6 Things Every Step Parent Should Know

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Category | BABY

Image by theintentionallife.com

These days it is very common to find families who have parted ways and since blended themselves with another family or special person – now introducing the world renowned evil stepmother!  We all know that is not the case, right? That many women AND men have been unfairly labelled as the evil stepmother or stepfather. We know plenty of blended families and that statement couldn’t be further from the truth. The real truth is that every family has it’s own challenges and every family has it’s own way of showing love and inclusion of others who step into the sacred family circle. Let’s explore some things that every step-parent should know.

You Do Not Replace a Child’s Parent

Unless you are stepping into a child’s life at a VERY young age and the other parent has literally fallen off the face of the earth – you are not there to replacea mother or father in the family unit. This can be a difficult boundary to set especially if you’re unclear on parenting rules with your partner but by no means should you ever consider yourself the child’s NEW mother or father – even if they adore you and tell you so. This can cause many problems between the ex’s as well as between the child and their other parent. You should maintain integrity at all times and always speak highly or respectfully of their mother or father. Even if you do not feel that you should. This is their parent and they love them unconditionally, so respect that relationship at all costs.

Blending Can Be Difficult

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This is truly unique for every family but many children resist the step parent because they may feel threatened or feel that you are ruining their family in some way. Children do not understand what we adults can so they are easily upset by major family changes. Just be calm and cool headed throughout this process as over time (which may be YEARS) the children will eventually accept you – hopefully. Remember people are people and kids are kids. Sometimes we just don’t like each other and that’s okay, but always maintain a mutual respect for one another if possible.

You Don’t Have to Love Their Kids

Some parent somewhere may not like to hear this but it is not a pre-requisite to love another’s children. If you and their father or mother are in love than focus on that relationship and understand that it’s okay not to necessarily love their kids. It would be nice but not always possible. Blending families can be extremely trying and difficult but over time a new family function will be set and hopefully some doors will open for you into the inner family circle.

Don’t Push Relationships

If you are struggling with a particular child or children do not push the relationship. Let the child approach you and try to keep yourself open to their unique ways of appreciating, asking, loving, or exploring you more closely. Everyone is different and cannot always express love in the ways that you expect them to so be patient and accepting of the children until the situation becomes more clear for you both.

Have CLEAR Family Expectations

Be sure to get on the same side as your partner for some important family iscussions:

  • Do you discipline?
  • What is your new role in the family?
  • Are you here to stay?
  • What are your boundaries with the family (because you will need space too)?
  •  Can they accept some new rules you bring to the table?
  • Are you and your partner bullet proof on major parenting topics like discipline, manners, respect, bed time/ curfew, diet and family habits, finances, privacy, electronics usage, etc. etc. etc.

Have Stress Relieving Outlets

You are not a bad person if you need a break from it all. Taking time for the individual is actually quite healthy for the whole family. If you are finding it very hard to integrate or bond with the other members just create a sanctuary for yourself where you can go to for privacy and relaxation time. Try not to always retreat here in difficult times as it is necessary to be present with the family in order to work out some issues or bond more closely with family members. Try taking a walk or a nice hot bath to soothe away stress and let it all go.

Some suggestions would be after your bath, dry off and roll out your skin care routine. Start by removing all your makeup. Cleanse your skin with something like Beauty 360 Illuminating Facial Cleanser available on CVS.com for $5.24 – gentle on skin while maximizing hydration deep into the layers. This product is great for daily use and one of our favorites!

A great toner is Equate Beauty Clarifying Toner (on Walmart.com) which will clear out all the dirt, oil and makeup from deep in your pores leaving skin squeaky clean. Complete your skin care routine and be sure to give your body a good dry-brushing followed by a nice moisturizing lotion. Beauty 360 Daily Moisturizing Lotion with Natural Colloidal Oatmeal is on cvs.com for $5.69 and is a fantastic skin protectant and can relieve dry skin for up to 24 hours!

In closing, before taking the plunge with someone you love deeply, remember that everyone comes with baggage and blending families can be very difficult. Consider a few important questions like do your children get along? Do you enjoy the company of their kids? Do you agree on parenting styles and techniques? Can you do this until the children grow-up and move out? These are all very important things to consider as family issues can cause major rifts between parents and partners. Always be clear, concise, and respectful with each other and take time to explore the family unit closely before making any major decisions.

For more beauty tips & tricks visit The Savvy Beauty.