Blended families are commonly referred to as step families, and are increasingly common among society today. If you were to create a poll for children in elementary school probably one third of them would respond they have a
step parent or that their biological parents don’t reside in the same household.
Children who are a part of a step family may resist the other “new” parental figure in their home, this is natural behavior, especially if they have very involved parents. As a product of a step family myself, I must say that I resisted my step father, although not married to my mother, he was referred to as my step father. Teen age years were the worst, I would fight him tooth and nail on anything he said. I had a father, and felt I did not need another.
As a mother to a child who has a step father and involved biological father, I try to explain the differences, and take the time to remind her that her step father is not trying to replace her dad, he is an extension of her already loving family. This has worked for my child, however, it may not work for all and here are some tips to help create a more pleasant bonding, loving relationship between step families.
Remember This is Real Life:
Television may make a step family look perfect but this is real life. No matter how much you wish things to be perfect instantly, there will be much work to do before you have a perfect home life situation as a blended family.
Patience is a virtue:
Any relationship will take time and you must understand that as a step parent
you have come into a family based on the love you have for your new spouse. Children take time to trust a new parent figure and being patient will help this new step parent bond happen sooner rather than later.
High Expectations Will Result in Failure & Disappointment:
Remember that you have come into a family as the step parent, with this comes time. A child needs to know you love them and care about them, however, as a step parent all you can do is leave your heart and arms wide open, communicate with your step child or step children to let them know you care about them. Eventually with “patience” and “love” the bond will develop.
When you marry your new partner you are in love with them, however, it may take time for you and their children to love. Although you may adore the idea of step children, it’s nearly unrealistic to come in and expect respect.
The best way to slowly gain trust, respect and love from your new step children would be to make sure you encourage and appreciate them whenever doing something good. Be sure to include the children in any family decision making. Maybe you came into their life with your own children, allow them to take part in choosing who will share a room or if remodeling must be done, allow them
to take part in that as well.
Overall as a step parent who is seeking to gain a bond with their step children you must remain patient, calm and caring. Show the children with your actions and words how you feel about them, in time you will see a bond that has been perfected over time.
Make it a Happy Day!