I have my own kids but I also have stepkids. Getting to know them has been a challenge. This is because I did not count on them as being as aware of their situation or capable of judging me so acutely. In fact if I have ever done anything wrong it has to do without giving them enough credit. The fact is they are human beings and they need to adjust to things. Pretending that they don't need that is the worst thing you can do but that is exactly what most people do â€¦pretend the kids are like littler robots. The opposite is true. Children are very sensitive to even the subtlest of shifts in family dynamics.
My stepkids were quite young when I first met their dad. My stepson was six and my stepdaughter was 4. They had a real difficulty adjusting to the four children that were mine suddenly entering their life.
Weirdly I was closer to them in the beginning of the relationship then I was in the years further down the line. Blending my family together was harder than I thought and it was not the fault of the stepkids. Sometimes my own kids were feeling replaced.
As our family was now a whopping six kids I found myself neglecting all of them. This is because my new husband and I were spending all of our time managing schedules or money. There just was not enough time for one on ones with them. It was like I lost touch with them. Then emotional problems and conflicts started happening. It was because I was not there to extend a helping hand to them in the first place.
Yet another trial I had to face was the admitting to myself that they did not see me as being one of the families. I assumed it for the longest time but then I overheard them talking one day. I was not really 'one of them.' Their idea of family was their dad and the mom that they felt should be living with them. I was not a bad guy but I was certainly no replacement for their biological mother and I would never live up to her image in a million years. At first my feelings were hurt by this but in time I learned to accept it.
Don't expect this situation to change fast either. My stepdaughter does also not want to admit that her parents will never get back together. This is normal, but can be upsetting to a stepmom to hear as it is makes you feel so helpless and powerless.
Children are also more territorial than the worst of alpha dogs. Expect to do a lot of separating and Time Outs as your children will fight continually with your children over he stupidest things.
There are some things that you can do that can really help this situation. One of them is to definitely make friends with their real mom or other parent if he or she exists. I was blessed with a friendly situation so this was possible.