Step parenting is probably one of the more difficult roles to have when families blend together. You want it to work out smoothly, you want to avoid step parenting mistakes and you want everything to flow perfectly. But you have no control over any of it. This may happen for some lucky families, but many kids that come from divorce are wary about this “new” person in their lives.
The most important thing is to take things slow and “step” back when needed so their biological parent can help them get used to this new family unit with ease. Here are some common step parenting mistakes to avoid while you are all getting used to the new situation.
Spoiling Kids with Money or Gifts
I can admit that I was a bit of a spoiler when I first got to know my step kids. It is only because it was all I knew, coming from a divorced family as well and having an amazing step mother who spoiled me with cute little gifts, treats and so forth. This isn’t a mistake if it’s once in a while, but if you are constantly handing out money, giving them gifts and candies, they won’t get to know you and appreciate you for “you.”
Not Giving Them Enough Alone Time with Your Spouse
It is so important for kids to spend alone time with their biological parent. As much as you want your ‘immediate family’, it’s a smart idea to give them space and to enjoy time with their parent. The kids will respect you for it as they grow older too.
Many step parents go into the new blended family situation by expecting to be an “instantly-happy-Brady-Bunch-type-of-family” overnight. It simply does not work that way. Give it time. Let your step kids have space and get to know you over time. They will come to you when they are ready.
Letting Step Kids Be Rude to You
This is definitely something that has to be nipped in the bud from the get go. If the step kids are directly rude to you, it should be known that this behavior is not acceptable and especially not in your own home. Their biological parent should make this clear from the beginning.
Badmouthing their Mom or Dad
Never say bad things about your step kids’ Mother or Father. Never discuss adult matters with your step kids. Kids should never have to hear someone putting down their parents regardless of what type of parent they are. If they are mad with one of their parents, do not join in and add your two cents.
Being a step parent can be a fantastic experience once any blips and bumps are overcome. Time is the most important factor and if you’re a good hearted person and responsible individual, they will warm up to you soon enough.