Sabtu, 16 September 2017

Step Parenting Advice For Those Who May Need It

Take this first bit of step parenting advice and appreciate the power of the birth family. Recognize that your spouse is probably always going to be closer to his children than yours. If you are constantly criticizing your spouse's children, you are creating the beginning of the end. Someday, you may up feeling as close to your step children as you do to your own. The process takes time and only occurs when a supportive, loving environment has been created.

The next important bit of step parenting advice is to respect your spouse's family dynamics. If you try to impose your rules on your step children, especially when they are rules they did not grow up with, they will rebel. Never underestimate the power of a child. Where possible, try to compromise and work together as a team to raise each other's children.

#1-The Best step Parenting Advice Ever is to Accept and love the kids as your own. When you think about them think of them as your children. When you talk to your partner about the kids, call them "our" kids.. When you live with or are married to someone with kids from a previous relationship, you need accept those kids as if they were your own.

#2 The best step parenting advice is to treat your step-children and biological children the is important for step-parents to treat all children in the family the same. Do not treat your biological children better than you treat your step-children. While all children have their own needs, you need to treat them equal.

#3 The best step parenting advice is to give your stepchildren the gift of limits. Children need limits.If they don't learn in the home that there are limits on their behavior; they'll have a harder time functioning in the outside world. If they resist limits it will be easier for you to deal with it if you remind yourself that children do the same thing with their biological parents.

The next piece of step parenting advice is expecting your step children to hate you. You must understand that children of divorce usually want nothing more than their birth parents to get back together. Regardless of how you met your spouse, on some level, your step children may hate you and blame you for her parents being apart.

Another bit of step parenting advice is that adults often struggle with is how to discipline their step children. Kids may reject your attempts to discipline them. This is because discipline is not about telling children what to do; it is about teaching them to make healthy choices on their own. If you understand this concept, you will not have problems with issues related to discipline.

Kamis, 31 Agustus 2017

Step Parenting: Driving a Wedge Between Your Family?

Since it is very common to see stories about wicked stepmothers, it is often assumed that all stepmothers are evil. In today's blended families, it is really a challenge to be a step parent, because you can easily be tagged as the scheming enemy, no matter how good your intentions are.

Once the new parent appears in the picture, the kids start to set out their territory. The step parent is considered as the enemy, and the battle begins. As the children fight back to overcome the new parent, their real parent is often torn emotionally between them and the new spouse.

Psychotherapists call this situation as "triangulation". In this kind of relationship, the triangle's three sides are you, your new spouse and your children. Children tend to come in between their parents. They have this instinct from their toddler years which is to divide and conquer. After the divorce and the new partner comes in, the game gets more extreme for the kids.

We all know that blood is thicker than water which gives children a stronger position when they are trying to claim their territory, and defeat the enemy (the step parent). When given a choice between the child and the new parent, a man or a woman would often give priority to the child, which may clearly lead to two conflicts - parental and spousal.

In traditional parenting and step parenting, the couples must agree on discipline issues and show the children that they are united in their decisions. Confrontations and arguments are part of every relationship, but children, especially, very young ones do not have to witness couples fighting, because this may make the children think that the relationship between their real parent and the new parent is too weak and they can easily put a wedge between the two.

The spouses should decide on who is going to discipline the children. There must be a basic rule that can be applied by the step parent or parent. Then the kids will know that there is no need to choose whom they will follow. This will also give the step parent an authority knowing that the real parent will back her/him up.

Step parents should welcome their role as a new parent to their step children. With no intention of filling in the shoes of the children's real mom or dad, a new parent can bring value to the relationship by looking themselves as participants in the child rearing process, as well. It is also necessary to nurture a bond with step children that will make them consider step parents as welcome additions to their family. This is the only way harmony can be achieved between step parents and step children, that will definitely enhance their lives together.

Rabu, 16 Agustus 2017

Step-Parenting: Some of the Challenges Faced As a Family

Step parents are faced with challenges of all sorts when they first decide to live together as a family. If however, they decide to take time to trace the cause of the problems, they would find that the odd clashes and misunderstanding can be managed effectively.

Here are some of the challenges:

    staying together as a family unit
    spending time together as a couple
    financial pressures
    discipline of the children

Staying together as a family unit

It is a known fact that it is impossible to have the two families live together all the time, as consideration has to be given to the ex- partner who also has access. It is equally frustrating to see that the minute the new step parent steps in, the children may decide to leave.

Some children leave to go and stay with the other parent who may not be in a relationship at the moment.

There have been instances where both parents have moved on with their lives and have gone on to re-marry. The children at the centre of both lives sometimes feel left out.

