In step parenting classes they teach that it is very critical to understand the importance of differences between first families and stepfamilies. Stepfamilies come from a loss of a loved one or a divorce. Either way, children of any age, going through either of these scenarios, will look to the stepparent with impossible expectations or they will resent that person. Parenting stepchildren can be difficult in the beginning but building a solid foundation will help the family flourish. Make different group activities a regular thing for the family, such as family Sundays or family outings to different places. This will enable all of you to grow a special bond that is associated with the stepparent and the stepchildren.
Perhaps one of the key steps in the Step parenting class is to set aside some special time with each child to enable one on one bonding but do not expect an instant relationship to blossom. The relationship will take time and patience but will be very rewarding in the long run. You will also want to keep special time set aside for you and your biological children so they do not feel left out, try to do this on the low-key side so you do not create tension between the stepchildren and your biological children. Make sure you have time with your spouse to keep things on the home front happy and in harmony. If there is tension between the two of you, your stepchildren can see this as a way to work on separating the two of you. One of the number one causes of divorce among stepfamilies is the stress that comes with step parenting.
When it comes to disciplinary actions, the step parenting classes advis that it is best to leave this to the biological parent. Discuss what the rules are with your spouse and then discuss as a family what the expectations are of everyone in the household. Let you spouse be the one to do the disciplining. In the event that your spouse is not available to enforce the rules when someone breaks them, you will want to take the roll of the adult in charge rather than the parent. This will help you avoid the “You’re not my parent” syndrome. In the event that you get into this type of confrontation with your step children, remind them who you are and let them know that you are not trying to replace their parent but that there are rules that were set in place and you are merely trying to protect them and their best interests.
Step parenting is definitely not an easy road to travel but with careful guidance with the step parenting classes, the road will be less bumpy. The main key is to keep an open mind and keep your marriage strong. Keep the lines of communication open with all family members and be consistent in how you choose to handle situations when dealing with your stepchildren and your own children. Remember that with love and patience, you can grow a good bond wand be close with your stepchildren.