children were a large part of the relationship from the beginning, you may have
to start the cycle over again after getting remarried. Children need time to
develop lasting relationships. So, itís important not to rush them in the
process. Most children will develop feelings of love and attachment to their
step-parent, over time, if the parent is patient and loving to them.
Dealing with new authority: Sometimes a new
blended family brings on resentment from children when they realize they must
answer to another adult. Many children will state, ďYouíre not my father so you
canít tell me what to do!Ē It is very difficult to treat someone elseís child
with the same understanding youíd show your own. So, there may be some truth in
the matter a child feels theyíre being treated unfairly by a step-parent. In
fact, sometimes a step-parent is less objective of their own children. They may
be more critical of step-children. Most step-parents are only trying to be good
parents; however step-children can become defensive if they feel judged.
Learning to deal with this struggle is vital and requires patience on the part
of all people involved.
Trust is important in step-parenting: To function
properly, all families must recognize the importance of trust. This is
especially true in a blended family. To begin with, both parents must be able to
fully trust one another. Even if the blended family had created the family
through childbirth, instead of remarriage, they would likely have two different
parenting styles. Itís important to use communication and understanding, to
develop trust for individual parenting styles.
While adjusting to something different can be scary, itís not
always bad! Itís important to talk with each other about values or rules that
are important to each of you. In addition, you should also talk about feelings
and how your family is changing. Itís very important for your children to
witness your modeling of communication and acceptance. Find a way to talk about
any difference, make compromises and present a united front. This will allow the
children to feel secure and adjust more quickly.
Blending families can be a real challenge within a marriage. If
you find it too difficult to tackle, donít give up! Instead, seek help from a
family therapist who is experienced in blended families.