Picture your 10 year old kid upset because you (the stepmom) told her that she can’t flat iron her hair every day …. eye roll
“But mommy told me to brush it with this every day and I haven’t been … I let it heat up for 30 seconds and then I can use it “. No additional supplies or direction .. just a flat iron … a 10 year old and a task .
“No”without an explanation will never work for a child .
So, I’ve explained heat damage “…but mommy said”.
I explained how she can protect her hair from heat damage “but mommy said”.
What can be done to maintain the HEALTHY straight hair she wants ……….. “but mommy said”.
I’ll be honest ….being a stepmom is something that has challenged me more than anything I’ve ever faced in life . I can handle a room of 50 children, lead an orientation of 200 but I cringe each time I hear “but mommy said” . Why? because it has the potential to confuse even the sharpest child . Does she listen to me or does she follow “what mommy said”?
With this in mind what should you do? You take a deep breath and start adulting .
-Explain the ground rules and set the tone for the conversation that will follow .
“I’m completely open to talking to your mom about you flat ironing your hair so that we can compromise on how often you use it . Until then , you only use it with permission ” .
I can tell she’s not pleased with the outcome but sometimes children need to have more than a task . My explanation addresses the issue but it also sets the tone for the next instance of the flat iron (I’m sure it will come up tomorrow ). When she’s older I’m sure she’ll look back and understand … but for now …..
Oh boy the world has ended … the evil step mother has spoken .
xoxo – Tilly