Advice for step mums: handling step children
Spending money on step children: relationship between step mother and step children
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Spending money on step children: relationship between step mother and step children

Yes, the temptation is there: "I'll buy you whatever you want, even if you don't like me, you'll feel indebted to me and you won't be able to reject me". It might even work with little ones... for the first couple of hours. With older step children, you might want to win them over by buttering them up.

However, this is precisely the sort of attitude step mums should be avoiding. First off, because you'll put in place a hypocritical system where nobody (you included!) can win. Also, because the more you act like this, the more you'll need to up the stakes in order to 'get one up'.

The foundations of your new step family should be solid, and this false message is a trap that could have you heading for a fall. Remain natural, treat them to something if you want to, as a gift, a surprise or a compliment. But don't go over the top, that's all.

"It won't take you long to realise that gifts which have been chosen with love end up in the cupboard or directly in the bin. They burn the delicate little fingers of your step children .. like poisoned apples!" explains Dominique Devedeux.

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