As a stepdad – your authority to parent is different from your stepchildren’s biological father. A biodad’s parental authority is based on birth, a stepdad’s power rests on the relationship with his wife.
Joining a blended family and immediately adopting a role as a disciplinarian and attempting to hijack the role of your stepchildren’s biological dad is highly unlikely to go over well. Early on in your relationship, discipline should be exercised exclusively by the biological parent.
Several blended family authorities state discipline should always remain exclusively the responsibility of the biological parent. Easy to state but not always easy to carry out.
There will be times when you’ll need to dispense discipline. Situations, where your wife, isn’t available and discipline is needed immediately.
For example, your wife is away from home, and you’re left in charge. You’ll be required to exercise discipline in her absence.
Within the blended family, successful discipline works best after you paid your dues with your stepkids. Your stepkids, won’t honor, accept or listen to you until you have gracefully earned their trust and respect. To earn both will require time.
From your stepkid’s point of view, he or she only recognizes (one) man as their “real dad,” as a stepdad you are considered a surrogate until prove otherwise. As a stepparent, you have the authority to discipline and correct your stepchildren’s behavior.
However, if you approach it incorrectly, you can expect a negative aftermath possibly harming the relationship you have with your stepchildren as well as your wife.
As a stepdad, your first goal should be establishing a healthy relationship with your stepkids.
Show your stepkids you respect and honor their relationship with their bio dad and also respect their father. One of the best ways to do this is by establishing a relationship between you and the bio dad.
Also note that as a stepdad, if you try to discipline differently from their mom & biological father, you will trigger great resentment in the kids & they might rebel against you as a result. The more time you spend with the kids – the relationship will become more relaxing and fun.
The kids will take it that you appreciate being with them and thus see you as a united team, making them adhere to your rules without resentment.
If your wife or their bio dad doesn’t want the kids spanked, then respect their choice and never spank them. You should never go against your wife’s wishes on this!
To effectively discipline your stepchildren, you should follow the following parenting tips:
Focus on the Relationship
The foundation of influence in parenting is based on trust, love and emotional attachment. At the beginning of your relationship with your stepchildren, you should begin building the foundation.
Once the foundation is laid, you can lead and discipline a child.
Be On the Same Page With Your Wife
It’s a must you and your wife are on the same page when it comes to discipline within your family especially since they are her children. Strive for harmony in parenting. Look into behavioral expectations together; discuss boundaries, consequences, and values.
Praise More than Criticize
Many parents discipline their children by pointing out everything that they are doing wrong. However, doing this will make your child feel as if he is silly, stubborn or stupid.
But lucky for you, you don’t have to take the role of a chief disciplinarian for your step children. Instead of criticizing them, be the source of their encouragement and praise.
If you want your child to be behaved, reward them for the behavior you want to be repeated. After all, what gets rewarded gets repeated.
Avoid Bribing the Kids
For sure, you will be tempted to do this to get them to like you but bribing the kids will teach them to act appropriately only if there will be a prize in the end. Additionally, some children use this to act inappropriately at first just so they can be offered a reward when they change their behavior later on.
Instead of bribing, use other forms of motivation.
Avoid Losing Your Temper
As a stepdad, you should be careful with your actions and that means making sure you will never lose temper. Apart from making the kids’ scared of you or angry at you, losing your temper shows the child that you are losing control.
Find ways to express your anger appropriately. When you do this, you are not just showing the kids you are in control, but you are showing them how to control themselves too.
As a stepdad, you should not take on the role of a chief disciplinarian. But that doesn’t mean that you should not lend a hand to the entire process.
With the tips mentioned above, you can be able to partake in disciplining the kids without overstepping boundaries.