Gentle Ways Handle Children In Blended Families
New marriages can sometime take a strain on children. You married a woman who has children; if you have to involve in their daily life, you have to know to how to handle these children; sometimes the situation can be quiet difficult, there is a tendency you might have to deal with some issues; especially when dealing with older children.
These types of situations are not always as fairy-tale stories; you meet these children when they have memories of their biological father; they are raised differently, with different standard, they may have a complete different morals from yours. when it comes to their discipline you still have to have some authority to command respect not to be walked on. custody does not always mean who loves them the most. The question involved; is you asked yourself are you ready to take on a ready-made family?. If you are you should consider these 7 ways of handling children in a blended family.
Check the consequences of your choice
First advice is check with yourself if you have that commitment to care for the well being your step children needs, all you need to understand is these children have gone through some pain, make sure if you get involve you make it work and not to break theirs hearts again.
Get involve slowly
When you first start seeing your partner her kids may tend to look at you with suspiciously and get jealous because you are talking their mother away; if you get that kind of reaction from kids all you need to do is take it slowly with them; your regular presence may cause some change; so act carefully; occasional outing with your partner and kids are very important; that way kids will begin to understand that you are part of the family, and don`t be over familiar with them; show them a genuine interest to know who they are; this might take just a little bit of time to build a solid rapport with them.
Introduce yourself with honesty
It is a good idea to gently introduce yourself to your partner`s kids as her friend; but do not lie to them because they will eventually find out; and that might build distrust.
Avoid being authoritarian and blend in with family`s lifestyle
When you just get involved you have to learn about the family`s lifestyle; don`t be authoritarian to make too many demands and new rules; of course you could make some changes but in a positive way; for example; you happen to marry someone below your standard; her kids never have a trip to Disney world; family trips, or certain gifts that kids always love but could not get them for some reason; as the matter of fact that is the fast way to make them love you; they will release that you came in with a positive energy.
That authoritarian behavior is definitely going to set you a long way back; and it might take you a long time to recover from it. Never punish them or disrespecting or even quarrels with their mother in front of them; especially when you just moved in. in as much as possible avoid any negativity that will make kids to hate you for some reasons. But still keep your ethics; you can do that by making suggest to do things in a different way. But don`t rush it.
Wait to get invited in their space
Don`t expect that your partner`s kids to be comfortable to discuss with you their inner most thoughts when just came in; you have to understand that they might not be comfortable approaching you for these types of discussions yet; so give them time, and give them privacy when they want to talk to their mother about something while you are present; you can make some excuses to leave the house for some time if you have to; and don`t force yourself to represent them on a school counselling session or teachers parent meetings etc. You definitely have to wait to be invited into their space, becoming their friends and win their hearts.
Discuss rules with your partner when they are away
If you have a correction to make about their behavior or you want to discuss your relationship matter with your partner (their mother), something that involves them; make sure you do this when they are not around; its is best to have these types of discussion is when you and your partner are out without them; because kids have innate sense and they interpret things according to their own understanding; even if they missed the whole point, it may set back your relationship with them. Try also not to get into argument with your partner about the subject, as that will also cause more problems for you.
Don`t spoil them for the shake of their love
Don`t spoil them just for the shake of winning their hearts; either financially, physical, or verbal; this will spoil them and beside it can also cause you some issue in your own part of family; when you kids realized that you treat your step kids better that them; that can bring hatred into your children`s hearts against your step kids; so treat everyone fairly, and equal either your kids or step kids, and don`t leave any unacceptable behavior without correction.
Don`t constantly criticize your partner`s kids, constant negative remarks or comment towards her kids is the fast way to set you back with your relationship with her. Your job is building the trust, and be good to them. Don`t force them to call you dad etc. you have to earn that through the way you deal with them, and if you get that right, they will surely call you dad.
How do blended families affect children?
A blended family affect children in a way that are not often seeing in traditional families, children may have challenges in adjusting as they live you with step-siblings and step-parents, the jealousy of seeing their parent devoting his attentions to step-siblings, that cause a rivalry between the two sets. that is why its important for a biological parents you treat both sides equal so that the one side does not see the preference in you over the other. Make sure your kids understand that they are still special to you.
Another challenge children do face is accepting and connecting with the step-siblings. But that is a normal thing to happen. According to researches, it may take up to five years for a blended family to truly connect. Therefore children needs time to connect to one another; this is something both parents have o accept, beside it was not their choice to be in a blended family in the first place.
Authority challenge is common in children in a blended family, when it comes to their discipline they may choose to listen and obey only their biological parent and disregard the other step-parent, when that happens the biological parent should step in to address that issue and give support to the step-parent to have some level of authority and command. It is surely a challenging situations, but with time and effort they all blend into one beautiful family.