Addressing Problems As A Step Parent

As a step parent it’s important that you help the biological parent establish a loving environment for one another’s children. It’s important that you don’t step in as the rule maker or the enforcer. Take a good look at how your partner sets boundaries and expectations for their children. It’s important to ask yourself if you can live in a household with the kind of parenting your new partner does. Remember that this has become a way of life for your partner and their children. You being in their lives does not and should not mean that there will be drastic changes to the parenting pattern that has already been established. Before expecting changes, talk to your partner about how they would feel about making certain alterations. If you don’t get on the same page there will be major conflict with the kids and between the two of you. Falling in love with your partner does not necessarily mean that you have fallen in love with their children. That’s ok as long as you remember that your partner loves them and will always love them no matter what they do. If you remember this you’ll be sensitive about not being negative or critical of your partners children. Being critical or negative about someones children very seldom ends well. It usually puts people into fight mode which can be very toxic to your relationship. Instead think very hard about what is bothering you and find a way to express it that eliminates criticism and blame. It’s ok to say I’m uncomfortable when little Mary does x. Then propose a solution I’d like it if they would do y instead and suggest an action plan would you be ok if I/we do z. None of this assassinates the child’s character like your child is _____
they never or always________. Your partner has no choice but to defend the children they love which makes it impossible to help you with your concerns.

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