Family Rule Making Strategy
Lawton and Sanders (1994) discusses in his research that the teenagers who go through the divorce phase their parents and then their remarriage often isolate themselves from both their parents, both birth parent and the step parent. This isolation then takes the shape of their unethical behavior towards their parents and disobedience. For this reason, it is important that this isolation is broken before the parents can reestablish their authority over the children. One effective strategy in this regard is family rulemaking strategy (Lehman, 2014).
Funder (2001) performs an experiment in which the observed step family had to follow the rule of TV timings. The family consists of 4 members, a father, a mother (stepmother), and two sons. Apart from the defined TV timings, no one will be allowed to watch the TV without asking for the permission of at least house members. In this way, the stepmother had to ask for permission from at least one of her step son before she can turn on the TV other than the defined time. The same rule applies for the two boys. In the second phase of the experiment, Funder asked the father not to grant permission at any cost to the children, so that they have to approach their step mother. With the informal approach of permission seeking from the step parent, Funder found a direct correlation with authority setting of the step parent.
Children who are in their development phase assign a particular role to a person and it is hard for them to switch roles. For this reason, when a new member comes in the family and replaces the role of their father or mother then their brain reluctance towards role switching forces them to be disrespectful and disobedient (Stewart, 2002). For this reason, step parents should understand that there are some roles in which children still sees their birth parent, and thus, it cannot be replaced by them.
One approach to deal with this problem is the non-replacement strategy as explained by Stewart. Things like drug taking habits of children, dating, long distance travelling, and other similar activities are generally handled by the father of the family. For this reason, in the absence of the birth father, it becomes the responsibility of the step father to guide children in these matters and forbid when required. However, if a child is not prepared to switch roles, then he or she would argue (Stewart, 2002). To avoid such a scenario, the step parent should try to not directly prohibit the particular activity, but to associate the birth parent while giving the order. For example, if a stepfather wants to forbid his daughter for coming late to home, he can use the phrases like, “I know your father. He cares for you a lot, and he will never want you to be away for so late at night. So, for his happiness do try to come earlier next time”. Similar...