Becoming a stepparent is a big responsibility and for many a huge source of anxiety. For many entering into the role of stepparent they feel as though they will need to be the authority figure, but at the same time they would like to be the cool adult that the children will like. After all you are not their biological parent, but you will be part of a team that will have to make decisions on how to discipline and have fun. It is for this reason that many psychologists and child behavior specialist have studied what needs to happen for both stepparent and children to get along well in the new family structure.
Give it Time
The first tip to becoming a stepparent is to have patience. Many stepparents have a grand dream that they will marry the love of their life and the children will simply love and respect them. Although this is a great dream it is not the reality for most people and blended families. All children will react differently to a new parent in their lives. Many feel loyal to their biological parent, which makes them feel guilty if they begin to have fun with you. Others might feel defiant because you are not their biological parent and you will never fill the void of their missing parent. Others might even feel like you are the reason their family will not be together again. Remember that the child has anxiety too and it will take time to feel like a family unit.
Know When to Seek Help
Another helpful tip to becoming a stepparent is to know when to seek help. If you have patience many blended families will start to feel comfortable around one another after some time. You, the stepparent, will begin to feel more comfortable being their authority figure and knowing your role as a stepparent. The children will also become more attached to your presence in the house and they too will become more responsive and comfortable with you being part of the decision making. However, if the children or even just a child does not respond to you or warm up to you after a long period of time it might be helpful to seek professional help. There are many great family therapists that could help you and your stepchildren get over their issues and anxiety.
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