Being a step parent can be very difficult. Here are some step parenting tips to make life easier.
Why step parenting tips? Because it’s even more difficult than being a biological parent. When a new person comes into the family, each child and stepchild will react to the new person in a different way. Sometimes they even join forces against the parents. Either way, we’re talking about problems.
With the increasing number of separations and divorces, the probability of you becoming a step parent becomes greater and greater. So what’s a step parent to do?
To start with, don't expect the step children to like or adjust to the new family rules and the new structure of their family quickly or easily. Being the parents, you need to help guide them through these changes. This means not just issuing a statement on how you expect it to work and what you expect from them. There’s more to it than that.
It will take time for the new family situation to grow and develop. Keep in mind you will need to be somewhat flexible at times, and yet at other times, you will have to stand your ground and not let them cross over unacceptable lines. But the bottom line is you can’t expect your stepchildren to grow within your step family without a helping hand from you. It just won't work any other way.
Being a step parent, they may not want to be with you all the time. In reality, children want to be with their real mom and dad. That’s natural. You can be a plus or a negative in their life. Only time will tell.
and time away form the children:
Always plan time for family gatherings and include the extended family so all of the children can take part in the gathering. Everyone appreciates the feelings of being included in and important to the family. Plan picnics, ball games, movies and here’s the important part - let the children take part in the decision making process. This may require a lot of patience, but will help bring the children closer and allow everyone to feel more united.
At times, plan time away from the children and stepchildren. It’s important for parents to have time for each other. Often, divorced parents over compensate in the time they give the children. They try to make up for the split up of the prior family. So do yourself a favor and take personal time for yourself and spouse to unwind. Have a cup of coffee together, get out, and go to a dinner and a movie.
More step parenting tips:
One of the main step parenting tips is to remember that step children will always figure a way to play both parents against each other. They will use phrases like, “Mom said I could.” Or, “Dad let me stay up late.” They play on guilt. So be prepared for this and let them know that’s fine when they are with that other parent. When you’re here with us, this is what we expect.
When you have a blended family you must set limits. Both the parent and step parent need to discuss disciplinary actions in advance to determine how the discipline is administered. You must work hard to be consistent so the kinds know the rules. However you decide to discipline the children… stick to the agreement. Back each other when the rules have to be enforced.
Give each child their private space for their stuff, and if possible, a separate room if possible. If children can feel like a space is theirs, it will give them a comfort area. Its hard being in a blended family but it’s much harder when you have to share everything in the home as well.
Be aware that children will always have feelings and affection towards the natural parent Don t take it as something against you - its not personal.
We‘ll have many more step parent tips to follow. If you have step parenting tips or ideas please feel free to submit them to us.
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