Should the Kids’ Stepdad Be Honored on Father’s Day?
This is a question many divorced women ask after they’ve remarried – and one that can be source of stress and fear. After all, they don’t want to wrongly steal the spotlight from the kids’ biological father, nor do they want to upset their kids. At the same time, however, it seems a slap in the stepdads face to not get any loving recognition when he has devoted much time and love to the family…
The adults in blended families need to remember that there was always enough love to go around, according to blended family expert Shirley Cress Dudley. In the following article she blasts through the confusion to help you make a choice that in your heart, you’ll know to be the best one.
Father’s day will be here soon and it’s important to not forget all the fathers in your lives. This includes remembering the step dads in your lives and your children’s lives. When you became part of a blended family, the stepdad who takes care of, loves and helps you guide your kids should also be given some credit and thanks. These men have taken care of children that aren’t their own. I know it’s hard for some, but encourage your kids to honor their stepdad this Father’s Day.
If the kids are own their own and paying their own bills, it’s O.K. for them to skip acknowledging a step dad (if this step dad came into their lives after they moved out.) But, on birthdays and holidays, they should sent a card or a gift because this man is a part of their lives and their family.
Here are some quick ideas for cards and gifts
Have each kid write a short note to his/her stepdad listing the things they appreciated about him this year. Even young ones can dictate a letter and then draw a picture to go with it. List even simple things such as: “Thank you for being a great step dad and picking me up from school, helping me with my homework, taking us out for pizza”. Put these notes together in a gift bag or a card.
Make Gift Certificates
Take a regular sized paper and divide it into 3-6 pieces. Write on each: “This Certificate is good for ______________” Leave a space at the bottom for each child to sign the certificate. Then fill in the blanks. Some ideas may include clean out the garage, help with the lawn, do the dishes, etc. (Anything you think your stepdad will appreciate.)
Does the card actually have to say “Happy Father’s Day”?
Yes. A stepdad is the dad in that family. He has taken on the role of a parent in the home when he married your mom. Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of stepdad cards available in the store. There should be a good selection for your child to find the right card.
If I do something special for my stepdad, I might be hurting my real dad. What should I do?
Stepdads and biological dads are not in competition. Honoring your stepdad does not take away any love for your real dad.
Blended families, celebrate your uniqueness and your differences! Honor your dads and stepdads this coming Father’s day. Every opportunity to celebrate, as a family, will bring you closer together.
Shirley Cress Dudley is a licensed professional counselor, nationally certified counselor, director of The Blended and Step Family Resource Center and nationally known author of the book Blended Family Advice.