Some of you who are new stepparents may be wondering if your stepchildren will see you as an evil stepmother. The idea of being viewed as such may be daunting at first, but with these helpful tips, you’ll be sure to never become your stepchild’s worst nightmare.
Your first meeting
When you first meet your stepchild you should strive to get to know who they are. Whether it’s a small child or a teenager, rest assured this person is an individual with likes and dislikes. Try to find an activity you both enjoy and can do together . However, don’t try to hard to get the child to like you . A big mistake stepparents make is over-pressuring their new stepchildren and coming on too strong.
What to call you
Another important thing to remember when first meeting your stepchild is to let them decide how to address you. You may not want to force them to call you “mom” or “mommy” as that may be hurtful to the child, especially if they have not accepted you yet as their new parent. Be comfortable with your stepchildren calling you by your given name. If they decide to call you “mom”, it will be when they’re ready.
A tricky situation for new stepparents will be that of discipline. Do not punish your stepchild, especially physically, at the beginning of the relationship. It is important to set boundaries, but start off by just being there for the child. Leave the discipline to the biological parents until you have been given authority to disperse any kind of punishment. Also, do not immediately blame or become angry with your stepchild for unruly behavior. Be constructive . Many times they may still be hurting if there was a divorce involved or may still be trying to adjust to the concept of a new parent.
New stepparents will want to make sure their stepchildren have their space and time to grieve if needed. Your new stepchildren may not readily accept you if they believe there is still hope of the biological parents getting back together after a divorce. The right thing to do is allow the children to move forward on their own time and let them accept you when ready. If the child is grieving due to a deceased parent, you can help by encouraging the biological parent to share stories and memories of the deceased with your stepchild. You can also participate with the child by helping with memorial activities.
Things may not always be perfect for stepparents , but applying these tips will help the transition into your new relationship with your stepchild go smoothly. Just remember to familiarize yourself slowly and be yourself. You will never be able to completely replace a biological parent, but you can always be there for your stepchildren and show them you care.