How to cope if your partner has children from a previous relationship

Children, whether they are your own or your stepchildren have a tendency to add complications to the relationship. Although both parents love the children, they may disagree on how to bring the children up. Your attitude to children and the correct way to raise them up is moulded by a number of circumstances. These will include:

  • Your own upbringing
  • Your personality, some people are more authoritarian and others more laid back
  • Your personal beliefs about discipline
  • How much you have to do around the house and at work
  • Differences in attitude to how much freedom the children should be given

You may differ in your beliefs on

  • Chores around the house and how much the children should be doing
  • The choice of schools and extracurricular activities

Where households are busy routines may be neglected and this can add further stresses to the home and all within it.

One of the worst things that you can do is to argue about your differing attitudes in front of the children as they may blame themselves for the disagreement. The best way to resolve your conflicting ideas on raising children is to have an open discussion and attempt to reach a compromise. If you find this difficult it may be time to call in a counsellor or attend a parenting skills class where you’ll meet other parents with similar problems.

It is easy to forget your partner when life becomes really busy. Remember that your partner also needs your attention and without it could feel unappreciated and resentful.  

Children from a previous relationship