3 approaches to stepparenting that usually don't work

  • You and your ex- screwed up these kids and now I'm going to fix them
  • We're an instant family with instant love
  • "Why don't you get your kids to . . .?" or "Do you know what your kids did?"


Some hints about what might work

  • Beware the triangle-use one-to-one communication when possible
  • Circle the wagons-draw boundaries around the marital relationship and around the new/blended family
  • Take your parenting disagreements behind closed doors and present a united front with the kids
  • Don't take it personally-Use action language and escalating consequences
  • Build up credits in the relationship bank before you make withdrawals


Remember that no one has a lock on "correct" parenting

If all else fails, try the roommate or friend models for being a stepparent

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