Becoming a Step Parent: What’s Crucial to Making this Transition Smooth by Jesica Cockerham Salyer
A lot can change in a very short period of time when you enter a relationship with someone who has a child, or children.
There are dynamics within the parenting scenario that are already established, will change with you in the picture, and that you can work to change. Most would imagine that this predicament comes with emotion-triggering situations; and it truly does. Some of these are exciting and joyous, whereas others are unexpected and challenging.
There are a few things that are crucial in creating and maintaining a healthy relationship with everyone involved as you become a stepparent:
1. Always make the child your focus.
-It’s easy to get distracted by petty differences or scenarios where you feel you’ve been short changed. Realize that those things are not important. The child deserves a functional dynamic of parents that are helping raise them.
2. Pick your battles.
-There will likely be several things that you feel the need to take issue with. Decide which ones are ultimately worth the time and tension.
3. Remember that your child picks up on things.
-If you create an environment where there is a lot of arguing, a lot of animosity and a lot of heated moments, your child sees that. We, perhaps, don’t give children enough credit for what they’re able to catch on to. This goes hand in hand with picking your battles, in that if you let the petty things slide and don’t sweat the small stuff, then the tension and hurt feelings are minimalized.
4. Be the person that you would love your stepchild to grow up to be.
-Ultimately, children take after, copy habits, talk like and act like those that they look up to. So, if you aren’t living in a way that you would defend, then adjusting it will positively impact the child and the person they are growing up to be. You have a massive impact on them and never letting yourself forget that is pertinent.
5. Be nice to the other biological parent.
-This might be a real challenge to do, as frustration and angst gets the best of us at times. However, being nice and taking the high road will help you to maintain your own sanity and peace of mind knowing you don’t add fuel to the fire.
Implementing these ideals is helpful to more than just new step parents, as these things will help any individual become the best version of themselves. All of us could use a reminder to not sweat the small stuff, be aware of our actions and don’t neglect the idea of simply being nice.