Having children is one thing but step parenting is an entirely different ball game. If you are new to this and you are having a difficult time getting used to it, there is hope. Here are some great pointers that will help you adapt to this new situation.
Don’t Try Too Hard
It is not very easy to convince children you don’t know to allow you into their inner circle, and trying far too hard will only make things more difficult. The idea is to get to know them without being far too overbearing.
A good example of trying too hard would be offering them gifts all of the time without any apparent reason. In many cases, children will accept gifts without necessarily becoming any closer to the person on the giving end.
Never Speak Negative About An Absentee Parent
There are occasions in step parenting when you may have to take on responsibilities that would usually be handled by an absentee parent. When this happens, you should never badmouth the biological parent in front of children. Not only can this be seen as antagonistic, but in some cases it creates animosity in blended families. Even if there have been spats between you and the person in question, this should never be discussed when children are present.
Be Careful With Discipline
One problem that many new step parents have is trying to discipline the children. It is never a simple concept when it comes to chastising little ones that are not yours, so you should tread lightly. Speak with your spouse and try to come to some type of agreement. The best thing to do early on would be to allow them to be the one meting out punishment. Once the children are more comfortable with you, the conversation can be revisited.
Grow A Thick Skin
This is probably one of the most difficult things you will have to do when it comes to being a step parent. There will likely be times when emotions run high and your step children say things to hurt your feelings. Whether this is done intentionally or not, it will be your job to remain calm and not allow it to get to you. Even if it is the most hurtful thing ever said, remain calm and keep a clear head.
Don’t Expect Too Much
It is a big mistake to walk into a blended family situation and expect your spouse’s children to welcome you with open arms. Many children have that dream about their parents reconciling one day, and you may be seen as a barrier that is stopping this from occurring. Even if your own children see you as the best parent ever, you should not be surprised if your step children’s feelings are quite the opposite.
Being a step parent is something that can be rather difficult, but it can be really rewarding as well. Understanding what you are getting into beforehand will help you become well prepared. As long as you take heed to all of the advice here, you should not encounter any issues.