Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Parenting Step Children Just Got A Bit Easier

Parenting step-children is a whole different deal from actually raising your step-children on a full-time basis. Typically, when you are parenting step-children, there is a shared custody agreement so that they are not actually at your home full time. There is usually an agreed upon schedule for both sides. The best way to step-parent is to allow the natural parents to do there job and to become an assistant to them. After all, they are their children, not yours. You need to respect their position and try your best to follow their lead while parenting.

You should not become the child’s friend because you are still a parent, just not a natural one. They will need to respect you and to listen to you for their own safety. Do not play games between the children and the other parent. Don’t get involved in their small arguments and try not to take sides. A good position to attempt is that of the peacemaker. That you just want everyone to get along. Do not go against the other parents rules and allow the children to do things that they have told them they are not allowed to do. You should attempt to keep the same kind of rules at your house as the other home involved. It’s not always 100% possible, but you can at least attempt it.

It’s a good idea to find out what the children like and don’t like and what a typical day at their other home is really like. This way you will know what the children are accustomed to at the other parents home. A really nice touch is to make sure they have their own drawers, space and/or bedroom at your house. So that they know they are welcome and not just some guest that dropped by. You can also find out their favorite foods, type of DVDs, and even buy shampoos and soaps that they use regularly. Taking a few minutes to learn what their favorite treats and items that make them feel at home will go a long way in showing them how much you care about them and their needs.

Do not hesitate to call their other parent should you need advice or a situation comes up that you are having difficulty in making the decision about. Allow them to actually make the decision in this case and then you are totally in the clear. Plus you look much better in their eyes because you have shown them that you are putting the children’s needs first just by calling them about it. Always consult with your spouse prior to any serious conversations you may need to have with your step-children as you do not want to overstep any boundaries ever. This could save you from several arguments between yourself and your spouse in the near future. It can also show your step children that you do not wish to cause any issues, but to instead help create a healthy environment for the whole family to reside in.

1 comment:

  1. I am not a step parent, but I can imagine it would be very difficult indeed. It is not for the faint of heart it seems.