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Intp step-mum advice
#1
Hi all,

Hoping this doesn't repeat the recent INTP mother's post, but having read through the answers there, I think my p.o.v. is somewhat different. Are there any INTP step-mums on this forum, and if so, do you have any specific advice for parenting children as a step-mum, esp. where the biological mother is still v. much present and has equal custody (one week on, one week off arrangement)? I.e. how do you relate to your stepkids (parent figure mother figure / 'aunt' figure/ etc.)? Are you close? How do you negotiate with their biological mother? What about discipline - do you leave this to their father? How have things progressed with time, etc.? How does this impact on your relationship with your partner (i.e. their biological parent)? Ugh - lots of qq.!

I'm about to marry my (INTJ) partner and emigrate to his place after an 11 month whirlwind courtship. Exciting! He comes complete with 2 kids, a lively 7 y.o. girl (ESFP) and a more introverted 13 y.o. boy (ISTP). (I'm guessing their types but fairly certain of my conclusions.) I'm getting increasingly nervous as the prospect of step-mothering them as the time draws closer, esp. the younger one who is understandably a little demanding (age + personality) + a little bit spoilt.

I have 2 older stepsisters myself, whom I'm close to. Unfortunately my father (not their biological father) was unaccepting of them growing up, so no great precedent here, other than knowing what not to do!

I'd be grateful for any words of wisdom / experience. I have a strong relationship with my partner and we talk v. openly about possible issues, etc. However, it'd also be useful to hear from INTP woman who've been through this already. In the meantime, back to researching the best books on the topic! Thanks in advance Smile
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#2
I myself, am not a step mother. (This may come as a surprise to some.)

But I do, however, have advice, though perhaps it should be taken with a grain of salt. (For flavor, of course. If you are looking to preserve my advice we have far more efficient means today, such as electric refrigeration.)

I had a stepfather growing up. He was actually present around the house for years before he and my mother married, and I thought him a decent fellow. (Still do, but I'm speaking in past tense to clarify that I am recollecting.) But he made a mistake when he assumed the strident parenting position . . .

Before he had just helped out where he could, and he was liked by the majority of the household. But after he officially became a parent he thought that he should start doing some parenting. This annoyed us because we didn't agree with him in a lot of cases and having him as our arbitrary leader was a much more foreign concept than having our mother as our arbitrary leader.

So my advice is to make sure that you don't sign your name on your legislation unless you're pretty sure that your children look up to you.

Best of luck! Try to do great.

-Yordle Sandwich
I came up with a very clever signature, as a matter of fact it's cleveritude was so clever that merely listening it would cause you to ascend to godhood. But then I forgot it, so instead you can listen to my gibbering inanities. I'm sorry.
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#3
(04-04-2017, 11:07 PM)Yordle Sandwich Wrote: ...So my advice is to make sure that you don't sign your name on your legislation unless you're pretty sure that your children look up to you.

-Yordle Sandwich

[had to edit after some thought!]

Thanks Y.S. - advice sounds solid for all parents: leadership through respect. Would love to know more about your personal stepfamily experience, but imagine this would be prying.

The way you're describing it sounds to me like you didn't esp. want a close relationship with your stepfather, and you didn't want him to parent you? Interesting insight from a child's perspective, but q. then occurs to me: where does that leave the step-parent? A shadowy figure in the background who provides care and support on tap (pleasant side of parenting) but is resented if they step in where a kid is acting up? Which will inevitably happen as children test boundaries as part of the healthy development process. This is probably my biggest fear - that I'll be forced into a "favourite auntie" role, whereas I'd rather have a close, loving and fully involved experience as a step-mother. I already have a good relationship with my nephews & nieces - is a repeat of this the most I can hope for? I also don't want to be treading on eggshells in my own home.

I should probably add some context:

a. I'm one of the (rare I think) Intp's who gets on well with children, all ages, albeit in small doses. They tend to respond well in return.

b. I grew up in a extremely religious organisation - practically a cult - so I've a lot to learn still about 'normal' families, let alone step families (I imagine there's something approximating a norm - I know my experience was anything but). I'm curious about what a family is all about. From what I've read / thought, I've concluded parenting is mostly about preparing children for adult life, i.e. to be independent & capable beings when they leave the home, confident in their abilities to use their natural talents & characters to deal with what comes their way / make the most of life, etc.

c. The kids in q. here have a few behavioural issues - to the extent their biological mother has instigated a pretty Draconian (to my mind) written & signed behavioural "contract" with the older. The younger doesn't like her mum's new partner, who ignores her / doesn't like children (!), or so she has told my partner. She (younger) seems excessively demanding of attention to me, which suggests that she may be feeling overlooked in some way (my partner adores her so I don't quite understand this - or is this just typical juvenile extroverted behaviour?). She also has the equivalent of 2 y.o. tantrums (in public no less) if she doesn't get her way, which is not something I relish dealing with, esp. as I don't buy into the "bribery" solution. My partner is adept at dealing with this because she trusts and respects him - I'm still a unknown quantity in a way, so may not be able to use his methods. My partner wants my active involvement in dealing with these issues, esp. with the older - so it seems to me that I can't stay out of parenting, even assuming this was the best thing to do in any case.

