The definition of the 21st century family structure is changing. Diverse kinds of alternative families exists these days which includes single parents, blended families, cohabiting families with Children, Same sex families with Children. However families generally share principles across board no matter what kinds: Affection, Respect and Commitment. So in dealing with families these days, there is a need to possess a certain level of tact so no family feels uncomfortable. The following tips can help guide our behavior when faced with tricky family situations.
Avoid criticizing other parents in front of your children or them.
Don’t make remarks about another parents parenting style or competence.
Do not discipline another person’s child unless you have been given the permission to do so. When a child displays a rude behavior let the parent know about it and they should discipline their child themselves.
Step parenting usually occurs by blending two families through remarriage after a divorce or death of a spouse. To maintain love and respect in the home;
Don’t force labels on children, it’s ok to request the children to call you by a certain name but they should not be forced to call you mom or dad. They already suffer from divided loyalties, do not make it unbearable.
Don’t try to replace the other parent. What can you offer the children that you are good at? Could you be help them be more organized than when you met them, could you help with homework? Find your unique gift that can help the child and offer it.
Love the kids, Let them know that you care and they will come to trust you in their time.
Show kindness to the children but don’t go over the limit by indulging them/spoiling them to win their loyalty.
Custodial rights should be respected by all parties
On same sex couples
Respect the privacy of union and don’t put the relationship on the spot with your questions. Questions like “how did you and your partner have a baby?” are thoughtless.
Be sure to ask them what they would like to be called when they are being introduced. If you are not sure what to call them simply say Sandy’s parents or Andrew’s parents whichever may apply.
Avoid asking intrusive questions to the children about living at home. Questions like “which is your mum or your dad?” are inappropriate.
Avoid making negative remarks about the parents in the hearing of the child, whether you agree with the life style or not.
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