In my work with step-couples, I have experienced some awesome and beautiful step-parenting moments.
I want to take a moment to share with you some of the best practices I have witnessed and share with you how they have positively impacted the family.
- Recognize that that traditional advice of “always put the marriage first,” doesn’t work for step-couples the way it does for couples who first partnered and then had children. Your stepchildren’s relationship with their parents preceded your couple relationship. As a result, you will need to make the needs of the couple and the children’s adjustment to the new stepfamily both a priority.
- Encouraging the spouse to spend one-on-one time with their son or daughter. This selfless act lets the child know that you know how important the parent-child bond is and says you are going to support your spouse with keeping it strong.
- Spending one-on-one time with your stepson or stepdaughter getting to know them. It takes time to form lasting bonds. Take the time to be there more as a friend and advocate.
- Support your spouse’s direct communication with their ex regarding topics such custody, child support, and concerns about children. It’s a heavy burden for children to be the messengers between their parents. Direct communication between parent’s lifts stress from the children.
Written by: Jackie Dunagan