- January 20, 2015
Love and respect is earned from a child, not demanded.
If you're thinking of marrying someone with kids, or if you've got kids and you're getting married, your kids are going to gain a stepparent. Blended families are challenging and cause stress on your marriage.
However, here are five rules for being a stepparent that help improve harmony in both your marriage and your blended family:
1. A stepparent is NOT the parent. A stepparent is a "bonus" parent in a child's life. As a bonus parent, giving gifts in an effort to buy a child's affection will not gain the status of new best friend. Your role is as another safe adult for the child to interact with. Your job is to model healthy life perspectives that complement those of their biological parents.
2. A stepparent co-creates the rules for their house with their spouse (the child's parent). By co-creating the rules and supporting each other in their enforcement, you avoid becoming the evil stepparent. You'll also create a home that you and your spouse will enjoy.
3. You can—and should—expect respect from the child, and showrespect as well. As in any relationship, there will be times of struggle in the stepparent/stepchild relationship. Mutual respect…