Your child’s success and security in life depends upon a good education. So, it is understandable as a parent, you feel responsible and protective for that part of your child’s upbringing.
But, now with a new spouse in the picture, parenting decisions become more complicated. If your spouse seems to be forcing his or her authority in an area where you would prefer to have the first and final word, it could be that they just don’t know what their appropriate role should be.
However, keep in mind, as a stepparent, he or she does have the best of intentions for your child, and these new blended family disputes can be resolved?
Communication with a Capital “C”
The best way to set a solid foundation for your new family and head off conflict is … Communication. If education is the issue that is bothering you, sit down with your spouse and have an open and honest discussion.
If you are able to listen and hear each others point of view – listen is a key word here – you may find that you actually have a lot of the same views on education. Perhaps what you are in disagreement about is who should take charge of educational issues, and who should be the ally and supporter.
Define Your Spouse’s Role
Tell your spouse that you do value his or her ideas, but you want to be in charge of your child’s education. Suggest your spouse’s role be one of guidance and support rather than decision making and authority.
Stepparents who are involved, interested and supportive can do so much more for the family dynamic than trying to take control. Power struggles create a stressful environment that is not healthy for children. In addition, the friction will interfere with your spouse’s attempts to develop a positive relationship with your child. A helpful, upbeat environment at home encourages learning.
Learning Opportunities with a Stepparent
Education is more than school, homework, or good grades. Your child’s learning can be enriched by a stepparent who is willing to spend time and share learning opportunities beyond school.
Shared learning opportunities can be as simple as reading a book or working on a home improvement project together.
If your spouse is an outdoors enthusiast, a walk in the woods, exploring and discussing the trees and vegetation is loved by most children. Giving your child lessons in the game of tennis or golf can be a bonding opportunity while learning something new at the same time. Maybe your new spouse has an interest in art or music that he can share with your child. A trip to the local science museum or zoo is always fun for children, and they learn too
These types of pastimes will encourage your new spouse to be a part of your child’s life. And, sharing time together with fun positive activities can cement the relationship between stepparent and child and create a lifetime of memories..