Singlestep

Single stepparents appear as blended family grows.

Single Stepparent? As the blended family becomes more prevalent, we arereaching a new plateau: the single stepparent.

Stepparents

Single Stepparents Are a Trend. How does one become a single stepparent?

Joy Stevens

Single Stepparent? As the blended family becomes more prevalent, we arereaching a new plateau: the single stepparent.

There is a growing trend in the world of blended families: single stepparents. Sometimes these stepparents are legal parents; often they are not.

It happens like this: Anne and Gary had a long-term relationship. Gary’s two children from a previous marriage grew to love Anne. The feeling was mutual. Anne and Gary parted. But Gary’s children still looked at Anne as a mother-figure. They would love to see her if Gary would allow it.

And while parting is hard on the child, it is also hard on the "stepparent" who leaves.

Another surfer said, "I recently broke up with a lady who had an unusually neat child. I miss her (the child), and regret that I can not be around tocoach and support her as she grows to become all that she can be. Memories are nice, but they are inadequate substitutes for occasional giggles, excited eyes, and timely hugs. Perhaps she’ll stay in touch. You never can tell."

Or this: Ted and Ashley marry. Ted adopts Ashley’s daughter, Brenda, with the blessing of Brenda’s natural father. Ted and Ashley divorce. Ted is still legally Ashley’s father as well as a person who loves Brenda as a daughter. Ashley realizes the impact Ted can have on Brenda’s life and encourages the father-daughter relationship.

Not all stepchildren who want to continue a relationship with their stepparent are so lucky, though. One reader wrote, "I was married to a lady who had a four-year-old daughter. Her mom set the stage for us to be a family, and no one had any doubt whose kid she was or whose dad I was proud to be.

Even without adoption, a parent-figure can become a single stepparent just by loving and being loved. And while parting is hard on the child, it is also hard on the "stepparent" who leaves to become single and childless again.

"When I got divorced thirteen years ago, I struck a deal with my ex-wife to permit me to spend time with the little girl who called me daddy. Unfortunately, during a divorce people sometimes do strange and hurtful things, and her mom decided that when the divorce was final, so was my contact with my daughter. My daughter, who at age five told her grandmother that ‘a father is the one who makes the baby, but a daddy is the one who takes care of me.’

"Sometimes when she stayed with a friend she would sneak a telephone call to me to let me know that she was O.K. or that the cat was expecting. As time went on, the calls become less frequent. I spent lesstime knowing how she was, and more time hoping that she was growing up happy and healthy.

"Thirteen years is a long time. Not long ago I got a call from my sister. My kid (stepdaughterif we must be exact) had given my sister her telephone number andaddress to forward to me. She now had enough control of her life to make that choice.

"I called her. A lot had happened in thirteen years. We tried to catch up, and I arranged to fly out to see her.

"As we talked I realized how much of her life I had missed. I also realized that some of the values and personal strength that I had hoped to demonstrate and instill had taken root and steered her in my absence.

"She wanted to re-establish a relationship now because she wanted someone to share ideas and dreams with, and someone to get advice from. Someone who knows her and cares about her. Her dad."

In these days of divorce, failed relationships, and single parents, it is not wise to let personal grudges deny a child one more person to love him/her and build his/her self-esteem. The single stepparent!

Additional information about stepparenting, stepfamilies.

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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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