When our Thinking Becomes Distorted

I was reading a book recently with my youngest son titled Parts. It’s a cute story of a young boy who gets paranoid about his body falling apart because of some normal changes he begins to experience – loose teeth, peeling skin, hair falling out, etc.

It made me think about how often our thinking gets distorted or blown out of proportion because of minor occurrences. If our stepson looks at us wrong, we convince ourselves he doesn’t like us. If our stepdaughter rudely answers our question, we assume she is mad at us.

Our stepchildren have difficult days, just as we do. It’s easy for them to take out their feelings on the nearest target, which might be us. But it doesn’t mean we have to overreact and assume the worst of the situation. If we diffuse their feelings with sympathetic responses, the mood usually passes and our relationship with them has the opportunity to grow.

One of our older children moved out recently and my husband found an index card in his room that we had given him as a reminder for his relationships. The verse on the card is especially applicable for us, as stepparents, to remember and apply:

“Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless — that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.” I Peter 3:8 (The Message)

How can you be a blessing to someone in your stepfamily today?


2 Responses to “When our Thinking Becomes Distorted”

  1. 1 Sue June 3, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    About a year ago, I came upstairs and overheard my stepdaughter venting to her brother about me, ending with, "I hate her so much." The venom in her voice was like a knockout punch. As a result of that painful encounter, it is easy for me to make assumptions about the motives behind a cross look or rude response. I appreciate what you wrote because I think it will help me to take a deep breath and a step back before I (over)react. I love the card that you gave your son–good advice for all of us! I also like the question you closed with and will try to challenge myself with it everyday.

  2. 2 Step Parenting with Grace June 4, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Wow. It's hard when we overhear hurtful words from our stepchildren. But what I've learned from our stepfamily is, feelings can change. My husband also overheard one of my daughters tell the other one she hated him. That was over ten years ago and they now adore him as their stepfather. It's taken a lot of time and perseverance to grow their relationships, but they now call him Dad and truly consider him their Dad.I admire your willingness to keep moving forward. God will bless you for it!

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