Archive for May, 2021

Step-Parenting: Some of the Challenges Faced As a Family

May 7th, 2021

Step parents are faced with challenges of all sorts when they first decide to live together as a family. If however, they decide to take time to trace the cause of the problems, they would find that the odd clashes and misunderstanding can be managed effectively.

Here are some of the challenges:

staying together as a family unit
spending time together as a couple
financial pressures
discipline of the children
Staying together as a family unit

It is a known fact that it is impossible to have the two families live together all the time, as consideration has to be given to the ex- partner who also has access. It is equally frustrating to see that the minute the new step parent steps in, the children may decide to leave.

Some children leave to go and stay with the other parent who may not be in a relationship at the moment.

There have been instances where both parents have moved on with their lives and have gone on to re-marry. The children at the centre of both lives sometimes feel left out.

Solution: Hard as it sometimes may be – you may have to consistently reassure your children that you still want them in your life. Sometimes the children may have to be told many times and in different ways that they are still loved in spite of having someone new in the parent’s life.

The reality of life is that sometimes the step children may never get on no matter how hard you as the step parent try.

It is your responsibility, however as a step parent to ensure that you try to get them involved in activities of interest and get to do it together.

You would also have to try to avoid any form of favouritism towards your own child or towards your step child to score brownie points.

Spending Time together as a couple

If the house is filled with children from either side, it will take a lot of effort on the part of the step parents to keep their relationship going.

This is because apart from being step parents, they may also be working. So they need to be parents to their children and also earn a living to survive and keep the family going.

Solution: In the midst of all the busyness going on in the house and at work, the couple need to find time for themselves. They could cultivate a time of the week or month where they do things together as a couple.

Financial issues

If the one or both step parents have financial problems, it could affect the relationship in one way or the other. The burden of sorting out the financial mess may not necessarily fall on the other partner, but they will certainly feel obliged to help in any way possible.

Solution: Table your finances out and be transparent about it to each other – if you need to seek professional help together then do it.

Discipline of the children

This subject is very common among step parents and is also a sensitive one. Sometimes, step parents might find that the children of either spouse needs to be disciplined and they might feel that it is not in their place to say anything or even if they do, the step child may not give them any regard.

Solution: The discipline of the children is important and the responsibility should be handled with care. What would be the most ideal thing to do is to allow the biological parent discipline their own child. If this responsibility is left to the step parent, then it could potentially cause a lot of misunderstanding in the family. The child may feel they are being punished unnecessarily and may never get to bond with the other parent.