Solution: Hard as it sometimes may be - you may have to consistently reassure your children that you still want them in your life. Sometimes the children may have to be told many times and in different ways that they are still loved in spite of having someone new in the parent's life.

The reality of life is that sometimes the step children may never get on no matter how hard you as the step parent try.

It is your responsibility, however as a step parent to ensure that you try to get them involved in activities of interest and get to do it together.

You would also have to try to avoid any form of favouritism towards your own child or towards your step child to score brownie points.

Spending Time together as a couple

If the house is filled with children from either side, it will take a lot of effort on the part of the step parents to keep their relationship going.

This is because apart from being step parents, they may also be working. So they need to be parents to their children and also earn a living to survive and keep the family going.

Solution: In the midst of all the busyness going on in the house and at work, the couple need to find time for themselves. They could cultivate a time of the week or month where they do things together as a couple.

Financial issues

If the one or both step parents have financial problems, it could affect the relationship in one way or the other. The burden of sorting out the financial mess may not necessarily fall on the other partner, but they will certainly feel obliged to help in any way possible.

Solution: Table your finances out and be transparent about it to each other - if you need to seek professional help together then do it.

Discipline of the children

This subject is very common among step parents and is also a sensitive one. Sometimes, step parents might find that the children of either spouse needs to be disciplined and they might feel that it is not in their place to say anything or even if they do, the step child may not give them any regard.

Solution: The discipline of the children is important and the responsibility should be handled with care. What would be the most ideal thing to do is to allow the biological parent discipline their own child. If this responsibility is left to the step parent, then it could potentially cause a lot of misunderstanding in the family. The child may feel they are being punished unnecessarily and may never get to bond with the other parent.

Senin, 31 Juli 2017

Step Parenting Guidelines - How to Make Sure You Don't Cross a Line

When my husband and I initially introduced each other to our children and we all lived to tell, I thought to myself, "This is going to be a breeze". After all, the first meeting went wonderfully well. They smiled at me. I smiled at them. My husband smiled at my children. My children returned the favor. I wondered what people were talking about when they mentioned feeling like an "evil stepmother", or when they mentioned that the image of a blended family as portrayed by the Brady Bunch characters was not at all accurate. Now that my husband and I are rounding the final lap of our first year of marriage I have become more realistic regarding what to expect in the process of merging two lives.

In a blended family pain is often the common denominator. It is typically the case that each family has been through a major life-changing event by way of the breakup of their family. Even if the issues that caused the breakup seem to be resolved, or if the breakup itself is a major source of relief, there are still many adjustments that must be made by all parties involved. One of the greatest issues, it seems, is adjusting to new family members. This adjustment occurs for the adults as well as the children. While the children are adjusting to spending more time away from one of their parents, they must also begin the process of adjusting to the presence of a new parental figure within their lives. The adults, on the other hand, are learning how to parent with a new partner.

In many blended families it is typical that there are step parents and step siblings on both sides of the family. That dynamic most certainly adds another level to the adjustments that must occur. As a stepmother whose children also have a stepmother, I have learned many things about adult parental relationships. I have learned the importance of patience as all members adjust to the new living situations. I understand the importance of communicating with my present husband, while remaining in communication with my former husband. Most importantly, I have learned the importance of not crossing the invisible (and sometimes not so invisible) line with the children's biological parent(s). I share this knowledge with you so that you are hopefully less likely to find yourself wondering how you got on the wrong side of the line.

The primary element - Respect
I cannot overstate the importance of respect in a blended family, and nowhere is this more accurate than where the children are concerned. Remember, children will likely feel some degree of loyalty to both parents, and that is typically alright. What is absolutely devastating to children is when they feel they have to choose between one parent and another or one step parent and another. It is ultimately up to the parents to model respect for their former spouse, their current spouse, and their former spouse's current spouse if that is the case. This is not easy. In fact, it can seem downright impossible. As parents, though, we need to be ready to take on such difficult tasks. We need to put our own feelings aside (even though we feel totally justified in our feelings) and focus on our children. Imagine if you overheard someone saying very negative or depreciating things about your dearest friend. How would you feel? Our children are likely feeling the same way. There is a difference between loving someone, liking someone, and respecting someone. Thus, we can model respect for another even if we do not necessarily like them. Parents need to figure out a way to model respect for others even in the face of disagreement or stressful situations.

