Rivalry between children in single-parent families
Combined families have become commonplace today, and many parents are quite normal about this. But such families greatly affect the psyche of children falling into them. Often, attempts to combine two families into one leads to the fact that step-by-step children begin to compete with each other. This process can be very painful and complicated. Let’s look at a few tips on how to deal with rivalry among stepchildren.
Rivalry between step-children and child psychology
According to statistics, today every second marriage breaks up. Therefore, re-marriages are becoming common. If you and your new spouse already have children, you all come together to form a new family. Due to the nature of child psychology, you may encounter rivalry between children, and this may interfere with your enjoyment of family life. How does the formation of a new family affect the psyche?
One of the most serious problems in such situations is that it is difficult for a child to take his stepfather into his life. Moreover, it is easier for him to have new brothers or sisters.
At first, the life of a new family can go smoothly due to the fact that the children are not yet accustomed to this situation. But when everyday life begins, problems arise with relationships with parents, with the need to share common space, toys and things with brothers or sisters, with the emergence of new home rules, with new strategies for raising children. New conditions are reflected in the psyche of the child, and this leads to manifestations of rivalry between children. Such changes in life are easier for children who continue to live in the same house as before. For those who are forced to move, it is more difficult to cope with such situations.
Studies, on the other hand, show that older children who move away from their parents because of their studies at the university or for other reasons find it easier to accept remarriage of their parents and the appearance of stepbrothers and sisters. This is because children want their parents to have good spouses and families in their absence.
How to cope with the rivalry between stepsons
The best way to deal with rivalry is to let the children know each other’s character better. Parents should give them complete freedom in finding independent solutions to the problems that they face when communicating with each other. However, parents can be very attentive to the manifestations of poor or destructive behavior on the part of any of the children.
Perhaps stepbrothers were brought up differently. Perhaps their previous families used different rules. However, parents must determine the rules that each member of the new family must follow. If possible, these rules should be discussed with all children.
Sometimes parents are inclined to react and judge in favor of their own children. They may do so intentionally or unconsciously. Therefore, parents should be honest with all children. Sometimes a child may not accept his stepfather and resort to false accusations against him, claiming that he is being treated unfairly. This behavior of the child should be taken very seriously. Both parents must treat him and the rest of the children fairly. It is very important that parents impose the same punishment for the same misconduct to all children.
If parents share responsibilities at home between children, then this should be clearly discussed as early as possible and honestly shared responsibilities between all children.
Children need time to cope with changes in their lives and changes in the environment. As a rule, they seek to get the comfort and attention of parents. Children can show possessive feelings towards their parents, so it is difficult for them to share the love of their parents with someone else. Therefore, it is advisable that parents devote some time to each child separately.
You should not expect that all children will adapt to new living conditions with the same speed. One child may get used to the new family faster, another may need more time for this. Give each child the opportunity to speak with you about any doubts that arise. Be friendly and open. Plan family events such as a Sunday picnic or family dinner to help the new family pull together.
Parenting is a complex and continuous process, and it must be approached with a sense of tact and the desire to be objective. But the best recipe for education is love, attention and sincere communication. You can bring harmony to family life and get rid of the rivalry between children by combining your efforts with the efforts of children. And who knows, perhaps very soon your new family will become one.