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Often, after an initial honeymoon period, relationships within any stepfamily can become strained and tense with a lot of upset and pain.
It may sound cliché and touchy feely, but from my own experience I can tell you that a positive mind and approach to the issues that arise is your biggest power when it comes to getting through the toughest times.
When you approach a problematic situation by focusing on what is wrong, why it is bad and upsetting, then you will most probably get more of the same. Adopting a positive attitude and focusing instead on how you WANT it to be, you are much more likely to get closer to what you want.
When times get tough and relationships with your step children falter, the easiest thing to do is to keep quiet and have minimal interaction. I’ve made that mistake and it gets you nowhere fast.
The best thing to do is to get more involved – open up the communication lines, be there to listen if you’re needed and ensure your step children know you’re there if they want you. Yes it’s hard, but it is also effective and in the long run, rewarding.
So many second marriages or partnerships that involve children crumble under the pressure. Be kind to each other, support each other (especially when it comes to parenting and step parenting roles), make time to listen and just be together and use any free time to reconnect and do something you both love.
If you are strong as a couple it gives your step family the best possible chance of being strong together as well.
Everyone has boundaries and we need to respect each other’s boundaries. Boundaries within a step family are so important, and a brilliantly easy way to resolve some difficult issues that may arise.
Get everyone involved – what does each person need in your step family to feel respected and heard? The more everyone has a say, the more likely they are to understand each other and to be on board.
These cornerstones can help you to put in place the foundations of a healthy, functioning step family with trust and respect.
It can be a long journey, but you can do it, and you can be happy.
Wriiten by Chloe Tasch. Stepmum coach. www.familyfriendlyworking.co.uk
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