Becoming a step-parent is an exciting new journey, but also very much to look forward to. Take your mind off your worries with advice from family relationship experts and other stepparents who’ve walked the same path.
Management of ups and downs
Renee Mill is a clinical psychologist, parenting and anxiety expert, and an excellent author. There were so many ups and downs for stepparents that Renee wrote an article to help them through. Here are some of her tips:
“When parents were born, don’t expect step-parents to love their children immediately. The most you can ask for at the outset is kindness and politeness.
Newly married parents, do not expect to love their own children. It’s normal to dislike your stepchild. Pretend until you actually make it. Do it because you love your partner. Do it because every child needs love and that’s the right thing to do. Be kind and work to develop the relationship over time.
Manage your expectations – the younger the child, the sooner you form relationships. It takes two years for a child to meet you when they are two years old to accept you. It would take a ten-year-old child 10 years to do that.”
Find her full article here or follow on Facebook and Youtube.
Create your own memories
When you think about your own family and the bonds you share, we picture some lovely memories in your mind. Creating family memories with your stepchildren is a great way to push your relationship forward. This can be as simple as going for ice cream on a hot day or teaching them a magic trick you know. If you have a reluctant stepchild, it may be helpful to choose an activity that is primarily about them. Almost no kid can turn down the chance to redecorate their room with fun kids’ furniture. You can go shopping together, put together a baby bed of their own choosing and the end result is that the two of you have achieved results as a couple.
Thoughts of stepfather
Ben Leggo, from Coco Rose Interiors, first became a stepparent nearly a decade ago, when his stepdaughter was just seven months old. Now at 9, they share a great bond that Ben says is like any other father-son relationship. Here’s his advice for new stepparents:
“There are only three main attributes to focus on to be a good parent
Patience – I think the most important aspect of being a good stepparent is having patience. There will be many outside influences that dictate how well you build your relationship with your stepchildren, and often it will be very slow, regardless of your wishes.
Communication – communicate actively and openly with your partner to set your boundaries. Always respect each other and your child’s boundaries. Only when you are confident enough within these limits should you take the next step. It’s important to make sure both parents and children feel comfortable moving forward.
Love and support – patience and communication are the only ways to develop the trust of your partner and stepchild. Once you have it, make sure you nurture it. Love and support them as your own and equally with any biological children you have. Forget using the term “steps” and just call them your son or daughter. After all, you are all a family.”
Learn more about Coco Rose Interiors on Instagram or Pinterest.
Thoughts from stepmother
Mel Brodie is a mind and soul coach and founder of Luminate Life, a personal growth brand whose mission is to help women break free from the overwhelming odds and find joy and balance in their lives. surname. She also has direct parenting experience and has written a blog post aimed at new stepmothers. Here’s our favorite snippet of her advice:
“Learn each other’s love language
Learning to identify and speak the love languages of your new family members can be a game changer.
When I realized that I was communicating with my stepdaughter through my love language, acts of service, rather than her primary love language of quality time and affirmations, I channeled her energy and focused on more meaningful ways of communicating with her. Sharing my love language has also helped us connect more deeply and develop a greater understanding and appreciation for each other.
Be kind to yourself
There’s no guidebook about being the perfect stepmother and having a steep learning curve to go with new territory. There will definitely be times when you don’t get it right.
At these times. Accept yourself. Dirty yourself. Seek learning. Acknowledge you are human. Forgive yourself. Find out what you can do differently or better next time. Apologize if appropriate (great way to play the role of accountability). But above all, keep moving forward. You totally get this! “
Check out Luminta Life on Instagram and Facebook.
Appreciate that there are different points of view
Success as a step-parent often rests on your ability to appreciate all perspectives in your new family. From how you think about step-parents to how your partner sees it and importantly, how your stepchildren see new family dynamics. Jeff WithersA relationship coach from Love Dynamics Global, often sees a lack of perspective become the interweaving of family relationships in her work.
“The key to successfully taking on the role of stepparent is to appreciate how you interact with family members, both current and new, and know that they (especially children) will not Everyone sees/experiences things the same way as everyone else in the family. So many stepparents want to do the best they can with their existing knowledge, skills, and resources, but they don’t always know the best way to achieve this. Success comes from understanding each family member’s natural talents, gifts, strengths and challenges, and being able to engage with them through shared understanding, awareness, and willingness to commit. . This only became all too real when a customer recently mentioned “I was so upset and confused the other day when my 5-year-old grandson confides in me, saying, ‘I don’t think I love my dad. anymore… I can’t do anything right. no matter what I do’. An opportunity to make a real difference in a child’s life is lost when they don’t know how, or are not prepared, to understand and connect. “
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The hardest part about being a stepparent is taking those first steps. There may be uncertain times ahead but the journey is definitely worth it.