The number of Step Parents in Kenya is rising in the last one decade. The reasons for this increase is due to a number of factors namely increase in divorce rates and adoption of Children amongst others. Historically speaking as illustrated by the Cinderella story, step Parents and step children normally do not have an easy relationship. However, where the parent has humbled themselves and tried to be a friend to the children again depending on their age, life is more manageable.
Victorious Step Parenting in KenyaStep Parents in Kenya are not always successful because the Children are normally not happy with the idea of a Step Parent and so they treat the step Parent as an intruder. This raises many issues in the home. A very little percentage of step families are bound by love and respect at the beginning. Some of the step families’ studies show that children relate with their step parents depending on how the step mothers and step fathers treat them. It is recorded that step Parents treat their step children different from their own and Children are very perceptive so they can feel it and they do not like it so they project and the step parent starts being defensive by beating or shouting at the children.
At first, the relationships between the children and the step parents may be based on suspicion. However, this condition does not have to be present. If the parent that is bringing the step parent brings in the Parent in such a manner that the children do not feel left out or scared or threatened then the transition for both the children and the step parent can be smooth.
The relationship between the children and the parents may become more complicated if the biological parents or the extended family members interfere with the step family. These people usually try to use children and look for their support in rejecting the Step Parents in Kenya. It is therefore the duty of the dominant parent to protect his new family from outside interference.
Differences that exist for the families of Step Parents in Kenya
Step Parents in Kenya are definitely likely to experience special challenges in parenting.The way the step parent administers authority is likely to be different and the standard of living is likely to change and the Children might not like that change and attribute it to the step Parent. Step parents should be the first to take the initiative to bridge the gap that exists between their views and the views of the children. The best way of dealing with the differences is by discussing them with the children and come to an agreement on some guidelines and strategies. This way the children will be convinced of your fairness and they will accept you.
Other common differences in a family of Step Parents in Kenya mainly revolve around respect, discipline and Trust. The Children do not automatically respect a Step Parent, they need to know them before according a Step parent respect. This is normally challenging to the Parent. The Step Parent may not know how to handle a disciplinary issue without that action being taken negatively by the Children and this causes a crises because the child could interpret that behavior as lack of interest and they will next time do something worse. Step Children do not know whether to trust a Step Parent and so this is likely to bring friction in the family.
Step Parents in Kenya: How to Avoid the Differences
The step parent must take the attitude of a new Manager. When a new Manager joins a Company they just don’t start making decision’s immediately and ordering people around otherwise they will become very unpopular. The first thing a diligent Manager does is study their new work environment and her colleagues so that she understands how the Company is run and how people there behave. The new Manager must ask a lot of questions and hold a lot of meetings with her colleagues in order to learn and understand.
So it is with the step Parent. They have to first study the family structure and learn more about that family and the children way before marriage. Understand the children, be their friend to start with even before you start setting boundaries. Let them know you. Ask for their opinions. Do not make any changes in their lifestyle abruptly. In this way you will have the managed on your side and life is likely to move on smoothly.
An effective manager must have an open door policy so should step Parent be. Let the children feel they can talk to you about anything and they can bring any issue to you. This will take away any fear that they might want to harbor in themselves.
Here are other tips that a Step Parents in Kenya and the step children can use to build a strong family unit.
Create time for family prayer where each member of the family can bring all their issues and you present them to God in prayer. A Spiritual culture in the home can help a Step Parent settle in quite simply. There is truth in a family that prays together stays together.
The dominant parent should also be very active in ensuring their Children accept and respect the Step Parent.
Step parents should try extremely hard to treat their step children as close as their other biological parentstreated them.
Effective Parenting includes discussing family matters over family meal times with the children and come to an amicable agreement
The Parent should treat the step children the same way as their biological children. If you do not have Children of your own, try and obtain information on Parenting skills and read positive discipline books.Step Parents in Kenya should not force the children into loving them, let the acceptance grow slowly and naturally. Create a bond slowly.The step parent should also not forget that the reason they are in that home is because of their marriage to the dominant parent and so should ensure that they both maintain marriage quality inorder to foster a strong home.
The Step parent should always remember they are the adult and so when the Step children play up as they normally would, they should be patient with them and guide them accordingly and not be filled with feelings of remorse. A cohesive blended family is bound to form with a lot of patience and diligence.Step Parents in Kenya is on the increase due to various reasons ranging from divorce to death of a spouse or the growth of single parent homes. Like each family it is faced with its own shares of problems. The good news is that there is no problem that does not have a solution.
There is a Christian song that is called ‘Oh what a friend we have in Jesus’. It goes on to say ‘oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer’. A step family is ordained by God just like any other family. So entrust your family life to God to guide it and bless it. I am convinced that successful Step Parenting can only be achievable with the help of the Almighty God so seek him in matters pertaining to your family. He cares for you, the Step Parent in Kenya and your family.