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How To Get Along With Your Stepchildren & How To Avoid Choosing Favorites Among Your Children

Updated on October 7, 2014


Talk shows and self help books give stepparents a list of rules on how to get along with their stepchildren. In reality getting along with your stepchildren or child can be as easy as getting along with your own kids and as baffling as getting along with your own kids as well. In the end it all boils down to making a firm decision to make things work as a blended family.

This article will explain ways to get along with you stepchildren and how to avoid choosing favorites among kids.

Setting Boundaries For Yourself & Your Children

This Stepchild is now your child/Bonus Child.

  • Let Your Yes Mean Yes And Your No Mean No.
  • Take an interest in your child.
  • Lay it all out on the table.
  • Seek guidance from your support group.
  • Listen to your child.

My Personal Experience With Raising My Bonus Children, The Brady Bunch Made This Journey Look Easy

The Stepchildren Poll

Do You Get Along With Your Stepchildren For The Most Part

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Our Family Was Far From The Brady Bunch

Baby Mama Drama: It is very hard to help raise a stepchild when there is a jealous parent involved. As a step-parent you must step away from feeling insecure. It is normal for your stepchild's parent to feel insecure, because in their mind you are trying to replace them. You must assure the parent that you are not trying to take their place, and this must be expressed to the child as well; of course the parent may not believe you, but at least you expressed your feelings.

Our family is far from the Brady Bunch: Just because we did not make the picture perfect family does not mean that my role as a stepmother was a complete disaster. Watching my stepchildren adjusting to the plan of going back and forth between two homes with different rules, made things hard at times. Living in different States the kids would share holidays and Summers with my husband and I, which made things easier, because sometimes a divorce couple may be in need of an out of state relationship in order to keep the peace.

Piecing The Blended Family Together Is Going To Take Effort & Understanding

Puzzle Family Father Mother Children Learn
Puzzle Family Father Mother Children Learn | Source

No Rules Allowed! Yuck!

 Snarling Child Frown Teeth Feet Grimace Face Kid
Snarling Child Frown Teeth Feet Grimace Face Kid | Source

How To Avoid Choosing Favorites Among Children

Cinderella's Stepmother Gave Stepmothers A Bad Name.

My stepdaughter loved Disney movies, however when she watched the movie Cinderella, her outlook surrounding the role of a stepmother, was tainted. Eventually my bonous daughter was able to understand that I loved her just as much as I loved my own kids, because she was child that did not ask to be put in this uncomfortable situation. I wanted her to achieve her goals and feel loved.

There will always be a firmer parent out of the two parents we ran a household with boundaries. Church may not work for many but it worked for my household and the support group that I had within my church family, and the guidance that I had through my pastors teachings helped me to raise beautiful adults. My bonus kids would test our rules and they would reap the consequences, even though they tried to get the other parent involved in our rules, this did not work. Our rules were our rules.

And in the end discipline is the route that helped them to become stable and reliable adults. Due to faithful structure my now bonus adults have traveled the world and have encountered blessed opportunities.

My Bonus Kids did not ask to be apart of a blended family, they had no control over the matter:

I kept in mind that kids don't ask to be a part of a blended family, this concept gave me a compassionate outlook towards their situation. I shared an interest in the the things that they liked to do.

My Bonus Daughter: Loved to sing and dance, so I supported her gifts. My bonus daughter was also restless, she loved to travel, so I made sure that we visited interesting new places in our area. Ironically, my daughter's love for traveling landed her in a career that requires her to travel all around the world.

My Bonus Son: He loved movies, sports, cooking, and math, the only thing I liked was movies. Yet I tried to support him in sports, we went to the movies and observed the scenes as he dabbled into the moving making process. He enjoyed cooking, and now his job surrounds math and travelling,in his spare time he still enjoys cooking.

What me and my bonus kids shared built a strong caring foundation, which left no room for mama or daddy drama. Both of my kids knew that when they were around their step-mom we did our own thing.

They were still a bit rebellious just like my own kids were, but at least they respected me, My husband and I tried our best to lead by example in order to gain their respect.

Regarding Baby Mama Drama or Baby Daddy Drama: I learned how to step away from the drama. If we can't be civil towards one another, we don't talk at all, end of story.

Some say that you must communicate due to the kids, which is true, yet communication must be done without arguing and cursing at one another in front of the children.

