(Written by Valerie Trent) Becoming a step parent can be a challenge and things do not always turn out the way you expect it to. Some children can resist changes in their life and with their resistance, parents end up frustrated.
A new family structure will need time for everyone to adjust properly and with proper help, as well as support from other family members, things will work out successfully. When you and your partner made the decision to make a life together, your children or your partner’s children are the main concern.
Some children can easily accept the change, while others will be uncertain and have mixed feelings about the change. Since it may take some time for the children to adjust, you must take the first step forward today.
What You Must Discuss With Your Partner
Before you decide to move into your partner’s home or move into a new home altogether, there are a few things you and your partner will have to discuss. Both of you can work it out together or you can also consult with a professional who can help both of you and the children adjust to the changes in this new life together.
- One Step At A Time Take
Do not rush into making too many changes. If you want your relationship to succeed and your children to accept the relationship, then give yourselves at least a year or two before getting married.
- Let Them Taste The Experience
You can plan out weekends out together so that the children can enjoy and get to know each other better. However, let them gradually experience how it is to spend each day together by going on a trip out of town for a week or so.
- Discuss Parenting Styles
It is essential that you and your partner discuss how you intend to parent together. If any adjustments needs to be done, be flexible about it and make sure that both of you accept each other’s parenting methods before you get married.
- Do Not Set Expectations And Ultimatums
Never expect too much immediately from the children, but consistently shower time, energy and love. Make it clear that you intend to spend the rest of your life with your partner and the children, not just your partner or the children.
What The Children Will Expect From Both Of You
As a step-parent, your focus will be on developing a sturdy and positive relationship with your stepchildren and your own children. In order to succeed, you must consider what the children will need as they will all have their basic needs and wants regardless of their ages. Here are a few things children will expect from you:
Love – They will want to see and feel your sincere love, but the process of accepting your love will be gradual.
Safety And Security – Children heavily depend on their parents. They may have already experienced being let down during a divorce, so step-parents will have to double the efforts of ensuring their safety and security.
Valued – Many children feel that their opinions and feelings are unimportant when it comes to a new family. You must recognize their roles in the family and allow them to speak their mind and whatever may be in their hearts. Let them understand that you value their thoughts and feelings without passing on judgement.
Encouraged – When they make an effort to please you or the family as a whole, appreciate the effort and never forget to always offer words of encouragement.
* Photo Courtesy of Pinterest
About the author: Valerie Trent is a freelance writer specializing in health and well being. She regularly contributes articles to Dr. Robert Puff websites where well experienced psychologists can be consulted.