Being a parent is very difficult and responsible job, but even more difficult is role of stepmother or stepfather, because no matter how you try, there is no guarantee that you will create a harmonious and happy family. Psychologists claim that families in which there is a stepmother or stepfather have a different dynamic than the “regular” and that often men and women confronted with prejudice, excessive expectations and stereotypes that accompany this type of family relations.
Biological parents are not burdened by the fact that no children have to earn the trust, since their children unconditionally believe and are ready to forgive them mistakes. However, that is not the case in stepmother or stepfather. They need to make more effort to gain the trust of the children and families that are entering.
Stepmothers are evil in fairy tales and children tend to accept the “new mother” more difficult than a stepfather. When a new woman comes into the house, she is facing not only children but also the biological mother, and her position is very difficult, especially if she was a trigger for divorce. It’s easier when children are young, the change is more easily surpasses, but when it comes to older children who already understand the relationships, they feel loyalty to their birth mother and take her always before stepmother and in such situations, it is very difficult to establish a good relationship.
The stepfather is in a better situation, because the mother is the primary parent, and her partner is better accepted by her children.
So be patient and slowly build a relationship, because gradualism is the only way to succeed. Here’s a tip psychologists how to be better as a stepmother or stepfather.
Do not expect to be a happy family overnight, because research shows that it takes more than five years that that things get in place they are supposed to be.
At first you’ll probably feel excluded and as a surplus, but you must be patient. Do not allow your stepchildren brutality, nor give in to everything, but do not try to enforce discipline from day one
In order to appeal to children, it is possible to tolerate too much, that they are buying gifts and to circumvent the rules. This tactic is very bad, because the kids are great manipulators and so you will not buy their favor. Instead, try to work together, “ordinary” things and connect through shared experiences.
Establish your position
From start try to take the position of a parent, but watch the border and enterin the lives of children slowly, respecting them. Be fair and correct, but also loving and gentle when needed. Satisfy all the needs of children with no expectation that you will get something in return
Give them time to get to know you, show that you are willing to listen, but also to share your experiences with them. Do not run away from conflicts, as psychologists claim that the relationship is established as soon as the kids are with you, to fight and not tell you the mother or father.
Easy with the „title“
Do not give up when you think that the children will never accept. Cultivate a good relationship with your partner and be prepared to be angry and tired and unhappy. Never talk bad about their biological parents, or insist that they call you “mom” or “dad”. If you do, children will get the impression you should be elected, and these elections do not have much of a chance. It is very important that the ex-wife or husband have as fair.
Do not be intrusive
You must also bear in mind that kids want time alone with their parent, so do not always have to be imposed. It is a common mistake stepmother and stepfather and can disrupt even and strong relationships.
It is also important to know that children are not against you, how many of their biological parents. Although you can never replace the role of a mother or a father, you can still fall in love with them, become friends and to have a nice relationship.
A good relationship with your partner
Many couples neglect their marriage in order to strengthen the connection of new partners and the stepchildren. This is a big mistake, because it is extremely really that the children see that you get along with the new partner. Do not be vain, because it is likely that the child will favor the parents and sometimes you intentionally neglect to feel bad. Sometimes the biological mother or father put pressure on the child not to accept the stepmother or stepfather, so be aware of that the situation is as difficult to the child (ren) as is as you.
Think of the children
If you are the biological mother or father, do not make it more difficult for your children and speak ill about the stepmother or stepfather, no matter how angry, betrayed or hurt you feel.
The children will make a lot of trouble if they feel that they are letting you down if they accept the “new parents”. It is especially hard for people who do not have their biological children, say experts, because they are included in the new, for those unknown relationships and they need time to adapt. Accepting life in a modified family and the child and the stepmother or stepfather is a lengthy and difficult process.
It often happens that after the divorce children become strongly attached to the parent with whom they live, so according to them, each person who takes moms or dad’s attention looks like a threat. Research shows that it is particularly difficult to establish a relationship with the girls who were in puberty, because they usually interpret the role of stepmother as intrusive and hostile.