How to succeed as a stepmother

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How to succeed as a stepmother

My advice for divorced or step families is basically to consider the child first. Most important thing is to consider is the child. When my husband and I got married, he had a 5-year-old daughter at the time, now she’s 9, and my son was 8 at the time, now he’s 12. After the wedding ceremony, the little girl came up to me and hugged me and said, “Mommy.” And I said to her, in a very loving way, I said, “Sweetheart, let’s come up with another special name for me. You have a mommy. We never want to hurt your mommy’s feelings and I never want you to think you have anything else but your own, real mommy to love. I am here to love you in very different ways. I will be your best friend. But you only have one mommy and we need to respect her.” This has led to a wonderful relationship with myself and my husband’s ex-wife. One day she was standing across a room with her and a little girl that was one of my dancers, pointed to her and said, “Is that your sister?” And I said to her, “No, she’s my step daughter.” “No, she’s your sister.” I said, “No, honey, she’s my step daughter.” “No, not the little one. The mother. She’s your sister. Think about it. You share her.” And in that moment I had a realization and such a compassion and empathy for this mother that could not be with her child 100% of time. She had to share her with me. So I had a conversation with her and I told her, “I want you to know that I will always respect your parenting styles. I will always be your daughter’s friend, but you will always be the mom and I want you to feel safe with that.”
ALL PARENTS, Divorce, Co-Parenting

See Elsa Chahin's video on How to succeed as a stepmother...


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Elsa Chahin

Mom and Infant & Toddler Consultant

Elsa Chahin was born in Mexico City and grew up in both the United States and Mexico, feeling at home with both cultures. She is a RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) Associate, and PITC (Program for Infant Toddler Care) Trainer, working with professionals and parents of babies zero to three. She is a UCLA Certified Lactation Educator; as a Certified Interpreter-Translator, she collaborated in the translation into Spanish of Magda Gerber’s book Your Self Confident Baby and translated and narrated Magda Gerber’s videos “See How They Move“ and “Seeing Infant With New Eyes”, and the audio guide for caregivers.  Elsa is a Certified Teacher of English as a Second Language, passing her Proficiency in English exams at Cambridge and Oxford Universities.  She studied In Budapest, Hungary under the tutelage of Anna Tardos, Dr. Emmi Pikler’s daughter. She has authored several articles and speaks nationally and internationally on the topic of caring for babies with respect.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the Pikler/Loczy Fund USA. Before embarking in her career in infant development, she was a professional ballerina who continues to teach dance to little ones. Above of all, she is a joyous mom!

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