Ugh - complex, confusing!
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#4
I think my intent might have been lost in transition into words . . . that is a problem that I have sometimes.

Perhaps what I thought could be put more succinctly as: make sure your kids know exactly why you are doing anything that you are doing . . . and make sure that everything that you are doing makes sense and is the best way to achieve your stated goals.

And I think that that is advice for any parent, though sadly neither of mine think so. My step-dad, back when he was just a 'friend of the family' wasn't half bad at it where it applied, the problem came when he started actively imitating his own father out of some misplaced sense of responsibility, even though he's admitted that he wasn't fond of his old man growing up and that he mostly worked around the guy. He's decided that we need a father figure, but is pretty confused as to what constitutes, if that makes sense.

I wasn't really advising you to stay on the side, just to make sure you had the kids on your side. Of course, due to the illusion of transparency, I said something completely contrary, for which I apologize.

I wish you well in your endeavors, whatever worth my well wishes may be. (Pretty sure they don't impact reality, but I keep giving them to people nonetheless.)

-Yordle Sandwich
I came up with a very clever signature, as a matter of fact it's cleveritude was so clever that merely listening it would cause you to ascend to godhood. But then I forgot it, so instead you can listen to my gibbering inanities. I'm sorry.
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#5
(04-05-2017, 09:56 AM)Yordle Sandwich Wrote: Perhaps what I thought could be put more succinctly as: make sure your kids know exactly why you are doing anything that you are doing . . . and make sure that everything that you are doing makes sense and is the best way to achieve your stated goals.

Nicely put! Thanks - this is my intent, and I'm trusting that logic and transparency will work with any child (and any M-B type for that matter).

(04-05-2017, 09:56 AM)Yordle Sandwich Wrote: And I think that that is advice for any parent, though sadly neither of mine think so. My step-dad, back when he was just a 'friend of the family' wasn't half bad at it where it applied, the problem came when he started actively imitating his own father out of some misplaced sense of responsibility, even though he's admitted that he wasn't fond of his old man growing up and that he mostly worked around the guy. He's decided that we need a father figure, but is pretty confused as to what constitutes, if that makes sense.

-Yordle Sandwich

Makes perfect sense! I'm trying to get clarity myself on what constitutes a 'mother', or an 'other mother' in this case Wink. I have no desire to emulate my fairly authoritarian parents - I have a close enough relationship with them now, but it wasn't so good when I was younger.

Thanks again Smile
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#6
(04-05-2017, 03:24 AM)baba yaga Wrote: The younger doesn't like her mum's new partner, who ignores her / doesn't like children (!), or so she has told my partner. She (younger) seems excessively demanding of attention to me, which suggests that she may be feeling overlooked in some way (my partner adores her so I don't quite understand this - or is this just typical juvenile extroverted behaviour?).

Sounds to me like she believes her mother has chosen to rank this new relationship over her.

I'm not a parent of any kind (unless you count pets), but that's what it seems like.
"Well if I were You-Know-Who, I'd want you to feel cut off from everyone else. Because if it's just you alone you're not as much of a threat." -Luna Lovegood
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#7
(04-06-2017, 09:06 PM)Moon Moon Wrote:
(04-05-2017, 03:24 AM)baba yaga Wrote: The younger doesn't like her mum's new partner, who ignores her / doesn't like children (!), or so she has told my partner. She (younger) seems excessively demanding of attention to me, which suggests that she may be feeling overlooked in some way (my partner adores her so I don't quite understand this - or is this just typical juvenile extroverted behaviour?).

Sounds to me like she believes her mother has chosen to rank this new relationship over her.

I'm not a parent of any kind (unless you count pets), but that's what it seems like.

Hmm, yes I think so. She's used to not having her mum around (her mum left marriage & state for 2 years, leaving my partner as a single parent / main carer - she's only recently moved closer & accepted equal custody), so not doubt there is added insecurity here. Sad
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