Suggestions for step parent role limits
Children of divorce and remarriage benefit from close ties to both bio parents, and you can help by encouraging them to work things out for the benefit of the kids while you stand back. Oh, you still hold an important position in your step family, to be sure. You need to be the person who is objective, fair, kind, and accepting of your spouse and of the children, no matter what else is happening. Your step kids have likely been navigating between battling parents for quite some time, and they can probably use a bit of stability and calm from you.
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Their parents probably can, too. You can help with that. You can support your spouse and his or her parenting goals by presenting a united stand with your step kids. You might advocate for a different approach now and then if you feel you must, and not appear to be taking sides if you are open and honest and above all, fair.
If your step kids have lost their other parents, either through death or by absence, your step parent role increased, buy your main role is to support your spouse as he or she parents her children. Until your step kids have fully accepted you in a parental role, you are relegated to the equally significant and reputable role as partner to their bio parent.
Parenting is difficult. Step parenting is harder. But when step parents approach the role in the same way parents do, by doing what is best for the children and for the blended family, everyone benefits. For more information on keeping blended family relationships, visit The Blended and Step Family Resource Center.