His fear is now my concern Combining Families!

His fear is now my concern Combining Families!

Postby TheLoveLee1 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:57 am

I have recently reunited with my 1st love of 10 years ago, we have made a big decision to relocate my children and myself to his state and transition together but his fear is how the children will perceive him and how he will perceive them. The back story is that we dated in 01 long distance for 2 years I had 2 children then that were young he had none. I now have 4 and he has 1, two being teenagers. We have reunited at a time where we both single parents, have been through it all relationship wise including marriage and God has brought us back together at the right time in both our lives where we need each other’s Love, care trust and companionship. He has made it clear that he don’t care about anything but us getting to him and we have started putting in place everything that goes along with the foundation of this partnership. As time goes by and we’re communicating (which I love) he has brought up once the fear of being a “Step Father” to the children because 1 he has only been around his daughter she’s an only child and so way he, the fear that they may not like him, or not being use to him, and even because he’s a strict father to his daughter (which he raised 3 of 8 years by himself and she is a GREAT child) he would apply the same discipline to them which he fears may make them not like him.

I trust this man with my life he’s a great person, has a great soul and his intentions are well off But I once to was a teenager with a step father that came out of nowhere taking over what we felt was our life and we drove him crazy and took him through hell!

Our plans is to let them stay with family during the summer so that I can get settled with school and work which will give him and I time for ourselves before they come in late August. Only my 12 year-old and 8 year old is coming with me.

My 12 year old good girl VERY intelligent so she will challenge people in a way that it comes off wrong to me I have tried to correct her on this but has been shunned by teachers and other family members because they “like” the strength in her I don’t and it bothers me.

My 8 year-old is the typical mischievous 8 year- old boy Great kid at home, straight A’s in school but acts out in class. So I do have issues that worry me in which I have talked to him about and he feels they just need a positive male in their life.

What can I do as a parent to prepare my children especially my 12 year old daughter with this transition?

How can I make his comfortable with playing that role in their life without him feeling overwhelmed?

Please Help I’m leaving in 23 days and this has me worried!
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Postby ThunderHorse » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:33 pm

Twelve year olds, and children generally, are good at splitting a couple. Handling comments and criticism from your children will be a challenge.

Comment like "Well why don't we make it a point to discuss that idea with Step-Dad?" Keeping criticism secret is a red flag.

Search terms like Step Parenting and Blended Families. I was surprised at the number of books, tapes and resources available.

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Postby socialdistortion » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:14 am

Dear LoveLee,

The issues involving blended families are best left to the professionals. Recently Haltzman wrote an article, “Resolving Common Conflicts of Blended Families” to address common scenarios and solutions. Here is what he has to say-

"When two parents of a previous marriage decide to join together as husband and wife, not only do they bring their children into the household, they also bring a lot of emotional baggage as well.

When I began researching the concept of family happiness, over 25 percent of the people who responded had come from homes where two families were joined together. These families shared a lot of joy in these households, and the majority felt they were, in fact, happy.

But there was also a lot of strain too—especially the homes in which the re-marriages were relatively new. It can be hard to adjust to all the changes that happen in a step-home, but it can be done and everyone can come up a winner.

Here are some of the common problems that happy stepfamilies have battled along the way, and some of the solutions that keep the peace.

The Problem: Hurt and angry feelings.Usually when a stepfamily is formed, there’s another broken relationship left behind. It’s difficult for children to sort out allegiances in these situations. Strong emotional attachments to stepparents or stepsiblings don’t happen overnight, nor should they. Often, a stepparent will be blamed for the divorce of a biological parent or the disruption of a cohesive single-parent family by the introduction of a "needy" adult and "pesky" children.

The Solution: Allow time for adjustment. Give the children a listening ear, and don’t tell them how they "should" feel. Validate their feelings—tell them you understand that it must be difficult to be in a situation where adults are making a lot of choices that affect them.

The Problem: Differences in discipline styles between stepparents.Even natural parents differ in how to care for children; if you think about it, that’s probably one of the reasons that the two parents ended up splitting in the first place. So don’t be surprised if two adults who remarry have two different takes on child rearing. A main problem in the blended family is that the lines of authority are not so clear—can and should the stepparent assume the same role as the parent when it comes to limit-setting and punishments? Kids have a sixth-sense about this issue, and can get adults battling it out in no time!

The Solution: Remember the adage that all adults (teachers, coaches, ministers) must be treated with respect. There’s no excuse for dismissing the concerns of an adult who cares for you, biological parent or not! Adults should establish clear expectations about what’s allowed, and prohibited, in the household. They may need to do that negotiating in private. Next, sit with your new family and set some guidelines—in writing, if need be—about the rules and the lines of command in the household. Kids have to know that you and your new spouse present a unified front.

The Problem: The "outside" parent is causing problems.
It can be very disruptive to a family when the parent who is not living in the new home appears to interfere with the formation of a new stepfamily. One family I treat is raising two stepsister, each six-years-old. The bio-father of the daughter takes her out to movies, amusement parks or to have special treats and leaves the stepsister behind crying her eyes out. That causes a lot of pain in the family.

The Solution: You can’t control the behavior of others, particularly after you split with them. Moreover, when possible, children should be able to spend abundant time with their parents. It’s important to never put your child’s other parent down, and also foster a close relationship between the two. If you can resist judging your ex-partner harshly, there will be more room for negotiation over time. As long as the bio-parent of your child is providing sufficient safety, you have to accept that he or she doesn’t follow the same rules you do in your home. And, like it or not, the other members of your home must accept it too!

Growing together as a stepfamily requires time, patience and good skills at juggling everybody’s needs. It’s not always easy (in fact, it rarely is), but putting effort into forming a new family unit pays dividends over the rest of your life, and the life of your children.”

The editors of blended-families.com actually suggest you read Haltzman’s book as resource to making the transition easier. http://www.blended-families.com/stepher ... ships.html

Keep us updated,

Social Distortion
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