7 Crucial Steps to a Happy Stepfamily
Single people with kids deserve to be happy too. It’s hard for two people to build a successful relationship, but it’s even harder to do it when one or two of you have children. Stepfamilies face a great number of problems, because they literally rush the matter. If you are a single mom dating a man with no kids, or you find a man with kids and have no idea how to communicate with them, or both of you have children and don’t know how to merge two families, consider following these simple tips for a happy stepfamily.
1. Stay patient
Introducing a new ‘daddy’ or ‘mommy’ or combining two families takes plenty of patience. If your children don’t like your new partner, it doesn’t mean you must end a relationship. Or, if his children don’t like you, it’s not a reason for a breakup. No matter what children say and do, you two have to stay patient and look for the ways to become closer to them. Take baby steps and don’t push and pressure them.
2. Give them time
When children are too little to understand who is who, you might have no problems at all. However, when children are up to 8 years old, be ready to face a lot of problems. Don’t expect the children to like your new partner in a matter of a few weeks, make the introduction gradually so that they could get used to a new family member. The same goes for new kids. Let them spend more time together and get to know each other before you start merging two families. If your partner have children, ask him to tell you more about them and give you some pieces of parenting advice.
3. Don’t change your attitude towards kids
It’s obviously that your or his children may want to ruin your new relationship. Both of you should learn to control your emotions and treat kids with respect and love. If you change your attitude towards kids, they will blame your partner for it and start hating them even more. Remember, men come and leave, but children stay with us. If your partner dislike your child, or you can’t handle his, your relationship has no future.
Read also – 10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Daughter
4. Don’t try to become a replacement parent
His children aren’t going to call you mom the first time they meet you. They have their own mom and don’t need another one. Your children, on the other hand, have their own dad, so don’t expect them to call your partner ‘daddy’ once you start living together. Everything takes time. Of course, it depends on kids and their age and character.
5. Learn how to solve the problems peacefully
Many stepfamilies can’t stop fighting and the words ‘peace and quiet’ are unknown to them. All the problems must be solved peacefully if you want the relationship to be happy and successful. Fighting causes tons of stess that may affect your child’s well-being. Be prepared for any situation and don’t let your anger ruin your stepfamily.
6. Set rules
To avoid misunderstandings, fights and resentment, try to set certain family rules that you all will have to follow. Typically, parents set rules for kids. It’s a big mistake. As parents, you and your partner should follow certain rules as well. The major rule for stepfamilies is respect. Treat each other with respect. If your partner doesn’t care when his kids disrespect you or your child, and break the rules, talk to him.
7. Don’t talk bad about their mom
No matter what happened in the past, don’t talk bad about their mom. When your partner’s kids see you treating their mom with respect, they will begin respecting you too. Also, don’t talk bad about your ex-husband when spending time together. He is your children’s father. They love him anyway. If you don’t, it’s your problem that you shouldn’t share with your children.
Building a happy stepfamily is a challenge that both of you should take. Some stepfamilies confess that it took over 2 years to build a successful family. Be prepared to overcome difficulties together. If one of you gives up, there’s no sense in trying to save a relationship that has no future. Patience and time are two crucial things that can help you. As a stepparent, you need to learn how to understand a child and be friends with them. If you bring new family members into your child’s life, do it gradually and make sure your child’s first.