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Stepchildren Problems

So, you think all step parents are like The Evil Stepmother and all stepchildren are like The Trouble Child? Well I admit, stepchildren problems exist, however seeing both sides of the story is required. Read the article to know how to handle problems with stepchildren.
Ok ok ok! I know that the concept of becoming the evil stepmother of sorts can be a scary possibility to any prospective step parent. However, step parenting doesn't have to be that scary. Let me bring a happier image to your mind... The Brady Bunch? Yes, a big happy family of 3 brothers, 3 sisters and their ever-so-calm parents. Well, let's just say that life ain't that easy. However, dealing with troubles surrounding stepchildren is not that difficult.

Being a Step Parent
Well, it is not easy to be a step parent. You will be compared to the real parents, mostly. However, in case of stepchildren intestacy, the child will not trust you at all. One thing that a person needs to remember, is that when you are a step parent, you will need to be much more patient than you would be otherwise. Yes, this is because the child knows that you are not their real parent. This often becomes a hindrance to the bond that the parent and the child have. In case of stepchild adoption process, you bonding with your stepchild may be much easier. However, there will be other problems that you will have to deal with.

Difficulties with Stepchildren
Stepchildren are children! It is a fact. They are not your children, but they are children nonetheless. So treat them exactly the way you would treat your own child. You don't need to be too hard and disciplining, nor do you need to focus a lot on pampering. Either will hamper the child development process and the family relationship, that you wish to be a part of. So, just treat the child with the same love and concern that you would shower your own children with. Stepchildren have a tad more problems than your own children. Let's check this out.
  • Respect: Gaining respect from your stepchildren may be a tough task. This is because you are new in their life. Children are not very trusting of new people. However, their mind can be changed easily. Just make sure that you are normal around them. However, don't intrude on their privacy at all! That will surely set them off.
  • Discipline: Stepchildren tend to step over the discipline line when in the company of their step parents. This is often because step parents agree to all they say and prefer to pamper them. As such, in the company of this person, they will try to take all the liberties possible.
  • Trust: Stepchildren often face problems in trusting their step parents. This is particularly pronounced in girls who have a stepmother. You can guess the reason for it. However, stepchildren find it difficult to move beyond the 'step' in the title. Give them time, they will come around.
If you are dating or planning to marry a child's parent, making you the step parent, make sure that you are on good terms with the child. Stepchildren and marriage don't go well if taken lightly, leading to serious issues.

Stepchildren and a New Baby
All children feel anger when a new baby joins the family. However, a stepchild may have the tendency to feel particularly left out. This could cause a lot of problems like, the child could take drastic steps in a fit of rage. This could include running away from home, going into depression, harming the new baby, etc. Basically, they feel insecure.

In this case, let the stepchild (let's call him Andy, I hate using the words stepchild and stepchildren all the time!), I mean Andy. Let Andy feel responsible for the new sibling. Let him know how important it is that he takes care of the new baby. A little taste of parenting will help wash away the jealousy. At all points of time, make sure you are there for Andy, thus, assuring him that you are taking proper and even child care. If he feels like the new baby is taking away his attention, again, the jealousy and the rage will surface. So, be careful. In fact, pamper Andy when you pamper the new baby. This will make Andy bond with the new baby, as well.

Being a step parent is a little bit tougher than being a regular parent (if that is possible). However, I believe raising kids needs good and genuine parenting skills, and is not confined to blood ties. A parent is a parent whether the child is theirs or whether it is a step child. All you need to do is love the child with all your heart, and you will see how easy it becomes to avoid problems.
By Rashida Khilawala
Last Updated: 9/26/2011
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