Step-Parenting: How To Adapt To Your New Role?

step childrenYou and your partner have made a decision to live a life together and form a new family that includes children from one or both of your previous relationships.

However, in addition to the rewards associated with it there are many challenges and hurdles that need to be overcome.

While you, as parents, are likely to approach remarriage and a new blended family with great joy and expectation, your kids may not be nearly as excited.

They probably feel uncertain about the upcoming changes and how that will affect relationships with their natural parents and also worry about living with new step-siblings whom they don’t even know.

To give yourself the best chance of success, here is how to make things easier as you adapt to your new role.

Start Slow

The most important role of a step-parent is to start slow. You are not aware of how things are going to work out for you in the future. Secondly, you could also create a suffocating environment by trying to be the dream step-parent, but actually coming across as fake to the child.

Ensure you take your time to adjust and give enough time to your step-children too. Over time, you will be able to develop a strong relationship with them. Of course, you must be prepared for the probability that it will not be the same as with their birth parents.

Limit Your Expectations

You might invest in a lot of time, energy and affection in your new partner’s kids, the rewards of which are not returned to you immediately. The key is not to expect things to happen quickly.

Introducing gradual changes in day-to-day living can help ease the new family chaos and make the transition for children much easier. Think of it as making small investments that may one day give you a greater reward.

Don’t ‘Buy’ Your Step-Children

“I’ll buy you whatever you want, even if you don’t like me.” Don’t take this attitude with your step-children. The more you act like this, the more you will increase the risks of ruining your relationship with them. Be yourself, and if you want to give them something, offer it as a gift or a surprise. But don’t go over the top!

The more time you spend with your step-children, the easier it will be to get to know and appreciate each other. No matter what the circumstances are, there are chances that there will be some bumps along the way.

Keep reminding yourself that every step-parent’s experience is going to be different. For some it’s stressful, and for other’s it is an easy transition to develop. What is important is that you have an open mind and patience with your step-children.

So have you been a step-parent? What was the experience like for you and how did you develop your relationship with your new kids?

Image courtesy of photostock /


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