Marriage is one of the most beautiful bonds that can exist between two human beings, but it is not free from hardships. In fact, marriage is like leveling up in a game. The challenges just keep increasing in difficulty!
If you are going to become a part of a blended family or already are then you best be prepared. You are about to be promoted from newbie to expert level in the blink of an eye. Be ready for a not so warm welcome especially if your stepchildren are teens or younger.
From the children’s perspective, you are probably the reason that their mom or dad went away. You are the stranger that they should be wary of. They will not trust you immediately and you can even expect some cold treatment or tantrums. Going in just hope for the best but expect the worst.
However, things cannot stay like this, can they?
You are the responsible adult in this relationship and you need to fix things! but you probably feel as lost as the kids. Do not worry, today we have a few ways that can help you live your best life with your stepchildren.
You are not a replacement
Of course, you know that, but the children do not.
You need to make them see first and foremost, that you do not see yourself as a replacement of their parent. Be supportive of them in subtle ways that make them realize that you are not trying to take anyone’s place.
Rather look for things that can help you establish a new relationship with your stepchildren. Definitely avoid parental roles like disciplining and nagging. That is best left to the biological parents. Otherwise be prepared to hear things like “You’re not my mom/dad!”
Do not separate yourself altogether
While you should not try to assume the role of a parent, but you should also not disassociate yourself altogether.
Just think of yourself as a guardian. Take care of the things that need to be taken care of. The basic necessities.
Make them feel like the home that their home is still the same.
If you are a good cook, then you are in luck as there no better route to the heart then the stomach. If you cannot then do not give up just yet. There are many other ways to unlock a closed heart.
All you need to do is be pleasant. Make yourself approachable. Do not make them feel as if they cannot talk to you or they might regret opening up to you. Always be open to ideas, include your stepchildren in conversations and discussions. Get to know them better.
Most importantly, maintain a good sense of humor.
Humour and pleasantness only add to one’s charm. Soon the children will realize that hey! You are not that bad, and if not a parent then you can definitely be a friend.
Do not be impatient
Impatience is bound to ruin your game.
Be careful you do not want to ruin all your hard work. Trust is a very precious thing. It is even hard for adults to come to trust one another easily. In a situation where the child has to face such grand changes, it can make the child very cautious.
It will take some serious elbow grease to develop the kind of trust that a family should have. However, if you lose your patience you will immediately be transported to level 0.
Do not forget that you are family
It can be easy to get frustrated in situations like this, but this is one thing you should never forget. Your stepchildren are as much family as your spouse is. Do not treat them as a separate entity. Treat them as you would treat your own kids.
Do not try to separate them from their parents and definitely do not make them look bad in front of your spouse as a way to relieve your frustration. That is perhaps the biggest mistake you can make.
At the end of the day, they are just children. They need love, care, and attention. Now that you are part of the family providing them with all this is your responsibility as well. Even if your efforts may not be reciprocated immediately.
Consideration is key
Giving without any apparent chances of receiving is a very difficult task.
However, do not forget that you are doing this for the happiness of your family. If things get really hard just put yourself in your step children’s shoes.
They did not ask for any of this, they were probably happy with things the way they were. If they are giving you a hard time, they are probably too young to understand the situation. So, all you need to do is be considerate of them. Be kind and you will surely be rewarded.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.