Becoming a parent can have a huge impact on your personal relationships and family dynamics, which can often become complicated. It is important you are aware of these changes and understand they are normal, to stop them from becoming unmanageable family monsters. It will take time for things to settle and for a new routine to be found. A child can bring a range of added pressures to your life, however there are ways to help you adjust to and manage the challenges your family might face.
A baby entering the family environment can cause friction. It’s important that the new child has the same rules and affection given to the other children. Babies need a lot of extra care and affection so it’s best to be mindful of other children and explain to them the situation. In turn it is important that your other children do not feel forgotten or that the new baby is being favoured.
It is important that you spend time together and grow and develop your relationship with your child. Over time trust will build and relationships will evolve. Some children can gravitate towards and show more affection and attention to one adult, which can be a source of jealousy and friction in your relationship.
Although it can be difficult, parents should try to remain patient and persistent. It is important that all adults with active roles in a child’s life have an agreed and consistent approach towards parenting. If you have a partner then it is important that you work as a couple and can be seen as a unit and show the same responses in terms of rewards and discipline.
Spending quality family time together and communicating well together is important for overall happiness of a family. Sometimes, going on family days out is brilliant for improving family wellness and building better relationships. It might be worth looking for family events where you can meet others in similar situations. Your local authority might offer family days in the summer or local ‘what’s on’ pages are useful too.
Sibling relationships can be fraught with conflict but if they are cherished, children will have a relationship which they can turn to help face their family monsters throughout their lives. They are emotionally powerful relationships that no matter the time span, can stay with people for the rest of their lives.
Although, at times they can be difficult to manage, siblings can be a key part of shaping the family life. In today’s society siblings can range from birth, to step, to half and everything in between, because families can come in all shapes and sizes. But the adjustment of new family members and extra siblings be it a new baby or a step/half sibling, can be a shock to the system.
Sibling relationships often form the first peer group for children and are key in them learning social skills and managing conflict, by negotiating with brothers and sisters. A child and their sibling have a shared story and even if this story is difficult, they have lived through a lot together so they are likely to have a real bond. Learning to move forward with the right person to support you can be easier than doing it alone. So for some people the best person to help face your family monsters with is your sibling.
Our free FamilyLine helpline is here to provide a listening ear, answer those particular parenting questions you have or help with guidance around more complex issues. All via telephone, text message or email for free.
Monday to Friday 6pm-10pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am-1pm
Telephone: 0808 802 6666
Text message: 07537 404 282
Join the conversation on social media and share your family monsters using #MyFamilyMonsters. Let’s face our monsters together.