Defining Your Role As a Step-Parent
Q: How do I best communicate with my stepchildren and define my role as a stepparent?
A: Blended families have now become the norm. Along with this norm come lifestyle changes and often challenges. It is a good idea to discuss parenting and discipline methods before you get married.
It’s very important to build a relationship with the children involved. They will need time to learn to trust and accept you. Also, the age of your spouse’s children and developmental level will play a role in how you communicate with them. And remember, you are not a replacement of the birth parent.
Consistency is key. Have consistent rules so everyone is on the same page regarding expectations for the household. It is probably best to leave primary discipline to the biological parent, but remember to present a united front. Children can sense when parents aren’t on the same page and will do what they can to take advantage of the situation. Be a supportive stepparent, and don’t undermine one another’s parenting skills in front of children. If you are not in agreement about an issue, discuss it privately.
Blending families is never easy, but God will be with you every step of the way when you put Him first. “The Lord will give [unyielding and impenetrable] strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace” (Psalm 29:11).
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