Advice for Making the Transition to Stepparent

Wedding season is upon us and that means many men and women will suddenly become a stepparent in the next few months. While you might spend a significant amount of time with your soon-to-be stepchildren already, there’s going to be a major change when you finally tie the knot and become a stepparent. Here are a few rules that will help you make the transition successfully.

Discuss Changes

One of the biggest mistakes couples make when they wed is not discussing how this new role of stepparent will work. As a girlfriend or boyfriend of a parent, you probably did not have any say over the children. However, as a stepparent you are now part of the family and part of the parenting team. Instead of assuming your role when you step into it, ask your future spouse what he or she expects of you as a stepparent.

Talk to the Kids

The kids need to hear from you. They need to know where you stand in your relationship and what will change once you are their stepparent. For the most part, if you already have a good relationship with your soon-to-be stepchildren, not much will change. However, you should still talk to them so that everyone goes into this marriage knowing exactly what to expect.

Watch Your Words

The most important piece of advice for any new stepparent should be an obvious one. However, there are always those stepparents who think that they can change their tune once their marriage. It’s not true. Your job is to never, ever say anything negative about your stepchild’s biological parent, whether you love her or dislike her. Always maintain a neutral stance with nothing negative to say. Just because you’re married now doesn’t mean you get to suddenly start voicing your opinion in front of the kids.

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