If you are a biological mother and a man proposes to you who has biological children, you will become an instant step-parent who will not only be marrying your new husband, but marrying him and his biological children as a blended family. Taking on the step-parenting role may sound easy, but you will find out that you will encounter many new trials that come with being a step-parent. This advice comes from a mother who has two biological children from a previous marriage, a step-child and a biological child from my second and current marriage.
Before diving into a step-parenting role, I didn’t have a plan and found out very quickly that the step parent role is not easy and wish I had these tips before diving right in. I found out that step children will break rules just to cause problems, tell you how much they dislike you and may even try to break you up, as well as begin to have jealousy between each other thinking that the other child is getting special treatment. Here are the things you really need to consider before diving into the step-parenting role and make sure you are healthy and strong to handle them.
When you are blending two families into one, each parent and each child will encounter different feelings and will go through different trials. This is new to everyone and it is important that you help each other through through the process. Taking on the step parenting role will not only be difficult for you, but for everyone. Another thing to consider if having another child. If you and your new spouse add a newborn into the picture, you will even encounter more family problems of possible jealousy of the step-children because the new child gets to live with their parents full time and they have to go back and forth. Make sure you are healthy, strong and wise before diving into the step parenting role and be ready for any trial because every family is different and every person will have different trials.
Establish Rules and Discipline
Before diving into the step-parenting role, establish your rules and disciplinary actions right from the beginning and back up each other as well so all the children know you are together one the same page. Bring the entire blended family together and let them all know that they will have the same house rules and if they break the rules, they will have certain consequences and establish the consequences from the beginning. Inform the children that when the biological parent is not home, the step parent has permission from the biological parent to discipline with consequences that were established from the beginning. This way both parents back each other up and the children know right from the start what the rules and consequences are. If you don’t do this from the beginning, the children will not have the established structure of rules and consequences and it may be difficult for them to follow if not established right from the star.
Don’t Expect Too Much
Don’t expect your step children to like you as their step-parent. This is actually very normal because they may fell like you are trying to take the place of their biological parent. This may never go away and may even resent you. They will also feel like they are disappointing the ex-spouse when they are around the step parent. Give your step children space and let them come to you when they want to and don’t force the the step parent/step child relationship. You should always be open with them and let them know you are there for them. Build the relationship slow and don’t try too hard.
Trying to Break Up Parents
You may find that your step children will try to break you up. Many may begin to feel that their step parent is taking place of their biological parent or they don’t the step-parent and only their one parent. They may also start to resent their step brothers and sisters and may even start to rebel. Step children may even come together and try to break up the parents and will wish that their real parents will get back together.
Ste- Brother and Step-Sister Jealousy
Step-brothers and step-sisters may become jealous of one another and actually say that their step-bother or sister is getting special treatment when you are trying to do something special for them. Reassure all of the children that each one of them are unique and you will do special things for them with the things that they like and you can’t please all of them at the same time. This jealousy can become out of control and it is important as a step parent in a blended family to let your biological child and step child know that you love them both and you will do special things for both of them.
Stay Connected with Activities
From the beginning stay connected with your step-child with all the activities he or she is in. This will help them know that you are interested in everything they are doing even if they do not like you. This will help them feel wanted and know that you really are truly happy that they are your step child.