Newstep

New stepparents or his-and-her blended families.

You’re soon becoming a step-parent! A somewhat frightening endeavor, especially if you’re adding a child or two yourself.

Stepparents

New Stepparent: Now What?

Joy Stevens

First and foremost, new stepparents need to agree in advance about discipline.

A somewhat frightening endeavor, especially if you’re adding a child or two yourself, thus making a his-and-hers blended family. The most important part of becoming a stepparent is the prior planning you and the biological parent do before the wedding.

First and foremost, the adults need to agree in advance about discipline. Who, what, when, where, and how is a good place to start with your discipline plan.

After you have agreed upon discipline, agree on rules for your home. In fact, agree on all acceptable behavior and the consequences of behavior that is not acceptable.

After the adults have agreed, it is time for the children to have the new regime and the new rules explained to them.

The second most important aspect of a blended family is that each adult support the other. No giving in or allowing children to manipulate the rules. Manipulation and inconsistency guarantee that you will have a "blender" family instead of a "blended" family.

Parents should discuss upcoming changes with their children in detail appropriate to their age. But it should be clear from the beginning that the adults are deciding which changes will be made.

The best stepparent in the world is probably not going to saunter into an immediate loving and grateful situation. However, the biological parent should explain to the children, that although love is not necessary for the stepparent, respect and cooperation are mandatory. Make it clear to your children that you expect your new spouse to be treated in a civil manner.

If you are the biological parent, explain that this is your new husband or wife, not a potential father or mother. Tell them also that if love happens, that will be wonderful and make you and your new husband/wife very happy. But in the meantime, respect is the order of the day.

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CyberParent Recommended Reading for More Information: Introducing the StepParents’ Web StepParent Web Directory Q & A Series Blended Family Blended or Blender? New Stepparent: Now What? Stepkin: An Evolution What Is a Single Stepparent? Building Kinship Short and Long-Term Visitation Second Marriages with Children Both Are Non-Custody Parents Six Common Stepfamily Conflicts Thanks, Mike! Doggy-Blue

One Non-Custody Parent/Spouse Has Visitation Rights

Stepparents Seek Advice from Other Stepparents.

Stepfathers: A fact of life in America today.

Time-out: An Effective Discipline for Stepfamilies.

Multiple page series of letters about stepparenting from CyberParent surfers.

Genetic Engineering: What Is It and How Can It Affect My Family? Book Review: The Blended Family Sourcebook Book Review: Blending Families Book Review: The Courage to Be a Stepmom Book Review: Divorce and New Beginnings Book Review: Stepcoupling Book Review: Step Wars Book Review: Step Wise Book Review: Surviving Your Adolescents. Book Review: 1-2-3 Magic Book Review: The Combined Family Book Review: Living in a StepFamily

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.

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