It can be difficult to find common ground and form a healthy bond with someone else’s children. It can be even worse if the children are harboring resentment because of the failed relationship between their parents. It sad to say but many parents have thought to themselves “I don’t want to spend time with my stepchildren.”
Many children have a hard time accepting a new adult coming into their parent’s life and home. That can take some getting used to so it is important to be patient. Remember, you’re not the only one adjusting to this different arrangement right now. It can take years for kids and stepparents to feel comfortable with each other and sometimes, blended families just don’t mix as easily as we would like.
Their Behavior Tests your Patience
You might not agree with the way your partner and the other parent(s) choose to raise and discipline your stepchildren. There may be dysfunction and behavioral problems that already existed within their family, which have nothing to do with you. Don’t set out thinking you can just discipline your stepchildren as you see fit. Let your partner take care of the discipline department until roles become more stable and established as a family unit.
If you find yourself stating that you don’t want to spend time with your stepchildren, you will need to approach this with a clear mindset. A great way to start would be to set a good example for the children with your own behavior. Be kind and follow your own house rules. You can’t expect your stepchildren to be respectful and well-mannered if you are outspoken and rude in their presence.
Eventually, you might start having some fun together and making your own family memories and traditions. Try not to let their behavior make you angry by keeping your emotions under control.
Talk to your partner about how you feel. Let them know what is happening and what is making you upset or uncomfortable around the children. Your partner is probably used to the behavior and won’t know what is bothering you if you aren’t communicating and discussing the issues you’re having.
Maybe your partner will try to get the kids to stay in line a little more when they’re visiting and take a bit more notice when they’re disrespecting you or ignoring your instructions.
Love And Bonding Can’t Be Forced
Your stepchildren have been forced into this situation and are just as unsure as you are about forming this new relationship. They may be afraid to form a connection with you out of loyalty to their biological parent.
Feelings of love and affection for your stepchildren have to develop naturally. Closeness and unity aren’t just going to be accomplished overnight between you just because you want it to. Love isn’t instant or automatic. Caring about someone’s feelings and safety is natural. Understanding that deeper emotions take root over time through effort and shared life experiences is important.
If you find yourself dreading your stepchildren’s arrival, it can lead to a disappointing visit for everyone. Try to relax and take your cues from your stepchildren.
Some relationships just don’t come as easily as others so don’t try to force them to like you. As they get more comfortable with you, they may open up a little more and start to enjoy spending more time with you.
You have to make yourself available and vulnerable as well. Once you get to know each other better, sharing and forming a deeper connection will come naturally. Think of fun things you enjoyed when you were their age and share those activities with your stepchildren.
You fell in love with your partner who happens to have children from a previous relationship. You are committed to them, not their children. Doing what’s best for your stepchildren and supporting a strong, positive relationship between the children and your partner is important.
Don’t become a roadblock between your partner and their family. The ex-spouse and children will be a part of your life from now on, so you might as well try to be positive about it. Don’t let your jealousy and emotions creep in and cloud the bigger picture.
Keep Your Emotions Under Control
The relationship between you and your stepchildren will develop slowly over time. It’s perfectly natural for all of you to feel weird about this new dynamic. You may experience emotions like jealousy, resentment, and frustration when you think about your stepchildren.
Having all of your partner’s attention without distraction is wonderful, but when your stepchildren are around, that attention is sucked into taking care of their needs. Wishing it was just the two of you is normal, but it just isn’t realistic.
Your stepchildren were around long before you came on the scene and had no control in any of this and they shouldn’t be resented so don’t proceed to take your emotions out on them.
You eventually have to come to terms with the fact that you have to share your spouse’s free time with your stepchildren. Don’t let yourself become so upset about time with the kids. Take control of your happiness and don’t allow this time to ruin your mood.
Make the most of it and try to have a good time. Don’t look for things to pick at and try to go with the flow. Your stepchildren can aggravate you, but only if you let them.
If you can’t seem to stop getting so irritated when they’re around, step aside, keep your cool, and take a breather. There’s nothing wrong with removing yourself for a while when you get stressed.
Don’t feel guilty or ashamed because you don’t like or love your stepchildren. Being a stepparent is difficult enough without trying to force your feelings. You don’t have to love them like your own to care for them and have family unity.
Loving someone else’s children is something that is achieved through spending time and bonding with them. Don’t expect yourself to have innate feelings for your stepchildren that just aren’t there.
Set Aside Special Time for You and Your Partner
If you don’t want to spend time with your stepchildren, make sure you communicate that with your spouse. Watch a new movie together with popcorn and snacks. Have a quiet dinner out and enjoy each other’s company.
Make sure you’re giving yourself enough quality time together without the kids around. There is so much focus placed on activities and entertainment for the kids, sometimes we forget about planning anything fun for ourselves. You may feel jealous of your stepchildren doing fun things with your spouse if you aren’t having any fun together.
Having date nights or kid-free vacation days once in a while can remind you why you chose to be with your partner through thick and thin. You can reconnect and spoil each other. It’s a chance to relax and be yourselves instead of chasing the kids or arguing about who drank the last juice box.
Cutting loose with your partner is a reward for all the effort you put into spending time with your stepchildren. If you are having a terrible time with the visits, get a babysitter for an hour and go for ice cream together.
If that’s not possible, remove yourself from the situation for a little while. Take a walk or a little nap. That little break could be what you need to help you get through the weekend.
Having something to look forward to is always nice. When you’re uncomfortable with your stepchildren visiting, you can always remind yourself that this situation is only temporary.
Your stepchildren will probably go home after a few days to spend time with their other parent(s) until the next visit. Think about the days you will have your home and your partner to yourself.
Make plans to do something together after the visit is over and let the anticipation help get you through the time. Get excited about spending that personal time with your partner and remind yourself it will be very soon. Communicate with each other to determine the best way to handle spending time with your stepchildren.
You’re not alone. Many blended families have difficulty with closeness so don’t blame it on yourself. If you find yourself saying”I don’t want to spend time with my stepchildren”, you will have to take steps to fix this issue before you start to become resentful of them.
It can be many different issues on why you don’t want to spend time with them. Things like them being ungrateful, rude, or just overall a disturbance of your peace. It is your job to figure out what makes you upset and how you can solve his issue.
Blended families have to form a special type of connection because it involves different families into one and this process can be hard to navigate through if you are not willing to put in the effort.