Mom Can’t Believe Her Husband Suggested Her Daughter Sleep On The Couch, While His Daughter Gets A Whole Room To Herself
Blending a family can be a real challenge. Especially when it comes to treating all children equally, regardless of whether it’s your own biological child or not. You’ve got to be on your A-game and resist giving preferential treatment to your own flesh and blood. However, it’s easy to let those subconscious biases creep in and start playing favorites.
Take this dad’s “Am I The [Jerk]?” story, for instance. He and his wife decided to enjoy their first blended family vacation together. And they thought the room arrangement for their kids was fine. Until one night, the author of the post decided to side with his daughter and make his stepdaughter sleep on the couch. Let’s just say the wife wasn’t very happy when she learned about this.
Bringing two families together can be a real struggle, especially when one of the parents starts to play favorites
Image credits: Dương Nhân (not the actual photo)
This parent decided to turn to the internet to ask whether it was wrong of him to compromise by siding with his daughter
Image credits: Cristian Tarzi (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Timur Weber (not the actual photo)
Image credits: couchpost
The OP answered people’s burning questions and gave more context to the story
Many step-parents struggle with being on the same page which can lead to a family crisis
Image credits: Timur Weber (not the actual photo)
Being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs in the world, as far as we know. And if you’re a step-parent, the challenge that comes with the territory only increases. For many, it involves navigating complex family dynamics and building relationships with children who may already have an established idea of what a parent is and who’s responsible for taking them out for ‘go-out-for-pizza’ nights.
According to the newest data by Pew Center, the number of stepparents in the United States is on the rise, with a staggering 13% of grown-ups (or around 29-30 million) now occupying this unique role. These numbers are not so surprising considering that 3-in-5 people coming out of their previous relationship have at least one child. The biggest hurdle, then, lies in the difficult transition that kids have to endure while the two families are blended into one, with some experiencing a “higher risk for internalizing, externalizing, and academic problems” in the long run.
However, the success of blending two families often depends on whether the kids get along. “The biggest danger” of this, Robert Taibbi, a practicing clinician and the author of “Brief Therapy with Couples & Families in Crisis”, told Bored Panda, is that “parents [can] split into camps — your children versus my children.” Something that we can see happening in this dad’s situation.
So what is there to do when your stepchild and your biological child butt heads? Robert says that family meetings might be the key. “Have weekly family meetings where the kids can bring up complaints, especially in the first few months of transition. Help the kids resolve their own issues — be a mediator rather than arbitrator,” he suggested. “Spend 1:1 time with your own kids so they don’t feel neglected or feel they’ve lost the connection that they used to have with you.” Of course, in the midst of that, don’t forget about developing a bond with your step children, too.
But the challenges of step-parenting don’t end there
Image credits: jm_video (not the actual photo)
One of the biggest challenges of stepparenting is managing discipline. When one of the parents is a bit laid back and the other is iron-fisted like a drill sergeant, things can get messy pretty fast. “Not being on the same page about parenting and falling into camps,” Taibbi argues, is one of the biggest causes of arguments between spouses. Think about it: a plane usually has two pilots. If you are not able to present a unified front about how you or your co-pilot handle things, chances are that the ride will be bumpy – both for you and all the kids. In fact, this might be a big factor why 72% of stepfamilies don’t survive the blend.
Another common hurdle that many step-parents face: the rejection of their authority by their stepchildren. For some, this can be compounded by a lack of reinforcement from the biological parents, which can leave stepparents with the responsibilities of parenting but without the necessary authority to carry them out effectively. “If you both are on the same page and you want to make changes in parenting, the natural parent needs to be the one to gradually make the changes rather than the stepparent,” he said.
Of course, if you move too fast, it can greatly backfire, as it turns out. “If the stepparent steps up too quickly, the kids see them as the bad outsider, rebel, and never connect,” said Taibbi. The children may feel like the stepparent is overstepping their boundaries, which can lead to feelings of resentment, even rejection. It’s a delicate dance, sure. But if you have enough patience and understanding, it’s possible to build a foundation of trust and respect that will ultimately result in a bond no different than the one between you and your biological child.