10 Tips To Be The Best Stepparent Possible

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10 Tips To Be The Best Stepparent Possible [EXPERT]
Remember to follow their lead!
Assuming the role of stepparent is never easy. These tips will make it a bit more manageable.

Fill in the blank: when it comes to disciplining their stepchildren, stepparents should _________.

We asked the experts this question, and 62% agree: stepparents should discipline their steppkids as they would their own children. What else does it take to be a great stepparent? Here's what they had to say:

More from YourTango: 5 Tips For Splitting Parenting Duties with Your Spouse

1. Follow, don't lead. While each parent may have their own parenting style, as the stepparent, it's important to follow the birth parent's lead.

Consistency in parenting style will help foster feelings of security in the child. These feelings will build the level of trust the child has for you. — Michelle LaRowe

2. Be a supporter. Children always need allies. This is especially true for children who are adapting to a new stepparent.

Focus on being the best cheerleader you can be to your stepchild. Even when it seems unwelcome, supporting his interests, attending his school events and being a consistent present person in his life will go a long way in communicating that you care. —Michelle LaRowe

3. Expect storms. The dynamic of every newly created stepfamily is form, storm, norm, and perform — and it can years for the "norm" to take hold.

Take advantage of all safe stress-releasing outlets, such as support groups or good friends, either in person or online. You might find solutions, or just a place to let off some steam. —Paula Bisacre

4. Keep some old traditions and make new ones. Reinvent birthday parties. Celebrate good report cards with a trip to the ice cream store. Make your kid's favorite meal, create a silly dance together, or plan a special outing.

If your kids always went to the beach on a particular holiday, and his always went to the mountains, alternate the destinations from year to year. Set up two Christmas trees — one with a novel theme, the other more familiar. Make a new menorah and set it alongside the old one. — Paula Bisacre

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More from YourTango: Why Your Parents' Divorce Doesn't Predict Your Future

Want to learn more? Tune in now through September 18 for the YourTango Experts intensive event, Love After Kids, featuring all kinds of advice and insights from our experts about the unique challenges of coparenting in the digital age.

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Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Michelle LaRowe


Michelle LaRowe

Editor-in-Chief of Longhorn Leads,,,,,,


Parenting Author and Consultant

Nanny to the Rescue!, Working Mom's 411 and A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists

2004 International Nanny Association Nanny of the Year

Location: Katy, TX
Credentials: BS, Other
Advanced Member

Paula Bisacre


Paula Bisacre

President, Remarriage LLC

Publisher, - Your Go-To Resource for Remarriage & Stepfamily Living

West Friendship, MD 21794

Stay connected with me:

Twitter: RemarriageWorks

Facebook Fan Page: Remarriage Works

Check out my new "Journal for Stepmoms" - Every stepmom has a voice!

Remarriage Showcase for Encore Brides - the Premier Showcase for Remarrying Brides

Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter!

Location: West Friendship, MD
Credentials: Other
Specialties: Stepfamilies
Other Articles/News by Michelle LaRowe, Paula Bisacre:

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