Blended-Families and Step Parenting: Tips on making it Work
Over the past couple of decades, blended families are quickly becoming a norm in our society. Developing happy and cohesive family relationships can turn out to be quite a challenging and somewhat daunting experience.
How Family Counselling Helps in Step Parenting?
Research has shown that it might take years before the stepfamilies can become comfortable with each other. The first few years can be particularly testing.
It might be quite hard as it does take time for the new couple to get to know each other in addition to nurturing and developing relationships with their own biological as well as stepchildren.
Often the stress of step parenting can be difficult for both the parent and the step child. Are you anxious about how your children are going to react to the partner you have chosen? Or worried about how to raise a healthy, and positive blended family?
Or maybe you are concerned that your step children might not be as welcoming as you expect them to be?
We have compiled a list of tips that might help make your transition towards a blended-family life a bit easier
Try focusing on individual relationships
Even though you’d be very eager to start off as a “one big happy family” but you will be surprised to know that starting off slow and taking each relationship at a one-to-one basis is probably going to help you more and ensure a more stronger family bonding.
Ideally you should start by setting some time aside for spending quality time with your step child. Both of you might be hesitant at first, and that is totally fine. It’s a new step and it will take some time getting used to.
Try to avoid instructing, coaching or critiquing your stepchild. Instead allow them to show you what they like, or take an interest in their hobbies.
This can be the perfect opportunity for you two to find common interests, try to create a space for your partner’s child that you two are comfortable in; this will help develop friendship and trust as well. Follow their lead and appreciate them every step of the way.
Allow your children time to overcome the transition
As difficult as step parenting might be for you, it’s harder on the children so take a step back, swallow your insecurities and take a deep breath and allow the children plenty of time to get accustomed to the new family setting.
Most children tend to cry or throw tantrums when they are feeling upset and it is okay to allow that. Don’t make the child bottle up their feelings. Instead listen to them, try to empathize with them and understand what they are going through
Find someone to support you outside the family
If this is your first time step parenting then you might be under stress as well and the stress is bound to affect your relationship and family well being at some point so it’s better that you find someone outside the family who can lend a listening ear and hear you out.
Support is important and you are going to need it! It can be a friend, a neighbor or even your own parents.
At times it might even be preferable to consult a counselor to help you through the transition and for particularly difficult and troubled families; family counseling is advisable as well
Find activities for the whole family
When arranging activities for the entire family to do together, make sure you choose something that will not alienate any member of the family find ways to bridge the gap amongst family individuals and bring the family together.
Respect is key
Finally the most important thing in any relationship is respect. Respect your partner, respect your step children as well as maintain and respect traditions from their original families.
Even though it might be difficult at first but if you are consistent and are true to yourself as well as your family you will eventually make it work and the pieces will soon fall into place, you just have to patient, hold strong and a little love always goes a long way.