Friday, September 19, 2008

How to Be a Good Stepparent

If you're trying to be a good stepparent the chances are that the odds aren't in your favor. Even the fairytales are weighted against you when you think of evil stepparents in stories like Cinderella and a host of other tales. It really doesn't matter if it was death or divorce that made your partner single again; your step kids are going to look at you as an outsider imposing on their turf.

Trying to build a bond of love and respect under such circumstances is possible. Experts agree that as long as you acknowledge that you are a stepparent and your role is different from that of a biological parent in the beginning, you can cope easily.

Statistics have shown that 6 out of every 10 marriages that have stepchildren are bound to fail. Most of the time this is due to the inability of a couple to turn their children into a proper family.

Being a stepparent may be a tricky thing. The job you have as a parent is essentially the same. You are trying to teach all your children how to become responsible and become loving and caring adults later on in life. The trick to accomplishing the role of a stepparent may be done by following the tips below:

Acknowledging the Children's Feelings of Loss.

The reasons for the existence of your new family are unimportant. Children require a time to grieve for the loss of a unit of their family and come to terms with a new addition.

Don't Expect Love at First Sight

You may wish that you can fall in love with your stepchildren easily and get them to fall in love with you that easily too. Just because you fell in love with their own parents doesn't mean that the same will happen between you and them. Building such relationships tend to take time. Learn to show respect for any feelings they have or doubts and respect yours as well.

Setting Ground Rules

Regardless of if your stepchildren stay with you or not, you should have ground rules that regard discipline, punishment and respecting your spouse properly. You should learn the limits that you have when considering any problems that present themselves with children. You should also have certain expectations when it comes to ex-spouses. You need to let these children understand that you are considering their thoughts and feelings too. When it comes to the time for discipline you should allow the biological parent take the lead when possible. Children tend to accept it better this way.

Get to Know One Another

You should take the time out to get to know your stepchildren better. A unique arrangement by virtue of marriage allows you to be more of a friend than a parent especially when your spouse isn't the one with the custody of the children. Make sure that you use this to your advantage and have as much fun as you can.

Keep a Sense of Humor

Humor is wonderful in order to help with the release of tension. It also helps in the building of intimacy and the keeping of everything in perspective. Humor may not necessarily solve your entire problems but it may help you survive these problems.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As stepparent I found biological parents should be reminded that abandon their children first for their own benefit and later claim to be good parents is just a no-sense.
In my specific case I remind to my stepchildren that I am not perfect, but also their biological father walked away from them.
The issue is not raising someone children but to put the issue in the right perspective.