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Rules and Boundaries
Just hearing the word stepparent can send chills down our spines. We have seen the movies and read the books where the antagonist is a child, angry with having a "replacement" mom and dad. We are here to let you know it doesn't have to be like that, and a stepparent can play an important positive role in a child's life. So, let's collectively take a deep breth, let go of our social conditioning, and re-learn the roles here.
First and foremost, boundaries: you can't jump in and try to be mom or dad! Stepparenting experts know that it takes time for you and the children to establish a comfortable relationship. We all want to go in and be super-step mom or dad but that's not realistic. Instead of trying to put forth new rules you want the family to adopt, try and take some time to get to know the kids and let them get to know you, for who you are as a person—not as a referee or goalie!
It will take some time before the kids see you in a role of authority, and if they're older, that day may not come at all. How are you managing your expectations as a stepparent? Share your advice with us here!