Why You Can’t Allow The Biases to Get in the Way?
Is That Other Parent Really Your Enemy? – Part 2
Have you ever considered that what you see in your spouse’s child(ren) isn’t what they see in you? What I mean by this, under normal circumstances, is that your child doesn’t see what you see and like you see it. In fact, a child’s perception of their other-parent or step-parent can only be influenced by the picture painted. Whether that’s by you or the other-parent. What image are you painting for your child(ren)?
There are two views that are in conflict within you and within your child(ren). Did I mention that this would get more intense as we get deeper in this series? In a blended-family scenario, no one would argue against it being more difficult to manage than a family that’s not fortunate enough to have a blended mix. If the truth is spoken, having success in any family has its challenges and so it takes extra effort on your part in making a blended family work.
You must have an unbiased view that overlooks the obvious.
While this was far from our thoughts, we noticed that our child(ren) can see us without any biases, contrary to what they may have been given from their other parent. Since this is the case, one has to make certain they never portray the image of what someone else would negatively paint against them. Let me say it in a better way. Keep your image clean and only display who you really are.
Pamela and I decided to pray about how we wanted to make our blended family work. What God gave us was one of his attributes and that’s to be the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  We’d have to work on being disciplined in who we are. No pretending, no wearing a mask, and no camouflaging.
This next idea is one that most people would never speak aloud. Sometimes you as a step-parent or non-blood parent may see the other-parent in the child(ren). Have you ever had that thought that your child looks or behaves like their mother or father? In this case, you have to overlook that thought based on the love you have for your child.
Pamela and I decided years ago to never let a thought like that dominate our thinking. We decided to take ownership of being a parent to our child(ren) even if it means our child(ren) has two people who take on the role of mother and two who take on the role as father. I’ll have you know that the role of mother doesn’t take the place of a mother being a momma. Neither does someone who takes on the role of being a father take the place of the person who is known by the affectionate name of “daddy.” As you perform the role also establish your name even if it’s “step-mom.” It’s no different than how a child responds or relates to their grandparents. The question boils down to how well you perform the role and the relationship you have established with your child(ren).
You must have a biased view which doesn’t overlook the obvious but clashes with it.
Children can be quite honest with little regard to how it’s presented, unlike adults. While a child(ren) is very impressionable, the one thing that creates a conflict in what we say to our child(ren) is what we do. No matter who speaks negatively about a child’s mother, a child is impartial to their mother even if it’s dad who’s talking. In the same way, when a step-parent or an adopted-parent has gained the love of a child(ren) no other parent can tarnish that child’s thought. In fact, here’s where you must be careful. I wrote this in a series called “The 16 Levels of Love.” It says that anyone who negatively impacts what you love will produce hate. If you want your child to begin to hate you, then negatively speak out about what/who she/he loves. I know you wanted to talk about the other parent, but you must not because your child loves that other parent. As soon as you do, you’ve sown a seed that produces hate and that seed will continue to grow as long as you allow it.
Continuing in that line of thinking, when you’re a step-parent, adopted-parent or what have you, one can never yield to the thoughts that say this child is not my very own child. When a parent vacillates, goes back and forth, so will the child. Remember as long as a child is a child they are in training. They are learning not only from what we say, but more of how we act. If you want your child to see you as their true mother or father, then you need to step up and act like one without fail. You will have to work with the other parent and you will have to support the other parent. I never said it would be easy. However, I say it is uncommon and will produce uncommon, extraordinary results.
When we think of biases, we think of the negative impacts that biases have on us. While that is a part of having biases another part of it is to allow those biases to help you see a way to produce better results in your life. As a person in a blended family scenario, you will have to overcome some biases, create biases, and use them to help build a family that works.
Question: what biases do you have that are eroding the relationship you’ve built with your child?