When two people fall in love, they naturally want their families to blend right away and immediately get along with each other. This is very unrealistic and sets the stage for disappointment, hurt and anger by all involved.
Some of the other ideas that are common ideas and also unrealistic expectations are:
· Children will accept the new stepparent with open arms, courtesy and pleasure.
· The stepmother will be able to be kind, gentle and loving enough that the children will quickly fall in love with her.
· The stepfather will be able to immediately handle discipline problems with the children so that they will accept authority and rules.
· The children will really like each other and enjoy having a larger family.
· There will not be any problems with choosing common rules for children in this new unit.
· The new stepparents will really like and, even come to love, their stepchildren.
· This new loving family can “overcome” the influence of the other family.
What should you expect in a stepfamily?
· It generally takes one or two years for stepfamilies to say that they are finally okay.
· Stepchildren will only accept discipline (teaching) from someone that they respect and have a relationship with.
· Patience, a good sense of humor and lots of loving communication will be required because it takes a long time for people to even feel comfortable with each other.
· Stepparents and stepchildren may only get to the place of learning to get along. The relationship may never get deeper than that; and for some families, that can be seen as success.
· Stress and struggle are the norm.
· Natural parents from “the other” family cannot be criticized in front of the children without causing problems in your family relationship.
· The adults must be the grown-ups and demonstrate lots of flexibility, humor, patience and understanding.