If you have children from a previous marriage and you have recently got together with your significant other, then you have an exciting and complicated journey ahead of you. Especially if your other half isn’t a parent.
The road ahead may not be smooth as your partner forms a relationship with your children, as well as with you. Your family dynamic will change and your partner has a steep learning curve. There are steps you can take to ensure your partner doesn’t meet too many obstacles as they are plunged into the life of a parent.
Take it slow
If you are certain that you are embarking on a long term relationship, then there is no need to rush, you have a lot of time to make sure you get things right. As you well know, parenting is an all-consuming task, so give your partner time to adjust to this and your children time to adjust to your partner.
Share your knowledge
Every parent knows that the hour before bed time isn’t the calmest time in the home. You may not be concerned about the chaos and the tantrums, as you know your children are exhausted and will be fast asleep in ten minutes. However, your partner may see things differently.
Share your knowledge with your partner about the best way to handle certain situations and what to expect. Forewarned is forearmed!
Give a balanced view
There are times when parenting is tough, when your children are ill, when plans have to be cancelled, when you feel like you have to clone yourself to juggle work and the kids. However, it is also a deeply rewarding and fun experience. Make sure that your new partner gets to experience the good with the bad so they know what they are getting themselves in for.
Let your partner parent
You will have a set of boundaries, ethics and morals that you apply to your parenting. Ensure your partner knows what these are, why they are in place and respects them. Then you need to take a bold leap and let them parent in their own way. They have chosen the role of step-parent and it is important that they feel comfortable with it and your children learn to accept the new parental figure in their lives.