How To Stop Resenting Your Stepchildren
It comes as no surprise that marrying into a family can be tough, nerve-racking and fearful, but what isn’t often spoken about is when you resent your now stepchildren. It is understandable that the connection with stepkids is nowhere near to the extent of how you connect with your biological offspring, but is it justifiable for somebody to resent their partner’s children even though they have chosen to become apart of their family?
This blog post is going to determine what the reasons are behind the resentment of your stepchildren and the ways to overcome this hateful notion.
The Reasons Behind the Resentment
Let’s start by addressing the most common reason behind the resentment of your stepchildren; the realisation of the mistreatment towards you, your now wife/husband or anybody for that matter. When you’re a child’s biological parent, it is much easier to forgive and forget in the worst scenarios, but witnessing it through a third party’s perspective, you’re less likely to look past it and give them the benefit of the doubt. Leading you to feel negatively towards them.
Now that you have married into their family, and you’re head over hills in love with their parent, it is a big ask for you to love their child if they aren’t necessarily good-hearted. The reasons behind the hardship of having to love their child are usually if they disrespect their parent (your spouse), they are unappreciative or they just flat out won’t acknowledge you as a new member of their family.
Another reason for finding it hard to accept your stepchild(ren) is that you were never interested in becoming a parent in the first place or that you cannot look past the facts of you not being their blood relative. These reasons, although seem cruel, are emotions that we sometimes cannot overlook. We could argue that you should have avoided a serious relationship with somebody who has children, but sometimes these things happen and we cannot control how we feel.
How to Overcome the Resentment
You firstly need to remember that it is just as daunting for your stepchildren; accepting a new parent into the household whom they are not used to is in plain sight, terrifying. Therefore, them acting out could be a reaction to this change; meaning it won’t be a common occurrence moving forward and that you should allow them to handle the situation the way that they feel works best for them. Put yourself in their shoes to understand how they are feeling, and maybe this common ground can help you to establish a relationship.
You are committed to their parent, and in the result of that, you are now committed to them. As you were aware of the child(rens) existence, you were also aware that they would later become a big part of your life. To make this adjustment more comfortable, I recommend you envision your life with them in it. Although this process will be hard to come to terms with to start with, you need to be able to fully accept that your original vision needs to be left in the past and going forward, your vision should be an accurate representation of your new life.
If you, unfortunately, have not taken a liking to your stepchild(ren), this process will be more difficult but will allow you to adjust to this way of life in which you now have new responsibilities in. As a stepparent, your authority should be acknowledged the same as their biological parents, and even if this not the case and the child refuses to listen, you should continue to address the child’s behaviour until they eventually listen to you.
The problem isn’t always with the child(ren); the problem can occur on a personal level, too. Even though resentment is a hard emotion to overcome, you need to remember that the way you treat your new spouse’s offspring can create issues within your new relationship or marriage. On a more serious note, it can also affect the child significantly; if you were to treat the child in the way that you feel, this could cause them to dislike you and can jeopardise any chance of a relationship with them in the future. Granted, this may not be the case if the child is young, but as a person, you should still treat them with respect as you do their parent.
Lastly, making an effort to spend time with the child(ren) can benefit your relationship and help you to look past the resentment, too. At first glance, it is easy to judge and form an opinion of a person, especially if you are not used to having them around or if you were adamant that you didn’t want them around. However, if you took the time to get to know them on a personal level, you could be surprised that you enjoy their company and that you have begun to care about them.
Like previously mentioned, resentment is an emotion that is hard to look past, but like any emotion, it is not one that cannot be surpassed. If you’re struggling to accept your stepchild(ren) and you feel that you need further guidance on how to overcome your resentment then feel free to get in contact with me on 07914 952723 or through my website.