact makes the challenge of positively influencing our children even more difficult, since it may affect our children’s belief in themselves, especially our girls.
Still, there’s a lot you can do to help them fulfill their potential and grow up to be positive and contributing adults. Even if you’re their stepdad, they desperately need your help and guidance.
Here are some tips worth considering and that will help both you and your stepdaughter along the way.
Listen and Stay Open-Minded
Take advantage of every opportunity to hear what she has to say about her dreams and ambitions. Listen, actively listen to what she has to say.
Encourage these conversations to let her know she’s got your undivided attention and full support. Also, you need to stay open-minded.
Be prepared to accept her ideas and dreams might be completely different from what you might expect. Remember it’s highly likely your stepdaughter’s point of view is different from yours.
Also, recognize something obvious to her might go completely over your head. The worst thing you can do is immediately dismiss her ideas.
Instead, ask questions that will encourage her to think even more about her dreams. This is always a good idea because you want her to be as prepared as possible in the pursuit of her dreams.
Help Her set Realistic Goals
Unless their experienced goals setters, young people often set unrealistic and lofty, unattainable goals. When they’re not achieved these goals can become points of frustration hampering future goal setting efforts.
This is where you can step in and help her focus by setting attainable goals in the near term, rather than some great, unachievable ones in the distant future.
Such checkpoints of interim goals will also help her realize whether her “big” dream is realistic. Setting short-term goals should be accompanied by her visualizing them, either in a form of a journal or a vision board.
Having her dreams presented in this format is a great motivation-booster. Also, it should encourage her to work harder towards achieving her goals.
Actively Support Her
Show her you support her dreams by taking action. For example, driving her to music lessons, helping her with school work or simply spending your time in order to help her.
Verbal support is important, but the action you take is perhaps even more important.
If you’re having problems obtaining enough money to pay the increasingly expensive tuition, help your stepdaughter by discussing options for getting one of the available high school scholarships. In doing so show her obstacles are just challenges she needs to overcome, but you’ll be there for her.
If you reinforce the value of hard work, responsibility and persistence, your precious daughter will be much more likely to accept these positive life skills.
Never miss a chance to praise an achievement, no matter how trivial it may seem. This will show her that you do care and pay attention to her and to what is happening in her life.
However, you should be careful not to overdo it, i.e. praise her for every single thing she does, because you’d never get the effect you want. Apart from achievements, you also need to recognize the effort she is putting in.
There’ll be times when some goals won’t be reached, but you don’t want her to become discouraged. On the contrary, you need to use every failure to analyze what prevented her from attaining the goal.
If your daughter feels she has your support, she’s more likely work harder and efficiently in the future. Paving the road to her future success.
Providing support and empowering your stepdaughter to go after her dreams is one of the most important challenges for every stepdad. However, if you’re committed and careful, the whole experience will be extremely beneficial to both yourself and the girl you love so much.