14 Step-Parenting DOs & DON'Ts

Blending families and step-parenting are sure to bring challenges, and it often creates stress in your relationship with your partner. Here are a few DOs & DON’Ts for step-parents to consider to help make the transition to being a stepmom or stepdad a little smoother.

  1. DON’T expect an immediate blended family.
  2. DO go slowly.
  3. DO choose activities that bond you as a family.
  4. DO create new family activities and traditions.
  5. DO let your spouse and his or her child to have their own private time.
  6. DON’T get upset on Mother’s / Father’s Day.
  7. DO prepare yourself for “You are not my dad/mom.”
  8. DO accept your stepchild for who they are.
  9. DO be flexible in what your stepchild calls you.
  10. DON’T feel every holiday must be spent together.
  11. DO be prepared for a child’s rejection.
  12. DO recognize your stepchild may show love in different ways.
  13. DO respect a stepchild’s need for privacy and decorum.
  14. DON’T feel you need to solve every problem.

Remember that you must find time to take care of yourself, and attend to your relationship with you partner. Children benefit from knowing that your relationship with your spouse is strong and that it is a priority for each of you.

(Excerpted from Stepparenting: 50 One-Minute DOs & DON’Ts for Stepdads & Stepmoms by Randall Hicks)