Myths and fairytales have turned step-parents into a child’s nightmare, but step-parents are far from that. A lot of times step-parents are the ones who pick up the pieces of what the original parent has left behind. Some even end up doing a much better job of putting those pieces back together. Although step-parenting is a long, tedious and at times thankless job, in the long run it can be very rewarding. The biggest endorsement of great step-parenting is step-children like Bill Clinton, Gerald R. Ford and quite a few other well adjusted and successful people, who owe, if not all, then some of their success to their step parents.
But, the role of mediator is crucial in helping the step-parent and step-child make this transition as smoothly and successfully as possible. This can only be done by one of the original parents. To help the child adapt to having a new parent and for the new parent to adapt to a newly gained step-child, it is important that you play your part and play it to perfection. Can step-parents and step-children peacefully coexist? Of course!
Introducing a step-parent into your child’s life is going to be a bumpy ride, but here are a few parent child communication strategies you can make use of to make this transition as smooth as possible:
- To begin with it is always better to introduce your future spouse and your children to each other well in advance. Try to make sure that they know each other and are as comfortable with each other as possible.
- Once you are married, remind your spouse not to try to be an instant parent. No matter what age your children are, it will be hard for them to accept a step-parent in place of their original one.
- You children will never forgive their new step parent being disrespectful towards any of their birth parents. So ensure that your new spouse does not openly express any negativity about your ex.
- Encourage your spouse to spend time with your kids. Encourage them to do chores around the house together.
- Find a common ground. Share activities together, like going for movies or decorating the Christmas tree together. Again this is a great way to develop a relationship.
- Nothing encourages the bonding process between people like genuine help does. So if you are unable to help your children with their schoolwork, request your partner to do it for you. .
- Another important factor is respect. Don’t just insist that the step-parent respect the step-children’s space and boundaries, it needs to be done the other way too.
And last but not the least, don’t push it. The more you rush or force this process, the greater are the chances that things will not work out as planned. So relax and give human relationships a chance to work themselves out in their own time.