Previously, marriages had a longer duration, however, over the years things have changed a little. At present, families with stepfather and stepmother have been increasing, which has caused the family dynamics and its composition to have changed remarkably.
Despite these changes, it is important to be clear that a biological father or mother cannot be replaced. Children, even when they are young, must be aware of the entire process of separation or divorce and that the new partner is not their real mother or father. In the event the infant is a baby, who has not known his or her biological father or mother, this information will be provided by the parents when they deem it appropriate.
It is crucial that when meeting the couple’s children, the stepfather and stepmother do not introduce themselves as their new father or mother, as this can lead to the children rejecting the new partner. In the same way, children should be allowed to start calling the couple as mom or dad when they decide and feel it, this should not be imposed at any time. It is normal for children to address their stepmother or stepfather by their first name, and this should be respected.
The fundamental role of the stepfather and stepmother with the children should be to support and create circumstances to foster trust and respect among all. At first, it can be difficult to stop intervening in decisions about the discipline of children, however, this job falls to the biological parents. The stepfather and stepmother must at all times follow the rules of the biological father or mother in raising their children.
Barriers in Relationships Being a Stepfather and Stepmother
In a reconstituted family, conflicts, family differences and difficulties can be duplicated, the presence of children from previous unions and problems related to separation tend to increase these situations.
There are different sources of conflicts or barriers, the most important ones are presented below:
- The reorganization of roles in which stepfathers or stepmothers intervene.
- Their relationship with their stepchildren.
- Assigning and regulating responsibilities within the family circle.
- The education, discipline and upbringing of stepchildren.
- The relationship of the family members with the ex-spouses.
Sometimes there is the idea that when the role of stepmother or stepfather is assumed, the functions and responsibilities with the children are the same as those of a biological father or mother, however, these roles will depend on each specific case and the dynamics relatives, whether the couple is widowed or divorced, the functions that will be assumed must be in accordance with each situation.
Developing an Emotional Attachment with Children
One of the things to consider is the relationship between the father and his child, or the mother and her child. Including the new spouse in a peaceful and gradual manner serves to avoid the concern and threat that children may feel.
The new partner must first gain the trust and respect of the child so that he gradually admits the authority of the stepfather or stepmother, this will not be achieved overnight, however, a recommendation that can help is spending time alone quality with each stepchild to develop an emotional bond and show them that they are important to the stepfather and stepmother.
Another aspect is to remain attentive to the needs of children without falling into pressure or harassment, it is essential not to interfere at the beginning of the relationship with the previous family dynamics.
Expressing support for the couple in terms of parenting and discipline decisions will help maintain harmony in the new family.
Create a Space for Stepfather and Stepmother
The fact that dad or mom have a new partner, be it a stepfather or a stepmother, does not imply that they are going to replace their biological parents, nor should it mean giving up their previous family. Finding points of affinity between family members to unite them can help, but it takes some time to achieve.
It is important to promote family unity through recreational activities or those that the children choose, where all members participate and cooperate to begin to strengthen the bonds and spaces to share with the stepfather or stepmother.
Maintaining respect, empathy, sincere communication and a lot of love will allow children to assimilate and accept the new situation they are going through.
After a Period of Adaptation, Better Results will Be Achieved
Forming a family with stepfather and stepmother is not easy at all, in fact, the stability and cohesion of the new family nucleus depends on a long adaptation process and on many factors that vary depending on each case.
But calm down, if the relationship between the stepfather and the stepmother are worked on in a constant and appropriate way, it is very likely that the children will adapt better to their new life, in this way everyone can live together peacefully without so many conflicts.