7 Mistakes New Wives Make When It Comes to Parenting His Children

By: Lisa Bahar
Last Update: December 20, 2017

Earn Respect from a New Family When Parenting His Children

You are now married to a man that has children from his prior marriage, how do you act, what do you do? Here are 7 mistakes new wives can make when it comes to parenting his children from a previous marriage.  

  1. Wanting to Be Called "Mom"  
    This sets up competition between you and the child’s biological mom creating tension and jealousy leaving the child in the middle. Give up the resistance that she is their mom and avoid competing for the title, ultimately the child will respect you more and appreciate who you are versus focusing on defending you to their mom.  
  2. Insisting on Being Included When It Comes to Decisions about His Children
    Assuming these decisions are not directly effecting you, avoid interfering, it only causes arguments between you and your spouse on what the ex wife is requesting or needing. The ex was there before you and so were their children. The reality is that they will win and you will lose when it comes to how to parent his previous marriage’s children. Therefore, avoid over demanding, it is just perceived as a power struggle and takes away from your relationship and he may start holding back to avoid conflicts with you.  
  3. Wanting to Be Liked
    It sets up you as an enabler of his children by saying yes to situations and requests that the child may want, knowing their mom will say no. The child will learn early on you are easily manipulated and that they can get what they want from you. It may feel like they like you more, but you are actually setting up for them to not respect you and not like you.
  4. Making His Ex Wife and Parenting of Children a Primary Topic  
    If she is the subject of your arguments over their children, she has a lot of control of relationship with your spouse, avoid making her important in the wrong way. Your spouse will respect you more and be less inclined to defend or protect her when you start getting upset. 
  5. Insisting on Attending Events for The Child That May Cause More Focus on You  
    The child has to chose who attends these events, whether it is parent-teacher day, prom dress shopping, mommy daughter days, and marriages. These events are pressure enough, and having to deal with mom’s fighting over who attends and can make it even worse. The child may get anxiety, want to avoid the situation all together, and resent you for the pressure.
  6. Bad Mouthing the Child's Mother When His Child Confides in You The child is going to make up with their mom and you may feel left out when things are going good between them. This will create resentment and the possibility of your stirring up trouble so you can feel more connected. Be there for the child, but validate only and avoid judgments of the mom.
  7. “Marking” the child with gifts, clothing, hair styles, before she goes home The child feels guilty before she returns from the visit from seeing you and their dad.  If ex wife is feeling some concerns about your desire to move in on being mom, she may get upset at child and take it out on child or ask for information about you from child creating a relationship triangle.  Child learns how to be a secret keeper and avoid conflict.  This backfires in the long run and child will blame you later on in life when she figures out you knew deep down what you were doing.

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