Thursday, February 27, 2014

Step Parenting

Do men and women grasp the responsibility they are taking on when they unite with someone who already has children?

Do they truly understand its seriousness and all it entails?
Are they so caught up in the courtship that they neglect to think long term?

Do we understand the concept of "a package deal"?

For most people over the age of thirty-five (35) this will be something they will encounter at some point in time if they are not already in some type of committed relationship.
Perhaps even earlier depending on individual's life experience.

The issues are a plenty and vary in both the male and female role. So, is this something for everyone or do you already know that this is a deal breaker for you?

Coming from a home with a step father I will say that if you choose to unite with someone who already has children you need to have an open loving heart. One that will love and show love to this child and one that will treat this child as they would their own.

We hear stories about blended families all the time and some can be pretty horrible. Something that can be avoided and perhaps controlled if we just had the right tools and attitude.

What are the right tools and attitude?
-respect
-communication
-understanding
-setting boundaries
-setting goals
-ample time invested in getting to know the children first
-establishing your own relationship with the child/children
-connecting with someone who already has a great relationship and bond with their children
-connecting with someone that despite of what took place in prior relation, they can still show respect to other parent as that...the other parent

The wrong tools and attitude would be of course the opposite of the above.

Not showing respect or name calling the ex will not help in building a closer union with you, your partner or the children.
Not really knowing the children or even caring to...will not help in building your union.
Not treating the children as you would treat your own...will not help in building your union.
You knew they existed as you began to build so don't expect them to disappear once you join together. And if you unite with someone who clearly disregards their children just because...is that really someone you want in your life?

Children never ask to be born, we make that choice for them. Once they are here they are another human being to be loved and respected. There is no greater way to show your love for your partner than to show and give love to their child.

I am a woman first, a mother second but who ever comes into my life must accept my daughter and love her first and build with her just as strongly as he would with me. Yes she is older now but we will always be to some degree "a package deal"

What do you say? Do you believe some people take step parenting to lightly? Do you think its something not to be concerned about or something to weigh heavily on?


8 comments:

  1. I think that is good advice. Very good.

    I am a divorced dad with two (basically grown) children.

    I would add (since I dated someone who pulled this): Don't get deeply involved with the ex issues concerning the children-let the two parties (the birth parents) deal with things. I know that you want to help, but you are actually just making the ex feel like he/she is being tag teamed.

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    1. Hey Patrick, nice to see you here again. Great point!!! One to keep in mind as well for sure :)

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    1. Marie, thank you for visit and comment. It is a slippery slope so the more information we have the better :) Hope you come visit again :)

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  3. Another great post! I too am a step parent, officially became one at the age of 26... began establishing a relationship with my step son at the tender age of 22. I admit it was difficult at first, it can be difficult to figure out the best way to establish a relationship while maintaining necessary boundaries, breaking down barriers, taking into consideration your relationship with both biological parents and taking into consideration the complicated feelings of the child. I'm blessed and fortunate to be able to say that my step son and I now have a wonderful relationship... No more awkwardness (we never had a bad relationship)... and things are ever evolving. It's a blessing and he's a great kid!

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    1. Thanks PC&S! Love the share, so happy to hear how things have evolved. Challenges are not always fun but with commitment and love we can find happy ground :) thanks for support see you here again soon I hope :)

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  4. As a step parent of 2, letting go was 1 of the biggest and hardest things I had to learn. That and the fact that it is the divorced parent's responsibility to foster respect and understanding among everyone. That is the only person that all parties share in common so s/he has to be the glue... problem is they don't always know that or agree with it.

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    1. Nikki! Hey, thanks for stopping by. As a step child myself I experienced how hard it is to find the balance. As an adult now I realize the work it requires to keep a level head through emotions and do what is best for our children. We have to stay focused and look at the bigger picture.

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