In blended families, first and foremost, new stepparents need to agree in advance about discipline.
So cometh the soon-to-be new stepparent!
It’s true. You’re soon becoming a step-parent!
A somewhat frightening endeavor, especially if you’re adding a child or two yourself, thus making a his-and-hers blended family. The most important part of becoming a stepparent is the prior planning you and the biological parent do before the wedding.
First and foremost, the adults need to agree in advance about discipline. Who, what, when, where, and how is a good place to start with your discipline plan.
After you have agreed upon discipline, agree on rules for your home. In fact, agree on all acceptable behavior and the consequences of behavior that is not acceptable.
After the adults have agreed, it is time for the children to have the new regime and the new rules explained to them.
The second most important aspect of a blended family is that each adult support the other. No giving in or allowing children to manipulate the rules. Manipulation and inconsistency guarantee that you will have a "blender" family instead of a "blended" family.
Parents should discuss upcoming changes with their children in detail appropriate to their age. But it should be clear from the beginning that the adults are deciding which changes will be made.
The best stepparent in the world is probably not going to saunter into an immediate loving and grateful situation. However, the biological parent should explain to the children, that although love is not necessary for the stepparent, respect and cooperation are mandatory. Make it clear to your children that you expect your new spouse to be treated in a civil manner.
If you are the biological parent, explain that this is your new husband or wife, not a potential father or mother. Tell them also that if love happens, that will be wonderful and make you and your new husband/wife very happy. But in the meantime, respect is the order of the day.
CyberParent Recommended books for Blended Families:
Every blended family has its ups and downs. From sullen teen-agers to former spouses who would never dream of cooperating with anyone, you’ll find life in a blended family is challenging.
Go slow. You will not be a family in one day or possibly even in one year. Many experts say it can take three years or longer!
Persistence is the key. Stepfamilies are a long-term commitment.
If you cultivate patience, concentrate on the positive, and keep your sense of humor, you, too, can become an effective and loving stepmom or stepdad. But setting the ground rules first will go a long way to making your new family successful.
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