Step families are also called as blended families.
A step family must tackle many issues including loyalty conflicts.
Parents in remarried families tries to minimize the influence of the absence parent and hope the kids will bond with and accept discipline from the step parent.
Damaging The Efforts Of Step Parent!
Kids try to resist and damage the efforts of step parent because they feel that accepting the step parent means “disloyal” to the absent parent. Many jealous issues come into picture in step families. Children become jealous of the time spent with the new spouse or with other children in the family.
Remarriage is a challenge for all the members, especially for kids. Most kids feel that remarriage represents the loss of dream that their biological parents would stay married forever.
The angst associated with this loss is painful and the emotions include confusion, anger and jealousy. Encourage your child to talk about his feelings. This makes your child feel safe and nurturing and share his emotions.
It is important to set realistic expectations for step parent and child. Beginning with realistic expectations of tolerance and respect for everyone in the family will help allow love and unity to build over time.
Effective Communication Is Important!
For success of any relationship, effective communication and listening skills are important. The stresses of step families will put your skills to the test and cause a family breakup.
A step parent should learn effective communication skills by attending seminars, reading books and seeking counsel.
You should control your feelings and comments when your child is with other biological parent. If you show support to other biological parent, you can minimize conflicts and can strengthen your relationship with your kids.
New Family Traditions!
Establish new family traditions and rituals as it will help all the family members to come close. You can establish new traditions in holidays. New traditions help children to bond with step parent as there will be plenty of time to understand each other in these family traditions.
Parents should define rules and maintain consistency when it comes to discipline. Step parent tend to be too lenient with step child in hope of winning acceptance and approval. This approach hardly works because children need to have boundaries. Powerful way of communicating love and respect is consistent discipline.
Step parent should ease discipline of children and the discipline task should be left to the biological parent. Regardless of your child’s age, both biological parents must be involved in setting the rules of discipline.
Parents should present rules combined on the children. If parents do not allow their unity to be broken, children will give much respect and obedience to their parents. You should explain to your children right from the beginning that respect should be given for both parents and siblings.
As a step parent, you should not try to force a parental relationship with children. It should develop naturally. Do it with your power to earn respect and you will start your step family on the right foot.