Positive Steps to Take in a Stepfamily Situation
The primary relationship in a marriage should be that of the couple. Create an on-going pattern of communication with each other.
- Provide couple unity in family issues for the benefit of the children.
- Be aware of the different lifestyles and value systems, which are being combined into your stepfamily situation.
- Show the same respect for your stepchildren as you expect from them.
- Consider the combined children as ours, not yours or mine.
- Remember that your biological children know you better than your new spouse. Be aware of your over protectiveness as a biological parent.
- Consider the children living apart from the new stepfamily as being as much a part of the stepfamily as those living within.
- Keep communicatin open, whenever possible, with ex-spouses for the sake of the children.
- Appreciate the individuality of each child in the stepfamily.
- Provide a reasonable territorial space for each family member.
- Address financial issues before the marriage to a mutually acceptable term. Continue to negotiate monetary adjustments with each other.
- Be flexible in resolving issues and be willing to try various alternatives. Everyone makes mistakes. If you find yourselves unable to come to a solution, seek professional guidance and counseling.
- Keep a sense of humor.
- Raise the consciousness of your family, friends, teachers, and clergy about the uniqueness of a stepfamily.