How many is too many?
In situations where a child’s parents have separated, and both their parents are still living, the majority of the time these children are heartbroken and still love both of their parents dearly. They dream and wish that their parents would get back together. When a new partner is introduced, children can have a big reaction to this, which may be very obvious in their behaviour in the form of verbalising such as “I don’t like you” or “ You are not my parent”. Or it may be less obvious in their behaviour such as passive aggressive behaviour of ignoring the new parent or purposefully antagonising them. When the new partner wants to take on a parental role, and children are reacting against this, the reaction can cause the new partner to be angry and judgemental of both the child and the parenting they have received to date. In reality, when children have 2 living parents, they generally perceive that they do not need any more parents, and that two was enough.
Circling back around to previous blog (1), if the new partner is ever to receive the status of parent from the child, this is a relationship the takes extensive time, space and ongoing communication and compassion between the adults involved.