After some parents get divorced, they meet a new person who they want to share a life with. While it is easy enough for the parent to adjust to, the children might have issues with a stepparent coming into the picture. There are some ways that parents can help their children to cope with a stepparent coming into the picture. Our Colorado readers might be interested in learning about what children might experience when a parent remarries.
One issue that some children might feel but not speak too much about is how they think their relationship with a stepparent will affect their relationship with their parent. For example, a parent might feel that liking a stepmother is a way of showing disrespect to their mother. This can put the child in a difficult spot, but it can be equally as hard for parents. Making sure that your child knows the stepparent is an addition to the family and not a replacement parent is one way that you can make it easier for the child.
Another issue that might occur is when the child feels his or her time with the parent remarrying is changing. The child might have grown accustomed to having the parent all alone with him or her. Having to share the parent with the stepparent and possibly stepbrothers and stepsisters can cause a problem. Making sure you include children in the new family, such as allowing them to help make choices about outings, can help the child to feel more like a part of the family and less like an outsider.
A final issue that you should consider is how expectations and rules might confuse the child or make life difficult for the child. When a stepparent comes into the picture, some house rules might change. Make sure you are working with your child and the stepparent to ensure that those rules are relayed effectively and that your child has a chance to adjust to them.
While the transition to your new marriage might go smoothly, there might some changes that have to be made. If any of those pertain to the points in the child custody agreement, seeking a modification of that agreement might be necessary. In that case, make sure you understand how to seek the changes you need.
Source: HealthyChildren.org, “What Your Child is Experiencing When You Remarry” accessed Mar. 13, 2015