As a society, we’ve come to welcome non-traditional family units.Majority of the time, it works out well and the parents involved raise children who go on to be productive citizens in the world. My relationship with my father was imperfect and strained.For example, if one of the biological parents tends to be a harsher disciplinarian, as a stepparent, you become the family’s glue. One thing I learned in dealing with a single mom is that even when a child isn’t yours, they have a profound effect on who you become as a man.In my situation, a lot of times, I felt like the dad who’d been there from day one.It’s not a situation to be taken lightly because being in a position to shape a child’s life as a chosen, additional parent is an honor.There will be moments where you’ll have to play counselor and confidant. Sometimes, it can wear on a relationship when a child doesn’t feel free to express themselves.In some respect my parents’ relationship and not having my dad there full time actually helped me prepare for fatherhood in ways I couldn’t comprehend until I was this age.
Michelle Anthony, Ph D, a developmental psychologist and learning therapist in Denver, suggests an opening line like: “It sounds like a lot of kids are talking about dating now. ” If you can't tell what dating means to your kid, try discussing dating as shown on TV shows or in movies that are age-appropriate.As a stepparent, you can serve as a buffer – for both your child and your spouse.The other thing is when the other parent is actively involved, there may be times where the support system will have slight cracks.And he or she needs your guidance and support right now." You don’t want them learning the rules of dating from peers or the media, without your input.The more you talk to your kids about what it means to be in a healthy relationship, the more likely they are to experience that, whenever they start dating.
There were stretches of time when he wasn’t around; either by his own volition or my mother protecting us from his disappointments. Having such an inconsistent father was my first example of what kind of father not to be.