Finding that special someone one wants to spend their life with is a remarkable thing that deserves commitment and dedication. If the person you wish to marry has children, expect an adjustment period for everyone involved. Becoming a step-parent can be challenging but highly rewarding as well. Patience, love, and understanding are always key when it comes to forming a new family and doing it well. When embarking on such a journey, it can be helpful to keep these three things in mind:
The Children Come First So Have Patience
You might want your new spouse’s attention to be focused on you, but if they have children, this won’t always be the case. Keep in mind that the kids were there first, had to suffer through their parents’ breakup, and continue having to adjust to a different family structure. It’s normal for your spouse to put their kids’ needs first. They need to feel that their connection to their parent is still solid and special. It could take a long time for your step-kids to form a bond with you, so try and spend some quality time with them.
The Other Parent Might Be Part of the Picture
Birthdays, graduations, soccer games, dance recitals, and many other events in the kids’ life will likely call for both biological parents and step-parents to be present. The sooner one accepts that the other parent will be part of the picture, the easier it will be. This person will always be part of your stepkids’ lives and your spouse’s past. Working towards a peaceful co-parenting solution is crucial.
The Responsibility Doesn’t End When the Kids Turn 18
Being a step-parent isn’t a short-term job. Marrying a person with children means making a lifelong commitment not only to that person but to the entire family. Although it may take some time to form a real bond when it does happen, it can be truly special. Your involvement with your stepchildren will continue well past the age of 18.