This is an issue that has become more common in today’s times than at any other time throughout history. It is very likely that whether you encounter older or younger couples you will find that within the household the total number of children present is not yoked with their biological mothers or fathers. This type of situation along with others such as finances and infidelity is one of the leading causes of divorces and breakups. The annoyed parent breaks the union or agreement with the other solely because he or she wants to rid themselves of the aggravation of having to be responsible for their significant other’s child or children.
This is something that couples should consider very seriously before getting the children involved. To introduce the children to your prospective mate and his/her kids is like walking a tightrope and it may be a gamble you might not want to make with your children. Also, you take the risk of exposing them to foreign problems and issues they may not be ready for and consequently forcing them to face the reality of breaking up yet another time with a different family. This can cause psychological problems in their near future if consistently repeated.
If you choose to not involve your children altogether depending on their ages this may prove to be exhaustive, expensive and may very well be impossible considering the timeframe of the love affair.
So what do you do as a parent who may be deciding or already have taken that risk?
Let’s focus on three things to ensure a happy, healthy relationship for you, your spouse and all the kids.
Do not show favoritism.
Unfair treatment has been known to cause major wars, for those who know their history, you know what I am referring to. When a child feels he has been or is being treated unfair, for whatever reason he or she will revolt and become defensive and although justified it can look as if the child is the problem. If the seed of the problem is not given the proper attention and proper methods applied to fix it, then this will result in a dangerous environment for the other siblings as well as the parents.
So treat every child equal and make sure they know and understand this.
Use patience along with communication.
Both parents must realize that before any other type of therapy can be given to their relationship they must divert their full attention to making sure the children have the feeling of oneness with all involved. Each parent should develop a certain friendship with each child; individually. Create memories that are pleasant that would make a child want to work hard at keeping not only a step parent but a friend that they can trust. In order to do this, you must be patient and communicate regularly with each child. This will create an unrestricted setting for communication and participation.
Maintain respect by judging respectfully.
You will encounter problems that will place you in a predicament such as who’s right, who’s wrong, and who should I defend. Make sure you always hear all sides out respectfully. Make sure no matter who is right or wrong, you pass judgment to discipline the guilty party. Very often some parents will not hold their own child responsible for his/her actions in order to show the child they are defending them. This causes a negative effect on the child who thinks she/he has escaped judgment also the spouse and or other children involved. If you judge respectfully at the end of the day everyone will have maintained respect for you. If everyone utilized this fair judgment concept everyone will be happier as a new family.
This is just the tip of the iceberg as to all that can be done to ensure a happy, healthy merging family. Make sure you start and don’t stop these few helpful thoughts. Once you have executed these correctly just think, you still have a relationship to work on.