Becoming a stepparent and being a stepparent are two very different things. It’s easy to get carried away in the whole marriage process and not think about the long term effect when a person falls in love and decides to tie the knot. However, if one of the people, or both, have children from a prior marriage or relationship, it can throw a wrench into any new married couple’s relationship, no matter how much love is involved.
The hardest thing for a person to come to terms with when becoming a stepparent is that no matter what, that child will always be placed ahead of themselves, just as any child should be. When all of the lilies and lace have been removed from the picture, the stepparent may realize this and feel slightly miffed and maybe even jealous of the situation. This is a normal feeling to have, especially right at first when the stepparent has not had the chance to form a healty relationship with the stepchild.
Another obstacle that must be overcome is that of the dreaded “EX”. Unfortunately, the stepparent will always have this outsider coming in and out of their home, and this outsider will always have opinions to throw out there, whether they are asked or not. This is something that must be dealt with immediately, once the “EX” has crossed the line from being a caring parent to just being plain nosey and embarding. The stepparent must make it aware that the rules in their home may not be the same as the rules in the home of the “EX”, but that they are just as important as whatever rules the “EX” has in their home. Once the “EX” realizes that they d not have power in the home of the stepparent, everything else will fall into place much more smoothly. Unfortunately, it may take a few reminders for the “EX” to remember this though.
When it comes to the stepchild, the stepparent must remind themselves that they truly are not the parent of the child, but that they can still have a very positive effect on the child’s life. Being a stepparent can be incredibly rewarding, because the friendship of a stepparent and a stepchild can grow to amazing sizes once they are able to trust each other. The stepchild may even begin to confide in the stepparent abou things that they are too embarrassed or frightened about to tell their biological parents. The stepparent can have many rolls with this child. They may not be a biological parent, but they can most definately be a counselor, a friend, and a very loved roll model.