One of the most difficult parts of being a stepparent is learning how to discipline a child that is not your own biological offspring. If you are living with your stepchildren or spending a great deal of time around them, the issue of discipline will eventually come up. However, it’s important you don’t overdo it, because feelings of resentment could result.
It is hard enough to properly discipline one’s own children, but when you are dealing with stepchildren, the situation becomes even more complicated. You will really have to put some thought into the issue as you become closer and closer to your stepchild. It will be especially necessary to confront the issue of discipline if he or she is beginning to misbehave with increasing frequency.
Stay in Control
The first thing to remember with any child – a step child or not – is to stay in control of your temper. Children will generally respond better to reasonable, calm responses to their misbehavior than to unbridled displays of anger or frustration. It might be difficult at times, but you must not let your anger get the best of you. If you feel yourself losing control of your temper over a situation with your step children, it might be best to take some time to get away and relax. To learn more about this, info can be found here.
Mischievous stepchildren may even purposely try to frustrate or anger you. Obviously, a stepparent/stepchild situation involves some past trials and tribulations, and stepchildren generally carry with them some form of baggage. It’s not uncommon for them to seek attention or attempt to cope with situations by misbehaving.
Set Fair Rules of Discipline
An important part of discipline is setting down clear rules. Your stepkids need to know what’s expected of them before you can discipline them for breaking the rules. When setting rules, it’s important to avoid being overly harsh. Make sure you can back up any rules you set with justifiable reasons.
It’s better to avoid setting rules just “because I said so.” Explain to your step children why the rules should be followed. Make them understand the importance. Better yet, you can include them in setting of the rules so they have ownership.
Pick Your Battles
If you have had children before, you know it’s important to learn to pick your battles. In any relationship between two people, moments will always come up when you disagree. Your stepchildren will be no exception.
Fortunately, there are many online parenting resources. Try to leave your own personal preferences out of the situation and only attempt to instill some discipline in your stepchildren when they are genuinely engaging in harmful or negative behavior.
Maintaining a healthy relationship with your stepchildren is of immense importance. It is not only important you get along well with your stepchildren for the sake of the children, but also for the sake of your relationship with your partner or spouse.
Remember your stepchildren are probably the most important people in your partner’s life, and try not to feel jealous of that. The best way to foster healthy relationships with them is to reach out to them, take an interest in their lives, and find some common interests you can all enjoy together.
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