Categorized | Parenting, Step Parenting

Step Parenting – Dealing With Difficult Step-kids

Having a new parent figure into a toddler’s life can confuse and scare a child. Hence, blended families may go through certain issues most normal families do not. Step parenting can be difficult when children disrespect you. But, you can achieve harmony within the family with an open mind and heart.

Show Respect, Gain Respect

Like the old quotation goes, “In order to earn respect, show respect first.”. Never demand your step-children to like you instantly. They do not have to like you. They just need to respect you. Treat them the way you treat an adult. This helps them realize that what they are doing is intolerable and as an elder, you deserve to be treated with respect. Leave it up to them whether they will accept you or not. Eventually, once they get to know you, they will learn to love you.

Set Some Ground Rules

In every home, rules must be set especially with blended families. Once authority issues have been settled, take time to sit down with your spouse and the children. Lay down certain ground rules like observing courteousness. Be vocal that you will not accept name calling, catfights and ill manners around the house. The children needs to know these rules from the very start. On the other hand, never forget to consider your step-kids’ feelings and wants. Remember, disrespectful children think rules are unfair so it is best to hear out their thoughts so the rules set are in accordance to all parties.

Get Support

Inform your spouse of his children’s behaviour. Together, create a discipline and reward plan for each child. Decide on what actions will and will not be tolerated by the two of you. Once you have come to an agreement, act out your plan as a team.

Establish Your Identity As A Step Parent

Sometimes, children resent their step parents because they are afraid their mom or dad will be taken away from them. Assure your step-kids that you are there not to replace their mommy. But you are there as a caring adult who wants to love and give guidance to them. Treat them using your own parenting style. Reprimand instead of scolding them whenever they do something wrong. Praise good behaviour.

Do Not Try Too Hard

Do not put too much pressure on yourself. Know that as a step parent, you cannot read your step-kids’ mind. If they do not tell you what is bothering them, respect their decision. What you can do is to assure them that they can always come to you for help. Other than that, you have to let go until everybody gets to know each other.

Hold A Family Day

Most often, what step-children need in order to understand their step parent better is bonding time. Establish each day in a week wherein you do different activities together as a family. A DVD marathon every Friday night, eating lunch in their favorite restaurants every Sunday or an out of town trip every month will do. By doing so, every family member gets to form a tight bond that will eventually bring them closer together. Organizing a family day gives toddlers the message that being a happy family is imperative and so it is very essential to make it happen.

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