If step-parenthood is in your future, there may be pending bumps in the road between you and your new spouse, your younger children and the children’s other parent.
The Nemours Foundation suggests these steps toward an easier transition:
- Start slow, and do not rush the relationship.
- Stay conscious of the children’s ages, how long you have known them, how long you dated the parent before marriage, the type of relationship the parent you marry has with the ex-spouse, and how much time you will spend with the kids.
- Do not try to bribe the children with toys or treats to win their love.
- Mind the house rules and keep them consistent.
- Create new family traditions to forge a bond with your step kids.
- Respect all parents, whether the ex has died or the parents are divorced.
- Don’t use the kids as messengers or spies.
- Talk openly with your new partner about what you can do to make effective parenting decisions together.