Remarriage and Stepchildren

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If you and the new person you have fallen in love with both have children, you may have to address some specific concerns. Your children, whether they are biological or stepchildren, need to be a top priority in every new relationship.

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The kids have to get along, your new partner has to find common ground with your children, and you with theirs. However, if only one of you has kids, it might also be challenging, since the other one would probably need some time to get used to being a parent. In both cases, you’ll need patience and dedication.  

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Children from a New Relationship

Another situation, that divorced people are often faced with, is having children from a new relationship. It’s not uncommon for the children of your previous relationship to feel jealous or even threatened,  over losing some of the attention they used to get. When a little brother or sister is born, your older children may feel as though they are being replaced. They might reject the new sibling in different way, which would inevitably be hurtful to you. However, your role in this situation, is to address your children’s feelings, support them and be patient.  

Your Children’s Reaction

It’s not unusual for children to act out in order to get your attention. Remember, they are just making sure you still love them no matter what. Nevertheless, they can give you a real headache. It’s important to understand their feelings and talk to them, and at the same time, not give in to every whim. It is crucial to understand that becoming irritated or angry with your children won’t help the situation. As difficult as it may be at times, it is important to stay calm and have honest conversations.

How to Approach the Situation

To more effectively deal with the challenges that lie ahead of you and your family, in cases of remarriage and new children, there are certain useful behaviors you can adopt.

Make Sure Your Children Understand That the New Marriage and Children Will Not Take Their Place in Your Heart.

It’s always important to talk to your kids on a regular basis, to tell them about your feelings of love towards them, to listen to their doubts and complaints. It is especially crucial to reassure them that their place cannot be taken.

Always find the time to be with each child, individually.

Your children need to know and feel they have not been left behind. Although it may feel unfair to you (because you’re only one and need time for yourself as well), you’ll need to spend time individually with each of your children. This way, you will let them know how important they are to you and will increase their confidence.

Try to Respect Everyone's Individuality.

Not everyone enjoys the same things. If both you and your new partner have children, this is an important point to consider. Respecting everyone’s individual wants and needs will help your children feel like a part of the new family and find their own place in it.  Make sure your children know that everyone is important and no one is going to be left behind.  

Make Sure Your Children Develop a Healthy Relationship with Their Stepparent.

Let your new partner and your children come up with their own dynamic, without too much of your interference. It’s best for the family if they have a healthy and respectful relationship based on trust and love. This is why you may need to step in every now and again, by encouraging positive conversations, organizing events of mutual interest, and bringing everyone closer together. However, avoid micromanaging everyone.

Don't Meddle in the Children's Relationships, Unless You Absolutely Have to.

When your kids and your new partner’s children get into fights, it’s best to stay neutral and let them handle it on their own. That is the only way they can start understanding each other and getting along. Still, make sure you monitor the relationships, without meddling, in order to make sure that things don’t escalate. It is always a good idea to organize family events and encourage honest conversations as well.  

Try Your Best to Treat All Children Equally.

Whether the children are yours, your partner’s, or they are a product of your mutual love, make sure you don’t drive a wedge between them, by treating them differently. For children to adjust to having new siblings, they need to know that everyone is equally loved and respected. if there is a new baby in the home, make sure all children understand that little kids may require more attention right now, but that doesn’t mean they are more important.

Full reference: 

(Jan 11, 2016). Remarriage and Stepchildren. Retrieved Aug 17, 2019 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/e/remarriage-and-stepchildren

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