Step-Families Often Have Unrealistic Expectations
by John E. Turner, LMFT and Sally R. Connolly,LMFT
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two people fall in love, they naturally want their families to blend
right away and immediately get along with each other. This is very
unrealistic and sets
the stage for disappointment, hurt and anger by all
Some of the other misconceptions that step-families have are:
will accept the new stepparent with open arms, courtesy and pleasure.
- The stepmother
will be able to be kind, gentle and loving enough that the children will
quickly fall in love with her.
- The stepfather
will be able to immediately handle discipline problems with the children
so that they will accept authority and rules.
- Stepparents often expect that the children
will really like each other and enjoy having a larger family.
- There will not
be any problems with choosing common rules for children in this new
- The new stepparents will really like and, even
come to love, their stepchildren.
- This new loving step-family can “overcome” the influence of the other family.
What should you expect in a step-family?
Would you like some practical ideas for how to improve life in your step-family. Contact us at Counseling Relationships Online.
- It generally takes one or two years for step-families to say that they are finally okay.
- Stepchildren will only accept discipline (teaching) from someone that they respect and with whom they have formed a relationship.
- Patience and lots of loving communication will be required because it takes a long time for people to feel comfortable in a step-family.
and stepchildren may only get to the place of learning to get along.
The relationship may never get deeper than that.
- In a step-family, stress and struggle are the norm.
parents from “the other” family cannot be criticized in front of the
children without causing problems in your family relationships.
- The adults in the step-family must be the grown-ups and demonstrate lots of flexibility and understanding.