Whether you remarry or marry a divorcee or widow(er), there is no doubt that you love your partner to the bottom of your heart. Your aim is to make this new start as harmonious and loving as possible.
However, that process comes with certain challenges especially if you are becoming a step parent when you enter into the new relationship. While these issues may not crop up with infants, small children and teenagers can have difficulty adjusting to a new family member who is not their birth parent.
As a family unit, your aim should be to ensure that the child or children in the marriage have your complete support and love. Here are some ways you can be a supportive step parent:
Embrace the differences
Blending families comes with a number of challenges that are rare in traditional families. Even if there is a lot of love and compassion involved, compatibility issues can drive a wedge between you and the children of your spouse.
To prevent this from happening, you should embrace the differences and understand that your step children are individuals as well. Like you, they have to adjust to a new person in their midst, but unlike you, they have to accept the said person as a replacement for an absent parent. Plus, they may be accustomed to family traditions and a lifestyle that may seem alien to you at first.
You have to understand that as the adult in this relationship, you have learned certain lessons from experiences that shaped you as an adult. As such, you already have the maturity to let your step children accept you on their own time. Of course, there is nothing to prepare you to live as a step parent or live in a blended family, but accepting your new wards as they are, differences and all, can ensure a harmonious family life.
Assume authority sensitively
Toddlers who are under the age of 5 or 6 may be more willing to accept a step parent’s authority, but teenagers or school-age children might not. Rather than forcing them to accept your authority, which may do more harm than good, proceed slowly. In other words, become a supportive friend to them just as you are a supportive partner to your spouse.
The thing is, you may have won your spouse’s heart, but you have to understand that his/her kids come as a package deal. That means you have to earn the latter’s love and respect as well. Of course, basic respect is a given, but you may have to put more time and effort into your relationship with your step children.
Don’t forget the house rules
Just because you want your step children to like you doesn’t mean you should allow them to disrespect you. This includes obeying the basic house rules that any parent would maintain. Whether you have kids from a previous relationship, new kids from a new relationship or a new adoptee, they should be expected to follow the said rules to ensure a harmonious household.
Remember, you are the parent here, and allowing your step children to flout the rules in hopes that they will like you for it is a disaster waiting to happen. In fact, like any children, they will probably disrespect you more and ignore your authority as an adult completely. Prevent that from happening by holding them accountable for misdemeanors so that they can learn and grow to become responsible adults.
How long does it take for a step parent to adopt kids? Can you adopt children from a new relationship? If you want the answers to these questions and more, contact Rapid Adoption today. Dial 1 -877 -626 -2698 to talk to us.