Space - Give the Children the Opportunity to Come to You
Next on my list of suggestions is the concept of space, which is a cousin to the concept of time. Parent-child relationships take time to develop. It seems we lose sight of that when we are introduced to our soon-to-be-stepchildren. We want to love them. We want them to love us. We want it right now. I can admit it is difficult and albeit awkward when your stepchildren are taking leave to return to their other parent's home and you are not sure if you should reach out and hug them or wait for them to reach out and hug you. I have been there. However, it seems as though I have had more positive results when I have stepped back, put my own needs aside, and allowed the kids to reach out to me in their own time. I must give them space. The same thing is true of my own children. They need space as well. Few things are more difficult to observe than an adult who is physically forcing themselves on a child. If an adult is forcing affection it is often their own needs and insecurities they are trying to soothe and not those of the child. Our stepchildren do not owe us a hug and it is crossing the line to insist that they give one. I have discovered that if I allow the children to take the lead, the affection I receive is completely genuine and heartfelt. That means a lot to this stepmother. There are ways to communicate warm feelings without forcing physical contact. Remember, the bond between a parent and child has developed over the course of the child's life. Don't expect blended family relationships to be instantaneously strong and positive. Time is the key factor.

Labels and Titles - Another Touchy Subject
We live in a society where titles seem to be of the utmost importance. Titles convey respect, accomplishment, status, and occupation among other things. We use titles in our families as well. Our children learn from a very young age that there are proper names for people, and that it is important we use such labels in our interactions with others. For example, I would not have dreamed of calling my mother by her first name, and I would have been truly sorry (in a lot of ways) if I had done so. The same was true of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, and others in positions of authority.

For the most part, labels and titles are good. As previously mentioned, they convey respect and depth of relationship. There are, however, times when titles can cause friction, confusion, or stress. This is often the case in the blended family. One of the first things typically established between children and their step parent is how the step parent will be addressed. Sometimes the children make that decision and simply assign their step parent a name. As long as this is alright with the adults involved there is little harm in letting the child decide how they would like to refer to their new parent, as long as the title is respectful. In my case, my son simply started calling my husband by his first name because that's what he heard everyone else doing. It would have been another story if I had insisted that he referred to my present husband as "Daddy". Not only would my son's biological father have felt completely disrespected, my son would have been a bit confused as well.

Young children can have a very difficult time sorting through the myriad of situations that make someone a daddy or a mommy. They often don't understand prefixes like "step", so we are actually doing them a favor if we keep it simple. I have heard of families where the parents sit down and discuss their feelings about titles and labels and develop them together. I have also heard of parents that help their children decide on a name for their new step parent that is neither their first name nor mommy or daddy. It would seem this could prove to be a very positive experience for all involved.

Sabtu, 15 Juli 2017

Are You a Step Parent or a Second Class Parent?

Step parents face challenges that many other parents do not face whatsoever. One of these problems is respect. What should a step parent do when they feel like they've lost that respect? Here are a few tips.

Blended families are pretty much the norm nowadays. From the Brady's to (dare I say it) the Kardashians, blended families are everywhere. But what can you do if you married someone who has a child or children from a previous relationship? Whether you are ready or not, in that situation you will be stepping into the shoes of a parent and if you do not already have children of your own, you will undoubtedly have an interesting road ahead of you.

It could be said that becoming a step parent to a baby or toddler is very different from becoming a step parent to a tween, teen or a child whose age in between four and 10 years old. As with any other parenting challenge, the key is to stay positive. Easier said than done in certain situations, I know.

One of the things that you must do is to keep the lines of communication open with your spouse especially when it comes to parenting. Find out their parenting style and creatively come up with ways to balance that style. Develop tough skin, because there may be times when you just might hear the words, "you're not my real mother/father!" Be prepared to respond to this sternly yet with compassion letting your stepson or stepdaughter that you are their real parent regardless of your last name or blood type, you are there in their lives because you care and love them.

Realize that there can be light at the end of the tunnel and consider taking multiple approaches to parenting. Remember that you are your child's (biological or step child) parent first, so avoid trying to overcompensate your role in their lives by being a friend.

Consider sitting down with your step child (or step children) and hear them out. Do they like you and this new situation? Are they playing the blame game and what are their expectations, if any? This is not to say that you are going to be a doormat to them, but it will help you understand where they are coming from. Additionally, hearing them out will give you an upper hand on how to perfect your parenting strategies. Remember that mutual respect is essential, so if you are not giving respect to your step children, you can't really expect to get it.

Parenting is a wonderful journey and each day you will learn something new. If you are a step parent, consider making friendships with other parents who have gone through what you are going through, and realize that you are not a second class parent - you are a parent who plays a crucial role in the lives of your children.

With a byline that has run nationwide, this former journalist turned author is a parenting expert and writes fictional works. Her work has been featured in several publications.

