Allow the birth parent to do the disciplining where possible. But don't lead the children to believe that they can walk all over you either.
Talk to the children about what they would like from you and ask them regularly how they think you're doing and if there is anything they're not happy with...but don't be pushy!
Do not get in the way of the childs' relationship with their birth parent.
Never speak about the other parent to them or in front of them.
Understand that it is not easy for them...oh, I just saw that this was asked of a specific hubber; i'll send what I've put so far anyway :-p
I totally agree with smzclark! I had a step-parent and I am a step-parent and it isn't an easy job by far. If you follow a few simple rules though, you may develop an amazing, unique relationship.
The two rules I have to keep in mind the most are...
1) The biological Parents make the rules, the step-parent simply enforces them if the bio parent isn't home at the time. Other than that, butt out. (easier said than done, I know)
2) When discussing the child, the step-parent should give their opinion (never call names or demean the child!!) regarding situations when asked, then back off. All you can do is support your spouse.
I love my step-daughter very much and I only want the best for her! However, I need to remind myself almost everyday that she isn't mine and I have boundaries she needs me to adhere to.
Shil1978, may I invite you to read my answer in my hub: http://msdora.hubpages.com/hub/Tips-For … And-Child?
Do develop a relationship with the child in which they respect you as a person. This involves trust, admiration, leading by example, and especially the example you set of how to treat their biological parent. It is only after a strong foundation is built that you can gradually introduce discipline. Move too soon into that area and the child will begin the relationship resenting you.
We have all heard stories about how horrible stepparents are, but did you know that that does not have to be you? You can be a great stepmother or a great stepfather without having to abandon everything you love when you join your new family. Your new family will have to adjust to the new situation and so do you. read more
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