Guidelines to Being a Step Parent

Marrying into someone's family requires a period of adjustment. An advise to step Parenting


Family members may feel threatened by your presence in their lives, so develop a relationship with them gradually. With adult step children, begin with brief conversations about innocuous topics: the weather, a hobby, or entertainment, for example.

If they behave badly towards you, demand they treat you with respect, reminding them you are their father's choice of spouse. If they act chilly, don't personalize it. They are struggling with feelings of loyalty towards their birth parent.

Listen to them talk about themselves. It will give them a secure feeling of being accepted. Be their friend and give them space to lead their own lives.

Allow them time to be with your partner alone. There are family matters that don't involve you, so be gracious.

Look at the funny side of life with them. Humor can bring with it a sense of connection to one another.

Approach thorny situations with honesty and forthrightness. They will come to respect you. Most of all show them you like them.

With younger step children, be clear you are not there to overthrow the role of the birth parent in their lives.

Set boundaries and limits with them, consulting with your partner on what punishments are appropriate.

Refrain from too many expressions of affection between you and your partner. You will upset their sense of security. Let time and intuition be your guide.

Involve yourself with their daily lives and activities. Seeing you are interested in them will lead to their acceptance of you in time.

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