How to prepare your children for your new family
Your child and your future wife
Unfortunately, not all spouses live happily together until old age. Often, for various reasons, the child remains with one of the parents (in Ukraine the child, as a rule, remains with the mother). Being a single father, men, as well as women, may be afraid to make serious relationship with a new partner because of their children. Meeting with the potential spouse of his father is a responsible event for a child. The first impression will become the basis on which their further relations will be built.
When a child is used to the fact that the family consists only of him and his dad, it is difficult for him to let someone else in this small world. The jealousy and rivalry for Papa’s attention appear. A woman is perceived as a stranger and a competitor. How to organize the first meeting and prepare the child for changes in the family?
We will try to organize the first meeting to save the little person from excessive stress and gradually prepare him for changes in the family.
- Timeliness. Clearly, you should not introduce children to each partner, who is not supposed to be a pretender to spouse role. But if you are serious about your plans for the future, don’t postpone the acquaintance till the last moment. The child needs time to adapt and get used to the new person. It is certainly better to begin dating before you settle in one territory. The phrase “this is Natalie, she is moving to us, you can call her mother” will almost completely provoke a protest – and not without reason.
- Preparation. Tell the child beforehand that you want to introduce him to your good friend. Surprises are not necessary at this point. Set up your kid for a pleasant and interesting meeting, but let him know that this will be a meeting with an important person for you. Don’t put restrictions in advance, don’t give strict instructions like “be good boy/girl”, they will create unnecessary stress. Let the child feel and behave naturally. You do not participate in the contest of the most well-bred children, but acquaint people who will live under the same roof.
- Select a location. It’s better to organize the first meeting in a neutral territory. It is important that the place of your meeting is interesting for the child, but necessarily implied communication between the three of you. Going together in a cafe and sending a son or daughter to the game room is not the right option. It’s great if during the meeting you will do something together. Proceed from the preferences of the child, but be sure to consider the opinion of the future spouse and participate in the choice as well. It can be outdoor games, an interactive museum excursion, and a creative or culinary master class for the whole family. The main thing is that you all get a sincere pleasure from communication.
- The mood of the single father. You definitely will worry. Will they like each other? Will your future wife change her mind after a bad communication? Will your relationship with the child be affected? Will the little one accept your partner? Remember that the child reads your emotions, and he will connect it most with the new one that appeared in the situation – with your woman. Choose the time, place, occupation, atmosphere, taking into account your own comfort and calmness, be where you feel good and calm.
- Gifts. They don’t harm, but they don’t help either. Don’t attach importance to them. A gift is a substitute for real attention, contact, and love. You want your son or daughter to like your woman, not a train or a doll in a bright box. Communication is much more valuable. A gift can mean a further joint game with it.
- Child’s feelings. Remember that the child faces a difficult internal task: to accept a new person is not easy, especially when it seems that she is about to take your dad from you. The child has the right to show jealousy, anger, dislike and other negative feelings. Sometimes the child’s opinion about the nature of a potential wife should be heeded – children are observant and direct in assessments. Don’t forbid the feelings, but discuss them after. Some of them will relate to the person you chose, and some only with the fear that the family is changing. Give the child support and time. Even if your kid is categorically against communicating with your woman, don’t despair. Make it clear that you don’t change the child to your wife that you still love him as much as before, and this will never change.
You and your future wife’s child
Nowadays, men often find Ukrainian wife who already have children and misunderstandings often appear between the stepfather and the woman’s children, which invariably become a problem between the spouses. A man who wants to become not just a husband for a beloved woman but also a loving and beloved stepfather for her children should follow the recommendations of psychologists how to make friends with children from the first marriage of his wife.
New “fathers” often fall into two extremes: they are either emphatically strict with their stepchildren, or, on the contrary, are unacceptably careless. Both ways are bad. Neither strictness nor pampering will win respect. You have to be yourself. If the stepfather is too strict with the children, it means that he seeks to establish himself in a new role and to show “who is the master here.” If he indulges children excessively, then this is the desire to show “what a kind person I am”, a pejorative position. Children will feel it perfectly, and in the first case they will turn their backs upon the new father, in the second case – they will become spoiled and won’t learn how to respect you.
How the relationship between a man and his wife’s children will be determined is largely performed by his true attitude toward the mother of these children. If the new husband is disrespectful, rude, cruel to the mother, then the children will hate him because the mother is the person they love most, they will not forgive a bad attitude towards her and stand up for her protection, exposing the new father to expelling.
A man who is ready for relationships with Ukrainian wife with children should be aware that children are not just some abstract children who can be brushed aside, but that they are people with whom he has to reckon. If a man is not ready to share a shelter with the children of his beloved, if a man is looking for a comfortable life to ensure his life and nothing more, it is better not to enter into such marriage.
The most difficult is that such families face the problem of jealousy. Jealousy can arise in several directions immediately and simultaneously:
- children can be jealous of the mother to a new husband
- a new husband may be jealous of children to their own father
- children can be jealous of their father to stepfather
In any case, the stepfather should not aspire to take the place of the children’s father. Their father, whatever he was, even if he left his family, he will still remain their father forever, and no one can replace him. Therefore, the stepfather must love his stepchildren with his own love, regardless of the relationship of the children in the biological father.
- do not require calling you “dad”. Becoming a daddy for a non-native child is a great honor to be earned.
- never speak badly of the child’s own father, it hurts painfully. The child has already received a psychological trauma from the divorce or death of his father; don’t hurt him with a reminder of this.
- never compete with their own father for the number of gifts, because love is expressed not by gifts, but by attitude.
- never quarrel with the father of the child in the child’s presence. All conflicts must be solved in a masculine way, without playing to the public and strictly face to face, if suddenly there was a need for it. The best form of relations is a “business partnership” between the father and stepfather in the general child-raising business.
Having received the rights to the woman, the man believes that at the same time he received the rights to her children. But this is not true. You chose a woman, she chose you, but the children didn’t participate in this choice, they were put before the fact, and the rights of the parent are not automatically transferred along with the marriage certificate.
- love and trust can’t arise in one day, at first it is reasonable to keep distance. Take a closer look at each other, learn the habits and traits of each other’s character, get used to the fact that now you have each other.
- don’t set yourself the task to achieve child’s love immediately. Achieve his friendship first.
- the most reliable way to calm all the child’s fears is to show love to his mother.
- try not to scold the first time and especially not to punish stepchildren. A child experiencing stress from such changes in family life, even fair reproaches will perceive it as cruelty and bias.
- try to spend as much time together as possible, with the whole family, so that the child can see that your appearance will not leave him without the dearest person – his mother, that you do not kidnap her from him, but, on the contrary, you give yourself to him.
- always note even the smallest signs of friendliness from the stepchildren. Praise them for their help, courtesy, patience. Show them that you need them.
- all outbreaks of jealousy in children must be tolerated calmly, without developing confrontation. Remember: you are a family. And this is the most important thing.