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The Importance of Allowing your Partner to Discipline your Child

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 30 Oct 2014 | comments*Discuss
 
The Importance Of Allowing Your Partner To Discipline Your Child

For a marriage to be loving and successful, a spouse must be considered an equal partner in all aspects, including being a parent and handling discipline for a child, even if the youngster is the natural child of only one of the partners.

Stepparents, especially those who reside in the home that their stepchildren call home for the majority of the time, often need to address behavioural issues with the children, but in order to do so with effectiveness, they must have the support of their spouse.

Outlining a Stepparent’s Authority in the Home

When people who have children choose to marry, they need to consider their vision of family life and then share that with their partner. Hopefully, both members of the couple have similar ideas about raising children, but if they don’t, the time to work out those disagreements is before the wedding is scheduled.

It is reasonable to expect that children take direction from their stepparents, but if they sense that their natural parent doesn’t recognise their spouse as an authority figure for the children, the kids are not likely to readily obey.

While each blended family must establish household policies that work for them and that they feel good about, there are some commonalities between happy, well-functioning stepfamilies and those that seem to be constantly striving for peace but never quite achieving it.

One of the biggest factors that makes a difference in matters of child-rearing is whether or not a stepparent feels that they have the full support of their partner.

Presenting a United Front

Once partners have reached an agreement about how they’d like to handle discipline, they are ready to approach the children to let them know what is expected of them.

Having well established and clear house rules can make it easier for kids to behave properly – after all, it’s all but impossible for a child to meet the expectations of a parent who doesn’t let the kids know how to please them.

It’s important for both the natural parent and the stepparent to sit down with the children together to explain the rules and the consequences, should the rules be disregarded.

By letting the kids know in no uncertain terms that both parents have equal authority to decide on and enforce house rules and other guidelines regarding the children, the whole family is likely to blend more smoothly than if the kids are only expected to obey one of the adults in the home.

Requiring Respectful Responses from Children

Often, it can take children a while to feel a genuine kinship with their stepparents, but even when they have yet to internalise a connection with their parent’s partner, they can be expected to treat that person with kindness and respect.

Learning to treat others well is an important goal for all children, and those lessons begin at home.

Before they are grown and on their own, kids need to have mastered the art of blending into society and in many aspects, the family unit is a small-scale representation of society as a whole.

Parents who require their children to handle themselves appropriately in a variety of situations, including those that upset them or make them angry (as when they are expected to adhere to rules that they may not like), give their kids tools that they can apply to many of the situations that they will encounter as adults.

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@concerned. Seems like a situation where you just have to give it a try and see. In any relationship there may be teething problems when it comes to dealing with someone else's children and what the boundaries are to discipline etc, but these can usually be worked upon between you and hopefully worked out. You partner has obviously had experience of step-children before, so he is probably more experienced than you initially think. Jess.
Jess - 30-Oct-14 @ 11:14 AM
I was wondering if anyone thinks it is possible to have a happy life together where the new partner has no real dealings with the others children. Basically the mother deals with her first two children and they deal with the mutual child together.
concerned - 29-Oct-14 @ 4:28 PM
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