Jumat, 30 Juni 2017

Adoption Information For Step Parents

Step parents make up a large portion of adults who seek to adopt. Many children are left with a single parent because of a tragic accident, abandonment, or other conflict. Another adult may later step forward and help the biological parent raise the child, effectively acting as a parent. A step parent may provide equal support and care for the child, giving the step child a second parent that he or she would have otherwise been denied. In cases in which another adult becomes a joint caregiver, he or she may be able to legally adopt the step child and gain joint parental rights.

Steps in Step Adoption

When an adult decides to adopt a step child as his or her own, s/he takes on the responsibility and status of a legal parent with full parental rights under the law. The steps for adoption vary depending on the circumstances and on the state in which the prospective parent applies for adoption. Some steps involved in a typical step parent adoption include:

    Gaining consent from the custodial parent to adopt the child
    Gaining consent from the noncustodial parent to adopt the child, effectively relinquishing the noncustodial parent's parental rights
    Providing evidence of financial ability to jointly support the child

Gaining Consent from the Noncustodial Parent

Getting the noncustodial parent to approve the adoption is often the most difficult part of the process. When a step parent is approved for adoption, s/he takes over the parental rights and obligations that the noncustodial parent had. Therefore, law often requires that the noncustodial willingly relinquish his or her parental rights or the adoption cannot go through. In some cases, however, consent may not be necessary. The obvious exception is when the noncustodial spouse is deceased. If s/he is missing or abandoned the child, the court may rule to withdraw parental status from the noncustodial parent and grant it to the step parent instead.

Clearly step parent adoptions vary greatly from situation to situation. The adoption process can be fairly simple or very complex depending on the circumstances and the state in which the adoption application is initiated. If you are an adult considering adopting a step child, consider talking with an adoption lawyer about your situation. An adoption attorney can guide you through the application process and can help to clarify the adoption qualifications and procedure for your state.

Jumat, 16 Juni 2017

Step Parenting And The Problems Of Sharing Authority

Step parenting brings its own special problems as the new step parent is often caught in the middle between the biological parent and the children. Just how much of a problem you will encounter depends upon a whole variety of factors, not the least of which will be the degree of co-operation you receive from the biological parent and the ages of the children involved.

The secret to successful step parenting lies first in clearly establishing your role with the biological parent because you will certainly have an uphill struggle if the two of you are not fully in agreement from the outset. As with any changes in a relationship though you must also realize that adjustments will take time and you need to adopt a 'step by step' approach. Any attempt to rush things, or to force the situation, will undoubtedly lead to frustration, if not confrontation. The biological parent may well feel threatened, if only sub-consciously, by the need to share parenting and will need time to adjust and to develop confidence and trust in you as a parent to his or her children.

Next, you will clearly need to establish your role with the children who, unless they are very young, will often resent being guided by an 'outsider'. You will need to take things slowly and accept that the children will need time to adjust to the situation before they will accept you in the role of a parent. Once again, you will need the help of the biological parent in cementing your relationship with the children.

Any successful transition into step parenting must start with a clear and frank discussion with the biological parent, during which each party must communicated freely and honestly about how they see their role, and that of the other party, and you must both reach a clear agreement on just how you should share the responsibilities of parenting. This discussion should also set clear boundaries but should be flexible enough to allow for adjustment, especially in the critical first few weeks and months following the establishment of this new relationship.

This initial discussion will not of course be the end of the matter and several such discussions will need to take place before any truly meaningful and lasting shift in parenting responsibilities can take place.

Once you are in agreement the next step is to bring the children on board and this step must initially be led by the biological parent. At an appropriate time the family should all sit down together and the biological parent should lead off a discussion in which the plan which you have agreed can be revealed to the children and discussed with them.

At this point it is important to emphasize that this should be a genuine discussion and not simply a case of the parents 'laying down the law' to the children. It is vitally important that the children contribute to the discussion and that their thoughts and views on what you have agreed be heard. Children, just like adults, need to be given a sense of control over their own lives and need to feel comfortable with the situation in which they now find themselves. This is not to say that the children should be given control of the situation, which should remain firmly in the hands of the parents as the ultimate decision makers within the household, but every effort should be made to ensure that they understand the situation and are as happy with it as is possible.

The simple fact that the children can see that their parents have clearly considered the position carefully, and are in agreement about it, will go a long way to preventing the children from playing one parent off against the other and their inclusion in the process will also help considerably in bringing them on board.

Arriving on the scene as a new step parent can be difficult for not only the step parent but for the biological parent and the children and all parties will need to work together slowly and take their time to establish an environment in which everyone can live happily together.