Step Parenting: The complications of Remarriage
Step Parenting: The Complications of Remarriage
In this day and age many children live in families with parents that have gone through divorces and remarriages. It is common place when in the past it would have not been thought of or at least not discussed. Step parents are given a bad reputation from movies and television shows, but this is not always the case. Sometimes it is harder to come in as a step parent because a child feels threatened by a new family member. There are other reasons for why a child may not be accepting of a step parent. Also there are many times when a step parent becomes a member of a family without any problems from the children.
Sometimes children are unwilling to accept a new parent because they are not quite over the divorce of their parents or in some cases the death of a parent. This child may need some time to deal with their problems before they can accept the new parent. It is important when a remarriage occurs to take the time to understand how the children feel about the situation and what will make them comfortable with such a situation. If a child seems unwilling to discuss or deal with their issues in regard to a step parent, it might be time to consider family therapy to help the family and the child progress toward acceptance. Individual counseling can be beneficial for the child that does not understand why one parent is not returning and why they have to accept a new parent figure.
Step parents have to work toward being accepted in the family. Children may take time to warm up to a new parent and this also needs to be understood. It is important for a step parent to understand that being good at step parenting takes quite a bit of hard work and perseverance. A step parent should spend time with the children individually and as a group so that they can familiarize themselves with what the child likes and does not like to do. Often times when a child is doing an activity they enjoy they may open up to the adult and allow for a stronger bond between the step parent and the child. A step parent should never try to replace a child’s biological parents. They should take time to understand the child and their feelings toward them and look at ways to help the child accept them as a step parent. Step parents have to earn respect in order to be able to punish a child that is misbehaving. A step parent cannot just walk into a house and feel that their word will go. Everything in regards to step parenting will take time and lots of patience.
Sometimes a step parent may not have to work hard at all in gaining a child’s trust, respect, and adoration. Some children have an easier time getting along with adults and are able to accept a new parent.