What are tips for raising a step-child?

There are often delicate issues that come along with raising step-children. What have you found has made things easier with your blended family?

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1  Answer

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I am responding on the part of the step-child. It can be hard for the parents as well as the children especially when the children still live with the other parent as well. My step-mother did a good job by just trying to be my friend. She allowed my dad to make the parenting decisions and then tried to reason with me and treat me more as a friend when implementing those decisions. It took a lot of patience on her part because I didn't want to really let her be a part of my life but now she and I have a better relationship than my dad and I do. I think that it is the same process with everything. You keep a standard and set rules but at the same time try to be a friend while implementing those rules. Don't get so lax though that the children always come to you when asking for something because they know that you will say yes while the other parent will say no. Make sure the rules are followed and obeyed but try to create the bond that you may already have with your own children already.

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I am the mother of children who have a current step mother and have had a step mother in the past. As adults we have to realize the kids have no choices or say in what the adults do decide. They have to live with those choices whether they like them or not. I would like to say that a child needs a friend during all these times of changes in the life of their families. They do not need impossible expectations of someone who comes in to blend the family or to become part of that family. The kids need to be treated with a certain amount of respect and dignity. They need to be able to decide when to come to the new step parent and have time to learn to accept them into the fold. The step parent needs to keep a bit of distance and not expect to be loved instantly. They need to give room for the relationship to grow. They need to talk to the child when given the chance, learn the child's interests and get to know the child, they need to include the child in all tings going on in the family. They need to treat the kids the same way. Rules should be set by the parent of the kids and the step parent can follow through with the rules in such a way that the rules are kept up with. The step parent should not talk about the non-custodial parent in a bad way....does not win points with the kids. Just do not expect a miracle to happen over night...these relationships do take time to grow.

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