5 Essential Tips For Successful Step-Parenting
Being a step-parent for the first time comes with both rewards and challenges. It might be overwhelming to think that you have to stand in as a parent with authority but at the same time be a fun, loving friend to the little ones. It takes time and good communication learning to live in a new family set up, so just be patient! Remember, the children are adjusting as much as you are!
Follow these 5 essential tips for successful step-parenting:
Know that it takes time
Keep in mind that you are building a new relationship and not trying to replace an old one. Like any other new relationship, it takes time to get to know each other so don’t try to force anything. Keep your expectations realistic (like expecting the child to like you overnight) and give it time to develop.
Work with your partner
Respect and show support to your partner’s decisions toward his/her children. If they need some family time, don’t insist on coming. The young ones may need to express their thoughts and frustrations about the new living arrangements – let them know that you are ready for open discussions any time. This sends them the message that you are listening and trying to understand where they are coming from.
When it comes to discipline, work with your partner with any issues without imposing your own set of rules, as they are used to their parents set of rules. Also, be consistent with your approach and treatment of all the children.
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Create new traditions
When two families join to live together in a home, it is a new chapter for everyone. Creating new traditions that everyone can enjoy will create a stronger bond between family members. Have everyone pitch in their ideas – the children will especially appreciate that their ideas are heard.
Develop a relationship with former partners
This may not be easy for everyone, especially in the beginning. But accept that your partner’s “ex” will still be in your lives (as well as your “ex”, especially if you have children together). Never speak ill of them in front of the young ones and always be flexible with visiting and drop off times.
Respect the children’s privacy
If you have children that will be living with your partner’s children, it’s important that they have privacy, especially if they will be sharing a bedroom. Make sure that each has some time alone in the room.
Follow these essential tips for successful step-parenting for a harmonious family relationship!