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Married In: 3 Common Struggles For The New Step Parent

Becoming a stepparent is a bittersweet situation. On one hand, you’re with the person that you love, but the situation creates a new dynamic that takes some adjustment to get used to. Step-parenting has the potential to be very rewarding, but this is not an easy task. Take a look at three common struggles new step parents face and learn how others have handled them.

Work With The Ex

It’s essential to work with the child’s other parent on custody issues. In some situations, everyone can get along perfectly well and come to an agreement, but in others, there is still resentment and the other parent may not be willing to work things out. Let your spouse figure things out and stand back while they talk and go through the motions of working out custody, holidays, expenses and other shared responsibilities. While you may be able to offer some valuable insight, it might be better to look to professionals like those at The Law Offices of Lisa E. Frazer, LLC. Never, under any circumstances, talk poorly about the other parent in the presence of the children because it creates a conflicting environment that often puts them in the middle. You don’t want them to feel like they have to pick sides.

Keep Expectations Low

Don’t expect too much too quickly. It will take time for everyone to adjust to the new family dynamic. This is an even more pressing issue if you have your own children. What worked for you before probably isn’t going to apply to your new situation. Let things work themselves out and be flexible for a while until everyone begins to adjust and feel comfortable with the new living situation.

Bond with the Children

Don’t stop trying to form a connection with your stepchildren, even if they resist at first. Take your time to respect boundaries and allow them to warm up to you, but encourage spending time together through activities as a family. These can be as simple as a trip hiking through the woods, going for a bike ride or making dinner together. Once your step children acclimate to you in the family setting you’ll have more of a chance of forming a closer one-on-one bond with them.

Don’t be discouraged as a step parent if everything isn’t like you expected at first. Don’t take it too personally if the children shut you out at first. Eventually they’ll realize that you are not trying to replace their other parent, but instead are an addition to the family.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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