When it comes to forming a new relationship, you may know from the outset that your new partner has children. There’s a hilarious remake known as Yours, Mine, Ours and that movie illustrates the hilarious problems that can ensure when two families are blended together. It’s important to know that when you are mix and matching your families, there are some pressures that can be brought to bear on your marriage.
If you are blending a family together whether the children are one side or both, it’s important to keep expectations realistic. The children need time to get to know their step-parent and develop the lines of communication and respect. It’s unrealistic for the biological parent to expect their spouse to become the automatic or instant parent to their new step-child. It’s also unrealistic to expect your spouse to put you before their children.
It’s a mistake to come on too strong in either direction. For example, a step-parent may be distinctly uncomfortable with disciplining a child. The child may resist being disciplined by their step-parent. Avoid conflicts by facilitating the relationship and taking the point on handling your child’s discipline. Use discussion and communication to build respect and familial ties between step-parent and step-child.
If you are the step-parent, put yourself in the child’s shoes. You want to become the child’s friend. If both of their parents are alive, you are definitely not going to be a replacement parent. You can become a great friend, a great mentor and even a great companion. Work together with your spouse and your stepchild to form these strong bonds. Respect the child’s relationship with their parents and respect them. Blended families can be terrific, make them as terrific as possible by working together.