How to be a Great Stepparent

Parent & Stepparent Helping Children with Homework in Orange County, CA

Being a stepparent can be one of the hardest, yet one of the most rewarding relationships a person can have. Creating a blended family with happy children, and respectful parents is a situation that is possible for anyone, as long as everyone involved is willing to put in the effort it takes to create successful step-relationships.


Here are 5 great tips on how you can be a great stepparent:


Don’t come on too strongSometimes when new stepparents are creating a relationship with their stepchild, they expect and strive for an immediate bond. Often times this equates into buying lots of gifts or spoiling them. Gifts and “cool parenting” are not the best ways to form a relationship with your stepchild, rather, being open and very patient will result in a much stronger bond.


Be prepared to hear “You’re not my real mom/dad”Most stepparents will hear this at one point or another, and being prepared with an appropriate response is the best option for when this happens. Do not argue with the child about what they said, as it will only exacerbate the situation. One great response to this is agreeing with the child that you are not their parent, but you’re their stepparent, and that doesn’t mean that you love or care about them any less.


Nurture your marriage and respect your spouseMost children with a stepparent have already had to witness the failing of their parents’ relationship. Make sure they don’t have to experience that same situation with their parent and stepparent. Children deserve stability, and living in a home with a strong marriage can make a huge impact on that. Respecting your spouse is another huge factor that influences your stepchildren to respect you. If they do not feel you are treating their parent with the level of respect they deserve, a good relationship with your stepchildren is not likely to happen.


Treat all of the children equallyHaving a blended family often times means having natural born children and stepchildren in the same home. Make sure to expect all the children to adhere to the same house rules, as well as the same privileges. Treating your natural born children differently than your stepchildren can quickly result in difficult relationships with everyone involved.


Be supportive of your stepchild’s relationship with their other biological parentYou want your stepchildren to know that this is not a competition, and you truly want them to be happy. Spending time with both biological parents is important for children, and should not be talked down on by parents or stepparents alike. Show respect towards your spouse’s ex, and never speak poorly about them in front of your stepchildren.