It is not easy being a stepparent, especially if the children are already in their teen years. Usually, a step-mom who has to stay at home most of the time with the step-children complains about the children’s obstinacy and lack of responsibility. Similarly, children are also dissatisfied with the workings of their new mom or simply refuse to be reasonable with her.
These trials are very painful — sometimes for the step-parent and sometimes for the children. In order to bring everyone together, the real parent would have to interfere and take a step.
Children should be made aware that their new parent is not their enemy, contrary to everyone’s belief as portrayed by the media. Similarly, the step-parent should try to understand the children’s point of view and give them time to adjust to the new set up and routine.
Proper communication among all parties is the key to success in a step-parenting environment. If there are attitude problems, these should be tackled with understanding and cooperation. In some cases, discussions are needed to settle down issues. To endure these discussions everyone needs to be calm and patient. In the end, the biological parent who acts as a common ground for the step-parent and children should make a decision and everyone should accept it.
No matter how lovable or pampered children are, they should not be allowed to disgrace an adult, especially when that adult happens to be their step-parent. These values have to be taught right from the beginning by either the mother or the father. At the same, children should be given a chance to decide for themselves. They should have enough personal freedom and independence to choose what they like best. The stepparent should step aside from such matters and let the children enjoy their small world of self-government.
It is important to realize that authority does not always solve problems. Sometimes it can even backfire and make things worse. While knowing that the step-parent is in control of the entire household, he or she should not try to impose decisions on the children. It should also be kept in mind that the biological parent is sharing this authority, and therefore it should be used only when required.
If both parties are made to recognize their duties and they start living in their own circles, there will not be any conflicts. However, when boundaries are crossed and rules are broken, problems are likely to occur. Maintain an atmosphere of understanding and patience to avoid disagreements and frustration on part of the biological parent. After all, everyone in the family is bound to live together for the sake of relationships.