From the children’s point of view, they may feel they have lost one parent and be adjusting perhaps to living with one person only, when along comes another upheaval as a new partner is introduced into their lives.
As well as the new step-parent on the scene, there may well be new step-brothers or sisters to contend with too.
The territorial struggles can be fierce, as can the emotions raised in the step parents, who are also trying to come to terms with the new situation themselves and could do without constant battles with the children.
It’s worth remembering thought that it can take quite a long time for the dust to settle in a step-family situation and the process can be fraught with difficulties. But it’s no all bad - some wonderful relationships can form over the years between children and step-parents who looked like they were never going to bond with each other at the beginning.
- Keep the new partner totally separate from your children for a good long while. Just because you’re in love with this person doesn’t mean your children will be too.
- Don’t get so swept away with your new emotions that you neglect the emotions of your children.
- Observe new partners with your children very carefully – unfortunately, there are people out there who date single mums to get access to their children.
- Before you blend, sit down and set out your rules on parenting and boundaries – as much as you can – and make sure you both stick to them.