Privacy and the New Relationship

will be important to establish a couple of house rules:


1. Everyone must knock on closed bedroom doors before entering and must wait for an answer.

2. Assert your need for private time.

3. Respect their personal space and the children will be more apt to return the favor.

Spending time together:

Private time is not just about sex—you also need intimacy. During a stressful visit or challenges in your family life, you have to be able to check in with each other. Sometimes it just means lying on the bed playing cards, or just talking.

It is vital to talk with each other, even if it is about almost nothing. The craziness of the world we live in, combined with the craziness of raising children, can kill conversational opportunities. Do not let it. Talking is an essential part of intimacy.

You must have time alone as a couple. One way to establish privacy is to have time together without the kids. Establish a “date night” and stick to it. If you are unable to hire a baby-sitter, work out a schedule with friends or relatives. Be sure to return the favor.

Your children and visitation:

What about surprise custody? You marry your new partner, aware there are children in the picture. Maybe the kids live far away, and maybe there is regular visitation. But essentially, your house is your own. Surprise, for whatever reason (death in the family, Junior is not doing well in school, the biological parent moves and the child wants to stay in the neighborhood), now the child or children are moving in with you. I know you are feeling panicked, and guilty for feeling panicked.

Kids are smart. They can tell when they are not wanted. If this is the case, talk with the child. Assure him or her although this is a circumstance no one asked for, you are a family and families stick together. Problems get solved by first starting a conversation, then working on them.

Be aware you are in an adjustment period. It may take you and the child a bit of time, that’s okay. As the emergency step parent, take time to nurture yourself. You need to relax, take walks, and call on your friends and family for support. It is no secret children who observe loving relationships with physical affection grow up to become loving, affectionate adults.

MICHELE SFAKIANOS is a Registered Nurse, Life Skills Expert, Speaker and Author.Michele is the owner of Open Pages Publishing, LLC offering quality self-publishing. Her first book “Useful Information for Everyday Living” was published October 2010 and was later changed to “The 4-1-1 on Life Skills” then released June 2011. Her next book, “The 4-1-1 on Step Parenting” was released October 2011. Michele’s latest book, “The 4-1-1 on Surviving Teenhood” was published October 2012. She is well respected in her areas of expertise. Her years of experience as a Registered Nurse, Mother and Life Skills Expert have given her the knowledge and wisdom to write her books.

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