Getting married is a huge lifestyle change, but trying to blend two families can send some couples into marriage counseling. One of the best ways to head off potential problems that come with bringing together new mates and children is for the partners to agree in advance as to the role the stepparent will play in the care, daily logistics, and discipline of the biological parent’s children.
Once the partners get on the same page, it’s time to talk to the kids. Using a family meeting to discuss the adjustments facing the family is a wonderful way to introduce the tradition of consistent family meetings. Kids may balk at first, but they will come to look forward to these family gatherings. An important ground rule for the family meeting is to make sure there is something fun to talk about on the agenda. If the family meeting becomes a venue for only problems, kids won’t buy into it.
One of the best things for parents to communicate to stepchildren is that their new stepdad or mom is not a replacement for their other biological parent. Assigning the stepparent as the “adult in charge” in the absence of his or her mate, is a great way to let stepchildren know there are still family rules without the stepparent taking on a parental role.
To learn more valuable tips on how to integrate a stepparent into a family and a marriage, click here.