TIPS FOR ESTABLISHING HEALTHY STEP FAMLIES
- Go slowly.
Don't expect to fall in love with your partner's children overnight.
Take it slowly, and get to know them. Love and respect have to be
learned and a step parent has to earn them.
- All brothers and sisters have "falling out" periods, so don't
assume all family arguments are the result of living in a blended
- Beware of favoritism. Be fair. Don't overcompensate by favoring
your stepchildren. This is a common mistake, made with best intentions,
in an attempt to avoid indulging your biological children.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. Be sure to discuss everything. Never keep emotions bottled up or hold grudges.
- Make special arrangements. If some of the kids "just visit," make
sure they have a locked cupboard for their personal things. Bringing
toothbrushes and other "standard fare" each time they come to your home
makes them feel like a visitor, not a member of the blended family.
- Find support. Locate a step parenting support organization in
your community. You can learn how other blended families address some
of the challenges of blended families.
- Spend time every day with your child. Try to spend at least one
"quiet time" period with your child (or children) daily. Even in the
best of blended families, children still need to enjoy some "alone
time" with each parent.
- Patience is a virtue! Don't just cross your fingers and hope the
kids will like each other. They need time to get to know their
stepbrothers or sisters. It shouldn't be hurried.
From the article
Blended Families, Step Children and Remarriage