Positive Note: kids don't stay kids forever, how you treat your stepchildren will leave a lasting impression. if you promote stability your child will leave the nest in peace and with confidence.

Don't allow the kids to talk behind your back. Your stepchildren and your own children will do this.

You and your spouse must create a strong bond, as tight as the National Guard

If child or bonus child has something to say, they can say it in front of you and your spouse, this cuts down on the "He Said She Said Drama." Defeat the situation head on.

Don't make the child call you mom or dad if they don't want to. I did not give birth to my bonus children, so I don't feel that I have earned the title of mom. My bonus kids call me by name, out of respect for their biological mother.

If your bonus child is young and their parent has passed away, then this could be an option, however allow them to make this decision, it should not be forced upon them.

The above vital information works for older and younger bonus kids, and your own kids.

Abraham, Sarah and Hagar

Bible Pictures with brief descriptions by Charles Foster, published in 1897, Philadelphia, PA
Bible Pictures with brief descriptions by Charles Foster, published in 1897, Philadelphia, PA

What Does Not Work As A Stepparent

In order to find out what does work as a stepparent one must take a look at what does not work.


Who can forget Sarah, the wife of Abraham, who struggled with the thought of one day having her own child by natural birth. And of course this made perfect since, due to the fact that Sarah was very old, way past her childbearing years.

Sarah decided to take faith into her own hands, in which she had her servant Hagar sleep with her husband. Hagar conceived a child named Ishmael. The jealousy that Sarah showed towards Hagar was so unbearable that Abraham had to ask Hagar to take Ishmael and leave. Eventually Sarah gave birth to a son named Isaac.

The Mama Drama And Daddy Drama Poll

Do You Get Along With The Parent Of Your Stepchild?

See results

Isaac Blessing Jacob

Horst, Gerrit Willemsz. (c.1612 - 1652) (Artist, Details of artist on Google Art Project)
Horst, Gerrit Willemsz. (c.1612 - 1652) (Artist, Details of artist on Google Art Project) | Source

Accept Your Child's Unique Abilities

Your Kids Verses Our Kids:

Of course our bonus kids would feel threaten by the new baby conceived by their parent and the new stepparent. This event may seem as if you are trying to replace them, If you think about, this feeling is common among all siblings, rather they are your birth children our bonus children.

Continue to embrace each child's different gift. Don't just drop everything to do with your other children just because of a new baby has arrive. In the beginning special attention is given to the newborn this is understandable; however get all the kids involved in the celebration of the new child.

Yes their will be sibling rivalry among kids, however this will slowly start to diminish once each child finds their personal strength set apart from everyone else. Celebrate the differences in your child. Each child is born with their own gifts; do not cater to the child that has the gift that you prefer.

I have five children in all, and all of them are all different, "Thank God!" Which means that I can indulge into 5 different events?

It is selfish to cater to the child that holds your interest and it also creates jealousy.

Who can forget the story of Esau and Jacob, a family torn apart when the younger son was prompted by his mother to deceive his own father and brother by stealing his older brother's birthright which honestly belonged to Esau. Once Jacob gained the birthright he fled due to his brother's anger.

Esau's father Isaac favored him because of his hunting skills, and Jacob's mother Rebekah favored Jacob because of his tender and passive nature. With time the two brothers Esau and Jacob were able to find closure.

Take A Look At The Ultimate Blended Family

In Conclusion:

In the end, my bonus children prepared me for my own children, and the phase that each child would endure did not hinder us as much, because we had endured the problem beforehand.

My bonus children are a blessing just as my birth children are a blessing.I can't imagine life without them. I do believe that I need them just as much as they periodically need me.

Blending a family can work out nicely, you just have to be open to diversity and patience.

Blend Your Family Together With Love, Patience, Kindness & Understanding

Blend That Family Together
Blend That Family Together | Source

Work On Blending The Family Together

Beyond the Brady Bunch: Hope and Help for Blended Families


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    • swilliams profile image

      Emunah La Paz 3 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks Denise! this is a huge complement coming from you. I admire the way you are able to raise such a large family with love and compassion. Thanks for your feedback!

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Family life is a difficult juggle, without blended families! I can't imagine the additional struggles that would enter the picture when step parents and children are added! You have addressed the issues nicely here, and given some great suggestions that anyone can use in their family.