How do you ensure they all get along? There are a lot of things you need to work out before the union, and this calls for open communication before and during the union.
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For example, what are your expectations? How and who will discipline the children at the start of the relationship, experts advise that the biological parent should be the disciplinarian, otherwise it would be harder for the step-parent to establish trust and form a bond with the step-children? How would you divide up chores and financial responsibilities? Where will you go on holiday? How realistic are your expectations?
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Do you expect to swoop in and make everyone get along within the first few months of the union? News flash: It may not prove to be so easy. Reports show that most step-families have a short shelf life. Well, we hope so, but avoid the optimising bias by arming yourself with information while still hoping and working towards the best.
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It might take a few years for everyone to know each other and trust each other. That will require plenty of patience and, yes, work it is, after all, a relationship and relationships require work.
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Family rules are important. For instance, studies show that when you set rules around food, young children tend to make healthier food choices as the years progress. Away from food, other studies show that family rules impact other areas of life positively.
When you have guidelines around television watching and other sedentary activities, studies show that children offered rules and guidelines that tend to be healthier. Set rules around tech use, online behaviours, foods they can and cannot eat, chores, etc. Make sure the rules are clearly defined, and outline clearly what the consequences of breaking them will be, and be consistent enforcing them.
Take it slow; coming on too hard will only push the children away. As we earlier mentioned, parenting can be stressful, and step-parenting is even harder becomes it comes with more and unique challenges. Studies show that depressed mothers tend to parent more harshly, and this can lead to behaviour troubles in children.
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The same applies to depressed fathers. Have a positive relationship with yourself for a positive relationship with your blended family. Self-care includes getting enough rest, better sleep, spending time with yourself and your partner. Did your resource mention a passage of Scripture, but you can't remember what the verse says?