It is so common for parents of biological children to feel that the problem in the relationship between their kids and the stepparent belongs to the person in the step position.
“If they were only nicer, kinder, more understanding, or more forgiving,” they think, “things wouldn’t be such a big deal.”
Stepdads are often ignored in the literature because so much of the focus is on stepmothers. Since June is the time to honor dads, I want to focus this article on stepdads.
Men who marry women with children take on a role that not many could possibly be prepared for. While you most likely come into this with all good intentions to be the man of the household, you might wonder why you feel left out and why your stepchildren and wife are often upset with you or siding against you. This is very hurtful and perplexing for many stepdads.
Every person has his or her own idea of what it means to parent. As long as both parents are pretty much on the same page, parenting your children can be a somewhat painless undertaking.
But in a new marriage that includes stepchildren, the partners may not always be on the same page. And that could mean trouble given that the challenges in a stepfamily are endless.
Here are some ways to make sure you and your new partner can parent together as a new stepcouple to keep your relationship united:
You’ve pictured it since you met your new partner: the marriage, the children, a cozy home together.
You never thought of all the things that could disrupt this idyllic picture: the chance that your stepchildren won’t like you, the ex that will not seem to disappear, and the challenges of parenting a stepchild.
Entering into a stepfamily often means entering into many unrealistic fantasies. Below are five common fantasies you may have that often create disappointment in a stepfamily.
“I don’t understand how she cannot love Isabel (8). I know she’s acting out a lot of anger about the divorce, but she’s so loving and adorable!”
It is said that nobody can truly love a child like a child’s own parents. We were the ones who saw how precious they were as infants, and who they needed and depended upon growing up. We were the ones feeling pride at each and every milestone, as if our kids were the only children learning to turn over, crawl, and walk. And we fell in love completely the first moment we heard the words “mama” and “dada.”
This love we have for our children is often so powerful that we cannot imagine how a new spouse, who professes to love us so much, does not feel the same way.