Questions and Answers about Stepparenting and support.
Support is important in blending families. Questionsfrom and about stepparents and stepparenting.. Just by loving and being loved we canhelp our stepchildren. But is that enough?
Stepparents’ Q & A
Questions asked by many stepparents and some quick answers.
WHAT MAKES FOR A SMOOTH TRANSITION?
Parents who support each other and who are consistent. Consistent: easy to say, hard to do. Plan some time as a family and some time alone with the biological child.
If you are the new stepparent, realize that the children already have a mom and a dad. Don’t ever expect to take the place of a parent. If you don’t expect that you won’t be disappointed when you don’t.
When the biological parent leaves children with the new stepparent, the parent should make certain the children understand the stepparent is in charge. It is dangerous for the child and the marriage, when the person who is taking care has no authority or his or her discipline is undermined.
For example, biological dad and stepmom:
Child says: "You’re not my mother and I don’t have to mind you." This can be stopped by the biological father saying, "She is not your mother, but she is my wife, and she is your caretaker. You do have to respect her and mind her when you are in our house or care."
IT’S EASY TO SAY WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD DO TO HAVE A HEALTHY FAMILY LIFE; BUT IN REALITY, PRACTICING WHAT IS PREACHED ISN’T ALWAYS SO EASY. MANY PEOPLE ARE JUST SURVIVING THE BEST WAY THEY KNOW HOW. WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IS IT TO INITIATE POSITIVE PARENTING?
It is the responsibility of the biological parent in theory. However, in reality, it is the responsibility of both parents if they want their marriage to succeed and be happy. In my experience, I have seen the stepfather, the nonbiological parent, seemingly make more effort than the natural mother, to be a positive influence in the lives of his new stepsons.
WHAT IS IT IMPORTANT FOR ADOLESCENT CHILDREN TO UNDERSTAND WHEN THEIR PARENTS GET DIVORCED? They did not cause the divorce. Both parents still love them. Their needs as a family and as a teen will still be met.
Note: The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position of CyberParent. They are not intended to take the place of advice of a health professional whose advice you might need to seek.