Integrate stepchildren in your relationship and make it work for everyone
Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and look at your actions and responses towards his or her children. Does your partner look at you and feel loved and cared for in the way you treat his/her children. Is your partner resentful and disappointed in the way you treat his or her children? Remember you are the adult and you are NOT in competition with the children. An adult’s love for another adult is completely different to an adults love for a child. You cannot compare the two.
Work on becoming friends with the children. They already have parents and you cannot replace the parents. Guard against being too harsh in your criticism to your partner. Critisizing the way they handle the children will create conflict. Only discipline when you have a caring relationship with the children. Otherwise leave the discipline to the biological parent. Refrain from being the wise parent who knows everything. Your partner does not want to hear from you how undisciplined the children are. It takes time to build a relationship with children and be patient.
Curb your jealousy when your partner gives his or her children attention. Be realistic. Their interest and love for you is separate from his or her interest and love for their children. Don’t be a nag, insecure and moody when the kids are with you. Your partner will find you painful to be with and that can be the beginning of the end of the relationship. Get your mind right: Your partner is a parent and your lover and both roles play a role in life. Ask yourself how it helps you to see your partner acting as a good parent?
Allow your partner time with their children. They do not see each other on a daily basis (in case of a divorce). Give yourself permission to do something you like to do. Give your partner some time alone with their children. In this way you feel self nurtured and your partner feels like a good parent.
Be grateful for the times you have alone and go into your family mode when the children are with you. Both parts can be fulfilling.
Allow your partner to parent their own children in their own way. Parents do the best they can with what knowledge they have. It is easy to stand on the outside and give advice. But advice can sound like criticism and that is toxic for the relationship. Make sure you give advice with care and love and not as a criticism.
Acknowledge that your partner may feel guilty towards their children for many reasons. A divorced parent often feels guilty about being an absent parent. Guilt makes all people compensate. Your partner is doing their best they can and your support and understanding will go a long way. Overcompensation can spoil children and can cause children to manipulate their parents. It is not the child’s fault and try not to take it out on the children. Rather try to be more understanding of your partner.
Is your relationship important enough for you that you wish to integrate your partners children into your life? If the answer is yes, then put in the effort. If the answer is no, then get out. Do not make your partner choose between the children and yourself. You may come second.
Good partnerships take work. No matter where your relationship is, or where it has come from, I have the strategies to help you make sure it gets to where it needs to be. Stronger, healthier and more beautiful than ever before. Contact us: +27 60 743 4143 / firstname.lastname@example.org