EP 350: Navigating the Challenges of Being A Step-Parent with Kendra

This episode is about step-parenting from a healed place. Today’s caller, Kendra, has two step-children who are triggering her anxiety. She then feels guilt and shame about being angry. We work through her past issues that are coming up to be healed and how she can navigate the situation in a way that is beneficial to her and her step-children.

Anxiety is not bad. It is an alarm system that is alerting us to something we are not paying attention to. There is something we are repressing or that needs our awareness. The energy of anxiety is frenetic energy. It is when the nervous system is hyper-aroused due to a trauma, a past memory is being activated or, we are repressing such big emotions our nervous system is overloaded. When that happens we likely go into fight, flight, or freeze.

When we are in survival brain, all the personal development tools we’ve learned aren’t accessible. So, don’t beat yourself up if you have done a lot of work but still get triggered in the moment or your nervous system is dysregulated; you are in a part of your brain that doesn’t have access to those tools.

And, just like our children choose us or we have soul contracts with certain people when we are a step-parent, those children choose us on some level as well. There are so many challenges that can come with blended families. In a divorce, there is often so much guilt that a parent may collapse some of their parental boundaries and let the kids get away with more than they would normally.

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Consider/Ask Yourself:

  • Do you notice yourself being triggered by your children or step-children and then feel guilt or shame about it?
  • Do you have anxiety that has gotten worse due to a situation?
  • When you were growing up, what were your tween and early teenage years like? Was it a difficult time? Do you think you have dealt with it?
  • Do you often have anger or frustration at your spouse because of the way they are parenting?

Kendra’s Question:

Kendra would like guidance on how to have connection and a relationship with her step-children while paying attention to the anxiety that triggers her.

Kendra’s Key Insights and Ahas:

  • Her partner has two children from a previous marriage.
  • They have 50% custody of the children.
  • The situation affects her life and has always caused her anxiety.
  • She has struggled with anxiety in other areas of her life.
  • Her step-children bring high energy into their house.
  • Her adolescence was confusing for her.
  • She was raised in a traditional Christian home.
  • She was made to feel as a female she should dim her light.
  • She realizes the universe brought male step-children into her life for a reason.
  • She lost her example of unconditional love when she was starting puberty.
  • During adolescence, she didn’t have the same freedoms that boys in her life had.
  • She feels anger and resentment toward her step-children and then feels guilty for it.
  • She is angry at her husband for letting his kids treat him like they do.
  • She has trust issues around men.

How to Get Over It and On With It:

  • Express her thoughts and feelings.
  • Regulate her breath and bring herself into the present moment.
  • Call her husband forward to enforce parental boundaries.
  • Teach the kids to release their emotions and to have an anger burn.
  • Know it is OK to get away from the house, or situation if she needs to.


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When our nervous system gets triggered, we are in survival mode. Click To Tweet Kids will act out at the home of the parent who feels the safest to them. Click To Tweet If there are kids in your life and you notice you are experiencing more anxiety, ask yourself what it could be triggering from your past. Children are mirrors. Click To Tweet

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