Look for good step parent material

As a single parent, you might go on multiple dates before you feel the person you are seeing is right for you. When that happens, it is exhilarating. It takes more than a few dates, however, to determine whether he or she is right for your kids. Introducing your date to the kids is one thing; bringing them in as a permanent addition to the lives of your children is something entirely different. You need to make sure the person you bring into your home is top-notch step parent mate

Potential mate, possible step parent

Face it, choosing a mate becomes harder when you have to factor in whether he or she would also be a good match for your children. You may dream of creating a blended family with your new love, but it is important to have a clear understanding of this biological fact: step parents rarely love your kids as much as you do. If you are okay with that, look closer at the possibility of creating your blended family. Here are some thoughts on whether your love may not be good step parent material.

Signs he or she is not step parent material

The person you are dating is not step parent material if:

  • They say they do not want children; being a step parent is even more difficult and demanding. Sometimes, single parents in love convince themselves their partner will change their minds after a while. True, people do change their minds, but step parenting is something that must be freely chosen.
  • They are uncomfortable around children. Someone who gets along well with you, but not with your children, is neither a good potential step parent for your kids, or by extension, a  good match for you and your blended family!
  • They are habitually manipulative, controlling or angry; these negative behaviors provide a poor example to your kids. A blended family environment needs stability, trust, and consideration; parents should seek a relationship with someone who interacts with others in healthy ways.
  • They use or abuse alcohol or other habit-forming substances they know are harmful. This is not behavior you want your children exposed to. As well, a person struggling with an addiction should not take on the added responsibility and stress of becoming a step parent.
  • They are insecure or jealous. A parent owes it to his or her children to make healthy relationship choices. If a potential mate checks your email, text messages, and wants to know what you are doing, where, and with whom all the time, this person is not a good role model for your kids. This is unhealthy behavior.
  • The person is habitually unemployed. A single parent has many financial obligations; introducing additional strain on a stressed budget geared toward caring for your children is irresponsible. Major blended family and relationship problems will surely result.

Finding love again after divorce or other loss can be exciting, life-affirming, and bursting with hope for a happier future for you and your kids. Remember, once you and your new love establish the blended family merger, your primary relationship will be not with your children, but with your new partner. Make sure your new love is up to the challenge of step parenting, and to the challenge of being the respectful, thoughtful, and caring partner you will need to share management of your blended family.  Congratulations on your new love, and good luck with your blended family.