A Parents Mini Guide to Loving Your Stepchildren


Becoming a step-parent can either be exciting or it can become a nightmare. Sharing parental responsibilities, visitation and discipline has to be agreed upon with all parties. Kids are smart and if they find a crack anywhere in the system, they will act upon it. Being a step-parent myself I know firsthand the road is not easy. Sometimes it is long and winding road and if you and your spouse do not agree your time in the same space can be miserable.

If you establish ground rules and boundaries in the very beginning, you will should not be thrown any curve balls along the way. It isn't going to be an easy road but with a little understanding, communication and an abundance of love you will build a foundation that can last a lifetime.


1. Respect: First and foremost respect has to be established. The child/children normally have mixed emotions and are afraid that you may take there parent away. Many already suffer abandonment issues, becoming there friend first and not trying to play the role of mom or dad helps in the transitional period. If you strong arm at the beginning you are going to have a defiant child who is going to make your life very uncomfortable for quite a long time.

2. Communication: You and your spouse must always have an open line of communication. Children are tough and ground rules have to be established both parent and step-parent have to sit down and lay out the rules it won't be easy at the beginning however consistency in the household will make your world a lot easier.

3. Listen: What I have noticed in myself versus some of my closest friends, is that the do not listen to there step-children and treat them like Aliens. Creating a division instead of unification. This is an absolute no-no listening and understanding brings both child and step-parent together.

4. Participation: Being active and getting involved with your step-child/or children can be a very exciting time as it enables you to bond with them and learn there likes, dislikes and there needs. Plan activities as an entire family or just a simple one-on-one sitting on the couch and eating bon-bons or watching a football game is not going to get them to be attentive to you.

5. Power Hour: Before Power Hour the child/children write down what they wish to speak about. On the time and date set the child/children will present to the parents what there thoughts, feelings, and emotions are. It is an open discussion which enables the child/children to open up and express what the issues are. It also enables the parents to get a clear understanding of what is happening and what they can do to resolve any misconceptions.

These are the basics of becoming a well established step-parent. There isn't any right or wrong when mixing families, you just have to figure out what works best for you.

So what makes your step-children different from your own? Nothing. It is all about guidance, love, respect and understanding.


copyright 2008

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Comments 15 comments

Ryan Hupfer profile image

Ryan Hupfer 8 years ago from San Francisco, CA

Thanks for answering the request - I'd like to hear more about the 'Power Hour' idea.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

I will be happy to explain it to you via email if you wish.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

Power hour info updated as it is a wonderful time of interaction and bonding while allowing your children to see that all are treated equal.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 8 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon

Yes, this is excellent information. I have raised three step-children. Blended families are complicated. I discovered it is important to give special times to each child and to present a united front with your spouse. Great hub! Please see how I try to help others in new ways too. Sincerely: Gary Eby, author and therapist.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

I enjoy your articles and continue to look forward to reading them. Thank you for the compliment as yes it is complicated however love always persevers as we know.


New Life  8 years ago

Great article - you are truely inspirational and informative


AEvans profile image

AEvans 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

Thanks :)


INDRANI profile image

INDRANI 8 years ago from INDIA

Very informative. I’m really appreciated your way of thinking


AEvans profile image

AEvans 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

Indrani,

Thank you as I appreciate your positive comment.:)


thelesleyshow profile image

thelesleyshow 7 years ago from US

Great positive article! Thumbs up! All children are a blessing, whether they are our own or not. I never had any trouble excepting my husband's child but this is a great article for those who do struggle. I hope it finds it ways around to those who need it.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14)


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

thelesleyshow: I am glad that you appreciate it, as yes they are gifts of God and we need to be greatful for them.:)


Eaglekiwi profile image

Eaglekiwi 7 years ago from -Oceania

Oh great hub !,the dynmanics ,the love, the struggles, the victorys and the day you can look back and say..........we did ok dammit lol


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

Eaglekiwi: How did you manage to dig this out of the dust? You are right about the struggles and I certainly am looking forward to the future so I can look back. lololo Happy Mother's Day!


Eaglekiwi profile image

Eaglekiwi 7 years ago from -Oceania

lol blew off the dust bunnies and had a wee read, one of' my wonder what this person writes about' detours. All good.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There Author

Eaglekiwi: I see, I do that too!!! lolol

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