All change offers resistance, and when we form a new couple with someone who has children from a previous relationship, it is perfectly normal and even expected that there may be moments of tension with the children and with us, especially during the first months.
And it is not easy for everyone to adapt to a new dynamic in which there is a new person included, and we cannot expect everything to happen as in the movies and that our partner’s children love and accept us immediately.
This is not an easy path, but it is worth traveling if we want to promote a good coexistence at home with our partner’s children .
“It is beautiful that parents become friends with their children, dispelling all fear, but inspiring great respect.”
11 keys to promote a good coexistence with the children of my partner
It is also not about scaring you and thinking that it will be a pitched battle for a long time. There are cases in which the relationship occurs smoothly and without setbacks, and others in which you have to have a little patience to achieve it. Here we present 11 keys that can be of great help:
Take care of the first impression
Although the first impression “is not everything”, it is important that this first meeting be pleasant; for this we must take care not only of what we say, but also of how we say it.
Children read our nonverbal communication better than anyone , so we recommend that you try to relax and be as natural as possible.
Don’t force the interaction
A common mistake when meeting the couple’s children is trying to force a bond that does not yet exist. Avoid forcing them to greet you and give you hugs; that is something that little by little you will gain over time by consolidating a relationship with the children.
share with them
Spend quality time with the children, show interest in getting to know them and what they like. Likewise, you can gradually show them what you like. You may even be surprised to see that you have things in common. Take the time to listen to them.
Respect parents’ decisions
Although the children live with you, it is essential to define your role (you can discuss it with your partner), make it clear and remember that they have their mother and father.
Their parents are the ones who make the decisions about them. It is important that you respect what they decide and in case you want to intervene, do not do it in front of them. Talk separately with your partner.
This obviously does not mean that you can be part of their education and that you establish a nice bond; you must also find and reaffirm your place within this dynamic, because you are also important .
Integrate into everyday activities
Families work as a team, and that’s exactly what we bet on when we have a relationship. So we need to learn and create a family dynamic in which everyone at home has work.
Don’t assume you’re a guest if you move into their house or treat them like guests if they come to yours. You are family and you build it together day by day .
Don’t force them to call you “Mom” or “Dad”
Remember that children already have their parents and that you are not there to replace anyone; We insist that you must find your space and your role. Of course, feeling comfortable and “like one more” in the family. But don’t force kids to call you a certain name (like “mom”); if they later decide to do it, let it be their own decision (but don’t confuse each other’s roles).
Follow the educational model of the family
When we integrate into a dynamic of a couple with children we will have a fundamental role in their life and in their education. For this reason, we must agree with the children’s parents regarding the educational model they use and follow it, always respecting their decisions .
Set rules and limits
Limits are necessary and beneficial for children, and we cannot set them aside because they are our partner’s children. However, we recommend that it not be an arbitrary imposition of rules, but a conversation in which everyone has an opinion about it and in which the children feel heard and taken into account.
Look for things in common
Try to make the most of those activities that children enjoy as much as you do; this will help them create stronger emotional bonds . You can even discover new interests together. For example: invite them to cook a simple dessert with you, so you share time and work as a team.
“The best legacy of a father to his children is a little of his time every day.” -Leon Battista Alberti-
Establishing a relationship with your partner’s children can be a slow and progressive affair; be patient. Not in all cases things flow at first; there are times when it will be necessary to breathe, stay calm and keep trying. Remember that it is difficult for them too, even more so than for us adults.
Seek therapeutic support
Finally, the accompaniment by a psychologist or family therapist, if necessary, can be of great help to be able to establish a good relationship and coexistence among all, since it is an external, professional and objective person who can mediate in the process. to get to know each other and adapt to each other based on respect, love and acceptance.
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