Every blended family experiences step parenting problems from time to time. The reason is that you are still getting to know each other better. You are still adjusting. Thus, it can be tough and challenging for any step parent to capture the children’s hearts. Not to worry, friend. This post lays out the several step parenting problems and their corresponding solutions.
Step Parenting Problems and their Solutions
1. Disciplining strategies – this is one of the major problems that blended families fight about. As soon as the new parent changes the rules that the children are used to, there will surely be conflicts.
You might hear the phrases “You are not my real mom/dad” or “My mom lets me do it” or “Who are you anyway?”
To avoid those hurtful words, you need to establish house rules and talk to your spouse about what you need to do. Also, do not change their rules immediately so you won’t be named as a wicked step parent. Let your spouse do the disciplining for about a year to give you time to be their buddy.
If your stepchildren are a little mature, let them know of the changes.
2. Children during the holidays – this is a problem for many divorcees as the children get torn where to spend their holidays. Wed earlier in the year so you have a lot of time to plan for the upcoming holidays.
Talk to your spouse before making any plans. The kids might have already planned a vacation with their other parent or they have already established a holiday tradition.
If you have no idea what to do, you can ask the kids for suggestions on the activities. Don’t be upset if they made other plans. Instead, try to come up with a new tradition for your “new” family. For instance, you can take Christmas photos every year and send them as postcards to your relatives
3. Dislike and disrespect towards you – it is normal for kids not to like you instantaneously but disrespecting you is a totally different story. Do not be tempted to talk back in an equally disrespectful manner as this will aggravate the situation.
Remember that not only the parents went through the challenges during the divorce (or a loved one’s death). The child could be feeling severe emotional stress, anger, frustration, and confusion all at the same time.
The child needs to vent out all the pent up internal turmoil and there’s nobody else at the receiving end of all these but you. You have to accept this since this is a part of being accepted into the new family. But don’t allow yourself to be disrespected. Instead, make your husband discipline them every time this happens.
4. Child’s indifference or lack of concern – sometimes, a child’s world crumbles after his or her parents’ divorce. The result is a detached and absent-minded child (please see reasons in item number 3). This child is physically present but mentally absent. You, as a new parent, need to reach out to the child.
You need to spend time with him to get to know him better. In addition, you also need to schedule bonding time for all the members of the family. This will strengthen the idea of a new family. You have to make as much memories with the family as much possible to make the child at ease with you.
Through those activities, positive relationships will be fostered.
5. Quarrels with the spouse – marrying a man or woman who already has kids is difficult. It’s like having an instant family. There are times wherein you and your spouse quarrel because you don’t see eye to eye on the parenting styles, or maybe the kids together with the ex-husband (or ex-wife) are pitting you against each other.
Don’t let those issues get in the way with your married life. Bring the spark back by taking your spouse out for a date night. Talk about something else aside from the kids and do something fun once in a while so as not to extinguish the burning fire.
Most importantly, don’t get too worked up. Just take a deep breath and calm yourself. You will surely surpass the step parenting problems that the world throws at you. Good luck! You can do it!