Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Starting a New Family? Here’s How to Help Your Step-kids Adjust

Blending families have become commonplace. Being a stepmom or dad can be very rewarding as you have another person to build a relationship with and love. Most blended families get along great, but there can be bumps in the road. It’s hard to distinguish your role as a stepparent. It can cause conflicts, and you don’t want to overstep your limits. There’s no easy way to do it, but here are some tips that can help two families become one.

Start Off Slow

It’s not uncommon for children to want their parents to get back together, especially if a divorce was not long ago. They need space and time to build trust. Most children are not going to immediately be ready for mom or dad to jump right into another relationship. Respect their limits and work within those confines. In the meantime, consider stepdad quotes or advice from stepmoms or whatever helps you understand how to love your stepchildren. The worst thing you can do is push your way into a place where you are not wanted. Let them come to you.

Keep House Rules Consistent

Blended families often have kids from different marriages coming together. It’s best to create a set of house rules and stick to these guidelines. While it’s normal for teenagers to have a bit of leniency, there shouldn’t be different rules for each kid. Boundaries are great for children, especially when they are adapting to a new situation.

Respect the Other Parents

Never bad-mouth an ex or deceased parent in front of the children. It will always come back to bite you. You cannot build a relationship with a child by putting down a parent they love. Be positive, regardless of what the child has been through with the other parent. They will thank you one day for never talking down about their mom or dad.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

There must be open lines of communication between you, your partner, any other parents involved, and the children. Many adults can co-parent with ease. You must stand up and be the bigger person and be willing to work as a team. Stay on the same page with discipline and rules. You don’t want any conflict between the parties as it will allow the children to use it to their advantage. A united front always works best.

There are always challenges when you bring two families together. Even if things start out rocky, they will improve over time. As your new family gets to know one another better, they will learn the flow in the new home, and loving each other will come naturally.

Tim Esterdahl

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