Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Parent to Parent: Stepmothers and Mother's Day
Our tribute to Moms continues this month with a look at stepmothers and how they fit in on Mother's Day. It can be an uncomfortable day for a lot of families -- in today's Parent to Parent, Dr. Valerie tells us how to smooth things over.
WSVN -- Eleven-year-old Hagen O'Neil considers himself pretty lucky. He has two moms who love him very much.
Lorraine O'Neil: "He's doing a week of golf?
Malease Marko Berg: "He's doing baseball and he's doing golf."
His biological mom, Malease and his stepmother, Lorraine.
Lorraine married Hagen's dad eight years ago and has become a second mom to him.
Lorraine O'Neil: "I met him and fell in love with him, and it was just an added bonus to being in love with his father."
Both families made a conscientious decision to put the children first.
Malease Marko Berg: "I never wanted Lorraine to feel like an outsider in Hagen's life. It's too important for him to see us act as adults and act maturely."
But, be honest: it can be difficult to take the high road, especially when it comes to Mother's Day.
Lynn: "Stepmoms and Mother's Day: do we acknowledge stepmother's during Mother's Day? What is a good idea?"
Dr. Valerie Goode: "Usually, stepmoms are put on a back burner, and sometimes they get their feelings hurt."
Dr. Valerie Goode says it's hard, but stepmoms have to hold back signs of anger and jealousy.
It's important for stepmoms to encourage the kids to spend time with their real mom -- even going so far as to help them pick out a gift for her.
Dr. Valerie: "I'm suggesting that you do this because it really is better for the whole."
Stepmothers should not expect traditional gifts and cards on Mother's Day. If they get them, great, but, Dads, it is your responsibility to recognize what your wife does for your children.
Lynn: "You're saying it would be a good idea for the husband to take care of his new wife on Mother's Day? In what way could he do that?"
Dr. Valerie: "He could set up a dinner, even if it weren't on the same day as Mother's Day."
Hagen is a good kid. He never forgets his stepmother Lorraine on Mother's Day.
Hagen O'Neil: "I don't know, I just usually make a card, maybe get something or just do something special."
And they're all looking forward to spending Mother's Day together.
Lorraine O'Neil: "Whether it's your kids or other people's children, it's just nice to all be together and for it to be relaxed. What more could you ask for on Mother's Day?"
Lynn Martinez: "Dr. Valerie adds, in the whole grand scheme of things, it's just one day, and the parents shouldn't make a big deal about it, and let the kids genuinely express how they feel."
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