How to deal with one of the 'hardest roles' women can take on

Publish Date
Friday, 20 July 2018, 12:00PM

Being a step mum can be an incredibly hard job to take on for women.

Often an image of Cinderella’s evil step mum can come to mind, which makes things tricky – especially when figuring out where the lines are for disciplining a stepchild.

Child therapist and author of the book Stop, Think, Engage, Dr Anna Martin shared some surprising and helpful suggestions on how to tackle this very issue with Stace and Flynny.

 "Research looks at the stepmother and it’s probably the hardest role to have, even compared to the stepdad – because it’s supported with the likes of Cinderella," she explained.

"And it’s hard for step mums because they’re actually depicted as evil and they’re not really treated with huge amounts of respect."

Having the support of your partner and a step of clear house rules that value respect are incredibly important in this situation, Anna noted but said that when it comes to actually discipline a stepchild, stepmothers should take a back seat.

"You kind of need to step away from the discipline side of things for at least 3 to 4 years. It takes around 4 to 5 years for things to mould into place as such. You can have house rules and you can have a respectful process so that people stick to the house rules.

"But if you’ve got difficulty it’s really important to go and talk to [your] partner and for the partner to really truly recognize the extraordinarily difficult role the step mum is in.

"As soon as you step in and try to do the disciplining that’s when you’re going to come up with a lot of difficulties."

Stop, Think, Engage is Dr Anna Martin’s new book about how parents can rethink child discipline and touches on methods that work. Click here to find out more.