A few decades ago, divorce was extremely rare. However, to date, divorce is completely normal, and women very often raise children on their own. However, life after the divorce does not end, and often a woman remarries. A stepfather in the family is not uncommon these days, and it’s already very difficult to surprise anyone.
However, it goes without saying that the appearance of an extraneous adult in a family in which there are children can not go unnoticed. Of course, there are families in which such changes in the family are almost painless, as they say, “without a hitch, without a hitch.” However, this is not so lucky to all families, and if to be very precise – only units.
In most of their families, in which the stepfather appears, inevitably face a large number of very different problems and conflicts, ranging from the most insignificant, to serious ones. And, as a rule, conflicts arise first between the stepfather and children. And there, too, and before the conflict, men with a woman’s hand to file.
Can these conflicts be prevented? Despite the fact that a single and universal recipe, ideally suited for any family, simply does not exist. However, experienced family psychologists still give some general advice that will help to smooth this difficult for the family adaptation period, reducing conflicts to a possible minimum.
This article will talk about how to eliminate all possible conflicts between the stepfather and the child as quickly as possible, and also help them to establish friendly relations and trust between the child and the new member of the family, the stepfather. After all, this is actually real, although we will have to try and make some efforts. It is not necessary to hope that the situation will be resolved by itself, and even more so to demand from the child that he make the first steps towards reconciliation.
It is adult people who will have to take full responsibility for what is happening in the family, because they have life experience. And the wisdom is much greater than that of the child. And, in addition, in any case, do not forget that they need these changes in life, and certainly not the child. Accordingly, and you cards in hand – the child does not have to adapt to you.
Dad or uncle?
The first question. Which needs to be clarified from the very beginning – this is how the child should treat a new member of the family. Often, a woman, guided by the desire to as soon as possible to accustom the child to her new husband, makes him call his father. In some cases, the child obediently submits to the mother and begins to call his stepfather from the first day.
Typically, this development is typical for two cases. Or, in the case when the child is still too small, and the mother’s word for him is still an indisputable truth, he does not remember the Pope well, and because of age, he is very concerned with moral aspects and mental torments, or if the child is so afraid of his own mother, that she did not dare to object.
And if in the first case, as a rule, there are no special problems in the relationship of the stepfather and the child does not arise, of course, on the condition that the stepfather is an adult and a reasonable person capable of accepting and loving the child of the woman he loves, in the second case the situation is much worse.
And it’s not at all surprising – to call someone a stranger to a papa, but it’s unlikely to succeed in loving his child right away. Yes, he will not enter into open conflicts with his mother and stepfather, but that’s what will happen in his soul, will remain a mystery behind seven seals.
Moreover, perhaps, in the event that the child was not forced to call his stepfather a father, such problems would not arise, as the child would eventually be able to understand and accept a new member of the family, and very possibly, and sincerely love him. But this compulsion to call his stepfather by the pope often causes the strongest contradictions and feelings of protest in the child.
That is why family psychologists, based on a sufficiently large experience and the results of monitoring such families, in which a new man has appeared, have their clearly defined point of view on this problem. In no case do not force the child to anything, and even more so that the child has recognized his father as bad.
But it is to this you call him, forcing him to call the pope a completely extraneous person for him. For a child, this is the strongest psychological shock, the strength of which is such that not every adult can cope with it by himself. And what can we say about a small child? Believe me, if a child loves a stepfather and wants it, he will call him dad sooner or later. However, of course, this statement is true only in relation to preschool children – schoolchildren and adolescents are unlikely to go for it voluntarily.
It is much more reasonable for a child to address his stepfather by name. On the one hand, it will be much easier for a child who does not feel like a traitor to his own father. Believe me, for a child this concept is by no means an empty phrase – for him this is a real tragedy.
And on the other hand – a call by name is much easier for the stepfather himself. After all, he now also has a very, very difficult – because it is he who comes to someone else’s family. New habits, a new routine, an entirely new way of life, a child. This is for the mother a child is an indispensable and long-familiar natural component of her life. And for a man your child is an absolutely alien person, habits, desires, whose behavior is absolutely unknown. And a man, even the most sensitive and caring, will take some time to get to know the child.
And in the event that a child rejects his stepfather and strongly protests against his appearance in their life with him, the man in general has a very hard time. Put yourself in his place – you are in a completely unfamiliar situation, try to get comfortable, be good. And all your efforts are categorically rejected, moreover. You are constantly trying to blame something.
