Step-Parenting: Some of the Challenges Faced As a Family

March 13th, 2023 by dayat No comments »

Step parents are faced with challenges of all sorts when they first decide to live together as a family. If however, they decide to take time to trace the cause of the problems, they would find that the odd clashes and misunderstanding can be managed effectively.

Here are some of the challenges:

staying together as a family unit
spending time together as a couple
financial pressures
discipline of the children
Staying together as a family unit

It is a known fact that it is impossible to have the two families live together all the time, as consideration has to be given to the ex- partner who also has access. It is equally frustrating to see that the minute the new step parent steps in, the children may decide to leave.

Some children leave to go and stay with the other parent who may not be in a relationship at the moment.

There have been instances where both parents have moved on with their lives and have gone on to re-marry. The children at the centre of both lives sometimes feel left out.

Solution: Hard as it sometimes may be – you may have to consistently reassure your children that you still want them in your life. Sometimes the children may have to be told many times and in different ways that they are still loved in spite of having someone new in the parent’s life.

The reality of life is that sometimes the step children may never get on no matter how hard you as the step parent try.

It is your responsibility, however as a step parent to ensure that you try to get them involved in activities of interest and get to do it together.

You would also have to try to avoid any form of favouritism towards your own child or towards your step child to score brownie points.

Spending Time together as a couple

If the house is filled with children from either side, it will take a lot of effort on the part of the step parents to keep their relationship going.

This is because apart from being step parents, they may also be working. So they need to be parents to their children and also earn a living to survive and keep the family going.

Solution: In the midst of all the busyness going on in the house and at work, the couple need to find time for themselves. They could cultivate a time of the week or month where they do things together as a couple.

Financial issues

If the one or both step parents have financial problems, it could affect the relationship in one way or the other. The burden of sorting out the financial mess may not necessarily fall on the other partner, but they will certainly feel obliged to help in any way possible.

Solution: Table your finances out and be transparent about it to each other – if you need to seek professional help together then do it.

Discipline of the children

This subject is very common among step parents and is also a sensitive one. Sometimes, step parents might find that the children of either spouse needs to be disciplined and they might feel that it is not in their place to say anything or even if they do, the step child may not give them any regard.

Solution: The discipline of the children is important and the responsibility should be handled with care. What would be the most ideal thing to do is to allow the biological parent discipline their own child. If this responsibility is left to the step parent, then it could potentially cause a lot of misunderstanding in the family. The child may feel they are being punished unnecessarily and may never get to bond with the other parent.

Discipline coming from the parent would be deemed much more appropriate and w

What Makes For a Bad Step Parent

January 13th, 2023 by dayat No comments »

It is no secret that some step parents face being branded wicked and intolerable – whilst some of these accusations are false, there are however some situations where a step parent displays actions and behaviours that are totally wrong. This would therefore justifiably make them a bad step parent.

The step parent may never be the fan of the step children, but at the same time, attempts should be made on the part of the step parent to try to live amicably with the children of their spouse.

So what makes for a bad step parent?

Talking negatively about the other parent
As a step parent, you may have walked into the life of your spouse with background information of what their ex did. Yes, they may have behaved wrongly and broken the heart of your spouse or even abandoned the children. What is wrong for you as a step parent is to now talk about what the birth parent did in front of the children and make a big scene about it.

Whether your step children know about the event that led to the split between their parents or not is not really for you to talk about in front of them.

Bad mouthing the birth parent will never get you in the good books of the children and is a sign of immaturity on your part.

Not taking the time to get to know your step children
In order to form a good relationship, it is important to get to know the children. This, as in any other type of relationship would always take time and some effort on your part.

If you don’t make a conscious decision to get to know your step children, then you will not understand each other and the family unit runs the risk of never becoming stable and happy.

A bad step parent will not get to know the step children because they feel that the relationship is between the two adults in the family, but this is far from the truth. Not even attempting to get to know the children is an act of selfishness.

Disciplining your step children
Whilst it is important for all children step or not to be disciplined when the need arises, it is particularly important to leave this for the birth parent to do especially in the early stages of your relationship.

The way a step child would react to discipline from you would be different from their biological parent and in most cases could potentially cause problems for you and your spouse if you decide to discipline your step child. It is always better to leave this to your spouse and discuss any matters that you feel has to be dealt with by them.

The decision to discipline your step children should be discussed between you and your spouse – the age of the children would also determine if you would be in a place to discipline them.

Insisting that your step children call you Mom or Dad
This is an absolute no, no! It is not for you to dictate to your step children to call you mom or dad. If you have been involved in their lives for a long time, they may decide to call you mom or dad, but even then, if they don’t it is not for you to decide that it is about time they call you that.

In some step parenting homes, the step child will call the step parent mom or dad after they have developed a bond and in some cases if their other birth parent is no longer a large part of their lives.

Your step children not calling you mom or dad does not mean that they will not love you or treat you with respect. The only time it almost comes naturally from a step child is if they are too young to remember their birth parent and almost automatically just start calling you their parent.

Preferential Treatment to Your Own Children
If as a step parent, you are offering preferential treatment to your own children to the detriment of your step children, they may never trust or accept you in their lives. Yes, you love your own biological children and want the best for them – now that you are in a new environment with your spouse and his/her children, it is up to you to treat all the children alike.

If you treat all the children in the family the same way, this will help create a stable unit. Sometimes, even when you are not aware, your step children may be watching your every action to see whether you are treating them the same way as you treat your own children. This may never be outwardly acknowledged or appreciated by them, but be sure that if they pick up any preferential tr