First Time Step-Parent?

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As a first time step-parent you should be open-minded about parenting duties. Your spouse obviously has more experience than you, and there may be particular things they anticipate that you’re uncomfortable with. You should know ahead where the lines are for you and for your spouse. Sit down with him or her to discuss what’s expected from you and from the child whose life you’ve entered. Depending on the age of your new step-child you may have more hands on civic responsibilities or you could function more as a friend and mentor. This expectation is dependent upon both the parent and the child’s needs.

Secondly you need to be prepared to deal with the other birth parent. If the birth mother or father is in the picture then they might also have expectations of what are and aren’t your responsibilities. If you are parenting a toddler then they might be uncomfortable with you being too hands on with certain activities or they may expect that you behave in a similar care capacity as a daytime caregiver would. Additionally, if you are parenting an adolescent or teen there are lots of subjects like sexuality, religion, or culture that the other parent may feel aren’t your place to discuss. Both you and your spouse should have these discussions with the other birth parent if possible to avoid friction.

Moreover you should be aware that in the first couple of months of your position as a step parent you may face rebellion, confusion, and anger from your new step-child. Try not to take their activities to heart as they are probably feeling displaced. As a step-child they’re confronted with betraying the other parent if they like you or angering your spouse if they don’t. This is a confusing time and the perfect way to strengthen your connection is to be understanding. Find ways to connect with them by showing interest in their life.

Finally, be aware that your position is evolving and changing constantly. The same as a child’s birth parent your relationship may change almost daily. Attempting to bond may put strain on your relationship, but a growing bond with your step-child is only going to grow your spouse’s feelings. If you run into long-term or serious issues you may seek family counseling services to help assist expansion. Melbourne Animal Removal knows all about this.

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