The Real Reason Children (and Adults) Hate Their Stepmothers – Guest Blog


“Put the blame on Mame.

That sums up how many of the women with stepchildren I interviewed for my book, Stepmonster, felt about the stepmother role. They told me:

  • “The kids are hostile and rejecting no matter what I do. I know it’s not their fault. But it’s as if I’m not supposed to have any feelings about it, let alone discuss them.”
  • “I can’t do anything right. If I buy them a present, they think I’m buying their love and if I don’t, I’m cold and unloving.”
  • “My husband doesn’t have many rules, so I look super strict and mean if I ask them not to eat with their hands!”
  • “Their mother says unkind things about me and calls every half hour while they’re here. So it’s hard to build a relationship with them.”

These women were not whiners. Most of them had been trying to get step-mothering right for years, and all began their journeys committed to forging a great relationship with his kids, whatever it took.

But they’re correct that there are external forces, most beyond a stepmother’s control, that may undermine her good intentions and best efforts with his children. These factors include loyalty binds, a child’s jealousy and resentment, the Ex Factor, permissive parenting, cultural expectations about women and children, and a phenomenon called conflict by proxy”…. Read More Here

Author: Wednesday Martin, PhD – Original Post on Psychology Today – October 15, 2009

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