Love And Marriage… And Stepkids


remarriage and kids
photo credit: Eneas via photopin cc

The steps required to establish the couple as the foundation relationship of the home can sometimes feel like a win-lose situation for biological parents and children. It’s not, however, rather it’s a matter of significance. This doesn’t mean a spouse matters more than children, but that the marriage is essential to the stability of the home. In fact, a healthy marriage equals safety and protection for children.

A biological parent making a strong commitment to their spouse, the stepparent, doesn’t mean the children get neglected. Couples who make a commitment to their children even if they aren’t together anymore–the children will receive the love and support they need. Healthy relationships within stepfamilies are about the biological parents choosing both their spouse and their children while giving primary significance to the marriage. Believe it or not, placing your spouse in the “front seat of your heart” is also good for the kids.

Overcoming Barriers

Managing a healthy dynamic in a stepfamily is a challenge at first, with numerous barriers to overcome:

The Guilt. Yes, children suffer a lot when a parent dies or their parents divorce. If the biological parent blames him or herself for the breakup and feels guilty, he or she may try to protect their children from future stress. Should the parent becomes paralyzed by this guilt, the temptation to coddle or side with the child against the stepparent is forever present. Unfortunately this prevents the child from getting over the sadness of the breakup, and interferes with the stepparent’s authority towards the child. This is something parents cannot afford.

family medallion ceremony

Refusing to Take Risks. Biological parents have to take risks to move their spouse into a place of priority. Children may threaten to spend more time with the other parent, or become angry, or close themselves off to the stepparent as a way of discouraging their parent from getting too deep into the marriage. However, taking risks will ultimately pay off!

family1249 A Stepparent’s Misstep

Biological parents often feel resentful when stepparents push them away from their children. The “me or them” mentality eventually pushes the spouse into a defensive position supporting the children. No good comes of this. Stepparents need to support their spouse’s relationship with their children, not try to come between them.

Giving Your Marriage Priority

So how can a spouse make the marriage the priority when the children came first? Check out some practical tips:

  • Set a regular date night and keep it. This helps children understand that your relationship is important.
  • Biological parents should strive to trust their spouse (stepparent). Maintain that they have goodwill toward your child even if they complain. Try to give the stepparent equal say in parenting decisions and remain a team.
  • Always support your spouse in front of the kids. Back up their parenting decisions and insist that children treat their stepparent with respect.
  • Talk of your commitment often. Verbally express love to one another in front of the children, show affection, and talk about your future together to reinforce the permanency of your union.
  • Stepparents should tell their spouse to spend special time with their biological children in front of them. This shows you are not in competition with them.
  • Biological parents: spend one-on-one time with your kids and stay involved in their lives. This demonstrates that they haven’t “lost” you and makes it easier for them to accept your marriage.
  • When children shows signs of stress or anxiety as you give priority to your spouse, remember to be sympathetic, but don’t let them guilt you into “taking their side.”
  • If children challenge the stepparent’s authority, respond firmly but with compassion. Acknowledge the child’s confusion and frustration and move on.

149

Enhanced by Zemanta

Suggested Posts

Are you ready for round 3? We already gushed and showed off some great choices here and here, but now we’re back with another round! Check out these tea-length beauties for older, more sophisticated brides with tons of style!  Satin shine with gorgeous, lush embellishments on the skirt, this youthful number is great for a destination wedding! A …

0 3.9k
Share
vow renewal ideas

This second “walk” down the aisle is arguably a lot less nerve-racking than the first, as you won’t have jitters concerning what’s to come! Celebrate the life you’ve created together with a ceremony that’s all about you two–and this time you can involve the kids. Check out our ultimate vow renewal guide: Pick a “Starting …

0 5.1k
Share

When you have your wedding out of town, the last thing you want to do is forget the accessories you need before and after the wedding. You already have to take care of the list—bring the shoes, the dress, your blow dryer, curling iron, makeup, and so much more. You may already feel the anxiety …

0 3.7k
Share

Marchesa bridal gowns are filled with intricate detailing and a couture spirit, and we’re in love. These 10 designs from the spring 2016 line are absolute stunners and will knock every one of your guests right off their feet.

0 3.8k
Share
groomsman jewelry

Wedding planning requires a lot of patience and fortitude even if it’s the second time around, and without strict attention to detail, certain tasks might slip by unnoticed. Don’t let your groomsmen’s gifts be one of those missing details. This list of groomsmen-worthy items is sure to delight the guys that will be standing by …

0 3.6k
Share

Book Everything In Advance If you want your matrimonial ceremony to have all the pomp and circumstance of the weddings you’ve seen in the movies and on TV, you’re going to need to put some forethought into it. Do you think the venue you’ve got in mind is just waiting for you to book them? …

0 3.5k
Share