Step-parenting: Learning to Embrace your Step-children

You might be crazy about the person you're getting married to, and while their feelings maybe mutual, their teens are a whole other story. Learning how to love your new step-kids can really put you and your relationship to the test - but that doesn't mean it won't ever work. There are things you can do to pave a smoother path of understanding with the teens who you're now a new parent to. 

Accepting Reality!

Anyone getting into a situation that pushes them into a step-parenting role needs to do this as realistically as possible. Reality being that no matter when or what broke your partner’s prior family apart, their children could hold you responsbile. It could help if you could meet your step-kids well beforehand. Simply entering the family as the new parent they know nothing about can cause more harm than anything else. 

Realistic Expectations

Grown-ups can be quite daft at times, a number of researches conducted on the subject of step-parenting show that people expect step-parents to be assertive as well as affectionate in order to establish their position as “parent” as soon as possible.  When the child’s opinion was taken in this regard, it was discovered that stepchildren prefer step-parents to be less physically affectionate and assertive in defining their “parent” role. 

Some important things you need to work into your new role include: 

  • Giving yourself time to develop a workable relationship.  
  • Love is like a plant, it takes time to bear fruit. Psychologists believe that teens and tweens require a much longer time to settle in with their new family than kids younger than five.
  • Do not expect stepchildren to bond with you instantly. They are confused between there loyalty towards you and the parent you have replaced. Give them the time and space to sort out their emotions.
  • Never come between your stepchildren and their biological parent.
  • Never demand greater loyalty from your step children over what they owe to their biological parents. Allow tem to stand true to their loyalties no matter how close you may have gotten to them.
  • The urge may be too strong at times, but never criticize their biological parent in front of them. Nothing will alienate them for you sooner than this.
  • Never try to replace an absent biological parent.

These were just a few of the cardinal rules you can follow to make this transition as smooth as possible and a bright future of your blended family a distant yet visible possibility.

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