And if a man has no children of his own, then for him your child does seem to be some kind of alien creation. And it is much more difficult for him to become a father for your child. Of course, this in no way means that a man can not accept and love your child – if he really loves you, then he can. However, do not expect that he will become a real father. But a friend, mentor and adviser to be fully able, and most likely, with time, so it will be.
Therefore, if the appeal by name suits both parties – both the child and stepfather, perhaps, it is worthwhile to stop on this option. As a rule, a man does not protest in these cases. But if he suddenly starts insisting on the treatment of the child “dad”, be sure to talk with him and explain that it is necessary to improve both – the child and himself.
Warn in advance!
Very often, adults themselves create very important prerequisites for the emergence of interpersonal conflicts between the stepfather and the child. And the very first mistake that often occurs is the effect of surprise. Do not make a surprise for the child, which can be unpleasant – do not put the child in front of a fait accompli.
Often a woman hides her relationships from a child, especially if she is in a difficult adolescence, mistakenly believing that it will be better. However, it is better to be unlikely. After all, why is the truth hidden from the child? Because my mother suspects that there may be various conflicts.
But you must understand that you will not be able to avoid conflicts in any case – sooner or later you will have to inform the child if, of course, you plan to legalize your relationship and live together. However, to all these conflicts will add another problem – the strongest resentment for you for the fact that you have hidden from him the truth.
Therefore, try to inform the child about the proposed marriage in advance. Although, of course, everything has its time, and it is necessary to acquaint the child with his chosen one only if your relations are serious enough, and the plans are quite accurate and indicated. Otherwise, after the second – third acquaintance, the child will no longer take you seriously.
Be prepared for the fact that your child will have a huge number of very diverse issues. And almost all of them will concern first of all himself. Do not be intimidated by this. And especially in no case should not blame the child for selfishness – these questions are absolutely natural and normal. And the questions may seem to you either through the naive, or, on the contrary, tactless.
For example, a child may ask if he can still go with his mother to the cinema, go to his grandmother, will he be allowed to come to bed with his mother in the morning, like that, as before? And these issues are quite natural – in fact for the child the main guarantee of peace of mind is precisely the stability of his life. And the emergence of a new member of the family can not pass without change. And, moreover, the child does not yet have life experience, so for him many quite obvious and self-evident things so far seem to be a mystery. Therefore, be prepared for the fact that you will have to respond very patiently and in detail to all the questions the child has.
And try not to postpone this conversation indefinitely. The sooner you put the child to the notice and answer his questions, the more time he will have to become accustomed to this thought and accept it. So, the less problems you will have afterwards.
The first meeting of the stepfather and the child
It often happens that a woman leads her future wife home, before not introducing him to the child. However, do not forget that after discovering a stranger in the bathroom or kitchen in the morning, a child can experience a real psychological shock. It is very foolish to hope that the child will understand everything on his own.
Therefore, the first acquaintance of the child with his stepfather in the ideal version should take place somewhere in a neutral territory – in a park, cafe, in a cinema. And there should be at least two or three such meetings. And only after that you can invite a man or go to visit him. And in this case, the duration of visits should be increased gradually, until the child is completely accustomed to stepfather.
Raising a child’s stepfather
Another stumbling block is the question of whether a parent can raise a child. Someone argues, and he himself firmly believes that the stepfather does not have the right to raise a child in the family, someone to say that he must necessarily take part in the upbringing of the child.
Who of them is right? In fact, both are right. However, all should be in due time and in moderation. Of course, a man should not start to scold and even more punish the child from the very first days of his appearance in his life. Thus, nothing but violent protest, indignation and spoiled relations will not be achieved.
However, it is by no means impossible to completely eliminate from the educational process. After all, both the man and the child are members of the same family. So, it is unlikely to ignore each other. Let’s remember that education is not only a child’s reproach and punishment. A personal example, friendly advice, feasible assistance, which the child needs – all this is also part of the educational process.
Incidentally, very often mothers, worrying about how the relationship will develop and the beloved child and future spouse, involuntarily make the same mistake – they try not to leave the child alone with their stepfather for a minute. However, psychologists say that such face to face communication very positively affects the development of the relationship between the child and stepfather.
And this is not so surprising. In your presence, both the stepfather and the child constantly feel some stiffness, as they are afraid to say or do something wrong, and thereby offend or upset you. Alone they can ask each other all the questions they are interested in, and the chances of finding a common language are much higher.
And most importantly – remember that the fact that a stepfather has appeared in the family can not spoil the relationship between the mother and the child.
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