You can’t believe your eyes. Your boyfriend’s son just poured glue in your new handbag and claims it was just a joke. And his daughter rolled her eyes when she saw you and stormed out of the room. You love the guy, but just can’t stand his rude kids. What gives? In time, you can improve your relationship with his children and strengthen your relationship with your boyfriend en route.
Have Some Empathy
As you're already aware, divorce can be truly awful for children. For some, they’ve been neglected. Perhaps the parents have been too busy with their divorce and personal matters and failed to give them the time they need and deserve. As a result, these children can become rude and behave badly to receive attention. When someone new comes into their lives, they react with hostility – the only emotion they may believe will get them attention.
Find Out What You're Signing Up For
Before you become overwhelmed by his rude children, get to know your boyfriend first. Understand if this is the man you are looking for and if you are willing to bring him into your life. If he has full custody of his children, this is an important topic to discuss. He has children who are his top priority and you have to understand this.
A study in the Journal of Divorce suggests that children who are living with their fathers have higher chances of developing behavioral issues as compared to children living with their mothers, explained in the paper titled, “How Single Mothers and Single Fathers Differ With Full Time Children in the Household.” You need to discuss plans and how he is going to handle having you in his life.
Play the Good Cop
You can become the "good" person in the children’s lives simply by getting involved. Every time they are angry with their father, become the good cop and try to win their love and attention. Occasionally, spend time with the children alone. Remember, the rude behavior is all an act. Children often lack the social skills that enable them to express their needs. Instead, they are prone to developing rude behavior, as suggested in an article titled “Power, Bullies, and Victims” on Psychology Today. These children are looking for someone they can count on. Your boyfriend will be amazed at how well you handle the children. A fruitful relationship with the children will enhance your relationship with the father as well.
A Meeting of the Minds
It is important to talk about any issues that arise in your relationship, no matter what. If the children are rude and nothing seems to help, you may need their father to intervene. The best way to deal with this is to have a discussion with everyone. The children should be given time to speak about their feelings. You should also talk about how you feel. Be wary of being condescending or making it seem as though you and their father are against them.
Nina Edwards holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been writing about families and relationships since 2000. She has numerous publications in scholarly journals and often writes for relationship websites as well. Edwards is a university lecturer and practicing psychologist in New York City.
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