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How do you help kids cope with having a new parent added to the family??

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:27 PM on Jan. 27, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (5)
  • Very carefully is my suggestion. The children would probably be a little jealous so work around that and include them as much as possible in whatever you can. It will take a little getting used too. What I did was if my daughters asked me to do something, little by little I would tell them to go ask david and see what he says(lol, he was a sucker for their puppy dog eyes)they are going to tell you many times that the other person isn't the parent, and thats when you set them straight in a nice way. It takes time, its not an over night thing either.

    Answer by Kat122 at 5:33 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • I became a step parent when our daughter was 3. I became a step child at about 20. So it really depends. I had a lot of issue with it and even though my father had passed away, I still don't really like it. I tolerate it.. Our daughter doesn't know any difference and it just seems like she's as much mine as anyone elses. It takes work on the part of the parents both bio and step working together with each other and making a plan on how to handle issues BEFORE they come up. My husband and I had several very serious conversations about how we would handle things such as discipline, etc. BEFORE I agreed to marry him and we still talk about how we're going to handle future situations so we don't get caught in the spotlight and get thrown for a loop. It's worked great for 10 years so maybe we've done the right thing. We don't have those typical "step kid" fights.

    Answer by RentaMom at 5:36 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • I wanted to also add, that I have never believed in a step parent not being an equal parent. I know lots of people will disagree with me but anyway. I was honest with my husband and he was honest with me about what we thought about dating, discipline, mealtime, boyfriends, clothes, church, etc pertaining to our daughter. Honesty is the only thing that is going to work. I realize you have to take time to let everyone adjust. But, plan ahead or you're gonna get caught in crossfire. I treat her just like she's mine in every aspect. I always have and she comes to me when "the sky is falling" and she needs somebody who will be there. Step parenting isn't the easiest thing....but neither is parenting your biological children. It can work though.

    Answer by RentaMom at 5:42 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • I asked my kids how they felt about me getting married and took what they said to heart. I had dated other men and never introduced them unless I thought it could get serious. If the kids gave a thumbs down out the door the guy went. I made them feel they were part of the process and anything they werent comfortable with I didnt make them do. When I finally met the right guy he made sure they knew he wasnt there to replace their dad, he was there as an extra parent of sorts, one they could do things with, play with and be more of a confidante/friend to them. Its worked well. I let them have time to bond, do things etc.

    Answer by gemgem at 5:44 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • They should have been given the opportunity to adjust all the time the new parent was getting to know the other parent. Transitions need to be slow so kids can process it and adapt without causing emotional trauma. If the damage has been done one can probably expect the kids to rebel and act out. And ppl wonder why step kids seem to act out a lot. No one ever seems to consider their feelings until the adults screw up and throw them into something they had no say so in.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:45 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

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