Tag Archive | "step parenting mistakes to avoid"

Step Parenting – What Not To Do

Step parenting may be the hardest role a person can play. You have to make a huge effort and sacrifice some things without knowing if things will work out. Here are some common step parenting gaffes any step parent should avoid.

Bad Mouth The Other Parent

This is the number one no-no of step parenting. Never insult the other parent even if the toddler is upset with the other parent. This is a very insensitive action which can hurt and confuse the toddler. If you must talk about the other parent, do it when the toddler is not with you or within earshot.

Refuse To See The Effects of A New Parent to The Children

Children daydream for their parents to get back together. Thus, the shock of knowing a new individual is entering their life is difficult to accept. Sit down with your spouse and discuss things – rules, expectations and how to handle the toddler’s reaction so the two of you can help the toddler adjust.

Expect An Instant Happy Family

One of the worst things you can do as a step parent is to desperately try to fit in your new spouse’s family. Sure, having their approval is a good thing. But, do keep in mind that you need to earn admission into the family. Do not rush your relationship with your stepchild. Be patient. Give yourselves enough time to get to know each other and to get used to the new family structure.

Assume The Role of A Parent

It is quite scary for a toddler to learn his parent is remarrying. Naturally, the toddler will feel protective of his parent and will see you as the “enemy”. Do not assume the place of the other parent right away. Instead, be present in your stepchild’s life without breaking boundaries. Be his friend. Spend some alone time with the toddler so he can see you as an individual, rather than a substitute of the biological parent.

Allow The Child To Mistreat You

Resentment is a normal feeling for toddlers who are welcoming a step parent. But, it is incorrect to tolerate a disrespectful toddler in the hopes of getting the stepchild to like you. If the toddler says “You are doing it wrong. Mom does it like this.”, or if he shouts at you, shrug your shoulders, make eye contact and explain there are different ways to do things or say something like “I understand how you feel. But it is not right to yell at an adult.”.

Take Over Discipline

Let your spouse (the biological parent) deal with establishing limits, rules and consequences. Only butt in if the parent is busy or during dangerous situations. If you do discipline the toddler, resist the urge to point out his flaws. Make sure you commend and encourage the toddler as well.

Stop The Toddler From Bonding With The Biological Parents

Without a doubt, spending time with your spouse and the child is a great way for you to bond together. But, try not to be always present. Give them one-on-one time to encourage the toddler’s relationship with each birth parent so the toddler will not feel like he has to choose between mommy and daddy or divide his loyalty.

Successful step parenting is about starting off on the right foot and being patient. When the toddler sees your good intentions and realizes you want to be a part of his life,  everyone will have a smooth transition.

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April 2015
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