If anything that grates my tits, it is this chat. I have read a gazillion stories on social media groups, children abused by step parents. Outrage mongers, this is directed to disfunctional blended families, please don’t come here with, “I know plenty of good step parents that get along with their step children.” Not today Nancy. I am well aware of the existence of great functional blended families but who is advocating for those that have the short end of the stick? Let’s put everything on the table and pick everything apart.
A well balanced argument to weigh out the good versus the bad might be great academia. Not in this case when children are raped in their own homes, die from physical abuse, mental abuse and neglect. The pleasantries can fly. The combat against child violence is an ongoing war. I was writing to my best friend in England and wrote something that made me stop and ponder. ‘this distance is treating us like a step child.’ In utter bad taste, I realized is this has become a social and cultural norm. Step children ideally receive the backhand of life. It starts with two adults deciding they should be together without factoring in the elephant in the room. Children.
If you choose to be with someone who has children, be cognizant of the reality that it is not ‘just dating’ but a commitment. I loathe the term ‘they come with luggage’ in reference to children. If you find yourself using the term extra buggage, you have no business being with a person who has kids. Children are a permanent extension of their parents. There is no such thing as getting to know him/her/non-binary and exclude the children. As a primary partner you have your connection and deserve 100% attention but be prepared for compromised priorities. Obligatory situations will definitely come and you are required to step aside. Although that is not an excuse to be a crappy partner and use kids as an excuse for minimal efforts. Either way enter with your eyes wide open.
If you feel children irk you or are not your ‘thing’, boo do no date parents. There are too many stories about partners asking to send the children away, “why can’t they live with their mother/father?’ They are human beings in their own rights to be with whomever parent they deem fit. You are supposed to blend and become one, not disintegrate the family and incite squabbles. Parents dating other parents usually prioritize their kids over their partner’s children. Stay single. How on earth do you claim to love a person but not their kids? It’s a mental illness, most likely a narcissistic personality disorder. Seek help and stay away from the parent dating pool.
It’s hard to date parents, you might face rejection from the children which is absolutely normal. It takes time for them to process that you’re not a replacement for the other parent. It can be a high conflict co-parenting setting, which is difficult to handle. The other parent maybe trying to sabotage your relationship or making unreasonable demands. These are things you need to consider before making that commitment. Knowing that you don’t have the mental stamina to accommodate other people’s kids and staying outside that scene can drastically reduce the cases of child abuse.
It begins from a conscious well inormed decision of knowing what dating a parent entails and what is expected from you. There are no half assed efforts when you are dating a parent, it’s either you are in or out. Parents who are on the dating scene should also have a honed discernment on who they bring in their lives. It’s not entirely the other person’s burden but as a parent be diligent in vetting the people you decide to date. The idea is to protect the children, so be a responsible adult. Watch out for signs of abuse, and trust your gut, it hardly lies. Do not ignore that bad feeling, your intuition is telling you something, act on it.
Reading about children beaten to death, sexually abused and starved, starts from dating the wrong people. Coy spawns of the devil guised under the cloak of an angel. Secretly competing with the children for your affection. Parents be careful and observant. To those who are not prepared to be step parents and to love another child, please stay away. Keep a healthy distance and keep it moving. I always say, every child is our child and to every evil step parent out there, may the wrath of a thousand gods befall you.