Since May is the month for mothers, we are devoting our blog entries to these moms. We will give tips for moms at all stages of life--new moms, moms of toddlers, step-moms and grandmothers. Every child and every day bring new experiences and new challenges. If prepared, these changes will be easier to handle.
These situations are a challenge, but are more so the older the child. Younger children are more open to change, as they haven't experienced years of traditions and schedules. Here are some tips to help step-moms handle life with their new families.
• Discuss upcoming changes as much as possible beforehand so children can ask questions and be prepared. Don't surprise children with major changes.
• Be patient. Some children will accept you immediately. Others will be wary or angry. Accept what it is at the start, then slowly work to change their perception of you.
• Don't try to buy their affection. They will just demand more and more from you. as the months go by.
• Enlist the support of your spouse when disciplining the children.
• Do not go against the decisions of your spouse without discussing it first, unless you feel the child's personal safety is at risk.
• Always check with your spouse before promising the children anything. They may be playing you against each other.
• Check with the biological mother and step-father on important matters. Again, the children may be telling different stories to each set of parents.
• Your spouse has the final say with his children, so respect that, But also expect from him that he will listen to your opinion on all matters, especially in those where you differ.
• Accept that your spouse will sometimes side with his children instead of you. Time and experience will eventually work matters out. Be open and discuss these differences with your spouse.
• Don't expect your family to welcome them with open arms at their first meeting. Keep your step-children in the front of their minds, though, without being insistent or obtrusive.
• Never assume to replace their biological mother. Even if they had a poor relationship with her, let them .
• Love the children as if they were your own.