And One Fine Day You’re The Step-Parent…

kids hardly to accept their step parents - Parenting resources by ZenParent

Life has given you a second chance and you couldn’t be happier. After all, not everyone is that fortunate enough to be able to turn a new page and find something pleasant written for them? But did anyone tell you this offer comes with a little fine print if he/she has kids and that you’re going to be a step–parent! UH –OH… nervous?

This might help.

  • Connection before correction: Very aptly phrased by Dr Patricia Papernow, this is the first mantra that you as a stepparent should bear in mind. It is very natural for you to feel insecure about whether you will be loved or accepted by your new kids. When you sense the slightest hint of rebellion, which is very normal, you tend to go into the authoritarian mode to register your position. It won’t do much good because it’s like withdrawing money from an account without any deposits. Instead, try and be a friend and establish a warm bond first. Leave the disciplining to the biological parent for the time being.
  •  Give space and time: New home, new settings and you are sort of keen to make a few changes. But remember that the kids have also gone through the disruptive process of a divorce or death and are coping up with a new presence in their lives. It’s not easy for them. They need time and space to overcome the upheaval and settle down to their new situation. And you, as an adult, can give them that by not trying to bring about immediate changes at home and in their lifestyle. You can take one gradual step at a time and yes you have to compromise too along with everyone.

be closer to your step kids - Parenting resources by ZenParent

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  •  Be kind but not a doormat: Your stepkids may not love you; at least not immediately but they have to be decent and respectful towards you. This is something your spouse, the biological parent, has to talk to them about. It is your duty to ensure that this chat takes place. While you may try being friendly and approachable, they must know that you are willing to go out of your way for them if they are willing to respect you as an individual. If, however, things are not going as planned you still have the right to decide what you are and are not going to do. You are a stepparent and you don’t have to go out on a limb to impress everyone to feel accepted.

step parents talks with child - Parenting resources by ZenParent

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  •  Learn to overlook: Kids say it all the time, to their own parents too, that they hate them and wish they were not a part of their lives. So it should come as no surprise to you if your stepkids lash out at you to see how far they can go with it. Kids are known to test boundaries. It’s about their own anger, confusion and loss; it’s not about you. You need to be the big-hearted adult here and handle the outburst calmly and maturely, subtly showing them who’s in charge. If you don’t you only re-create the mess you are so done with already. The choice is actually yours.

child hate step parents - Parenting resources by ZenParent

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  •  Love conquers all: Don’t let so many reminders going on at the back of your mind cramp your original warm and loving self. They are still kids and you are still a parent and that should not stop you from positively encouraging them as per your own instincts. Sometimes, love is all what they need at the right moment to bounce back and start smiling once again.

They may come to you at any stage of their lives and while their parents have had their time and share to be a part of their joyous birth and upbringing, you can still fill in the void that has been thrust on them unwillingly carving out a special niche for yourself in their lives. It’s  not easy but it isn’t rocket science. Good luck!

step parents friendly talk with kids - Parenting resources by ZenParent

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