Being a parent to your own children can be a very challenging task but step parenting can be more intense. When marriage pushes you into becoming a step parent, you may find the situation burdened with obstacles. However, with good sensitivity and lots of communication, you may discover that step parenting can be an extremely rewarding role.
Step parenting can mean that you got married and became an instant parent. Adjusting to it can be very challenging especially if the children you will be dealing with are bitter and confused. If you don’t have any children of your own, your experience with parenting can be very stressful to you and also to your step children.
To begin with, you should remember that step parenting is a progressive process. This situation will definitely require a huge amount of adjustment so give yourself and your step kids the time to settle down in your new situation.
Keep in mind that you are neither your step child’s friend nor biological parent. However, although you are not the biological parent either, you are still an adult that needs to be respected.
You should always be sure to respect your step child’s boundaries just as you would want them to show respect to yours. You should assure them that you know that you are not their biological parent and that you are not going to take the place of the absent parent. A lot of the time, this is where conflict arises so make sure you are not doing anything that will make them feel like you are trying to replace the other parent. When you let them know you have no intentions of doing so, they will be more relaxed and you can gain their trust.
The primary goal of step parenting is to be a positive adult in the kid’s life. You should always ask yourself if the action that you will do will lead you towards or away from the positive adult that you need to become whenever you get frustrated.
Take the pressure off from yourself. Always remember that a happy stepfamily takes years and not months in the making. Loosen up and give everybody the space that they need.
Step parenting can be a very challenging and yet a rewarding role. At times a relationship like this becomes very special. All that you need to do is begin your journey by getting to know your step children. And who knows, the relationships you build may be some of the most meaningful in your life.