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The stepparent stigma is a strong one, especially because many of us automatically think of wicked stepparents and devilish stepchildren as portrayed in the media. Stereotypes aside, the stepparent-stepchild relationship is critical for the happiness and security of a family because, according to U.S. Census reports, 50 percent of first marriages and 67 percent of second marriages fail. I'm a new stepparent myself, and my stepdaughter and I recognize that if we didn't get along, my marriage to her father would never have happened. A stepparent can be an advocate for her stepchild, an extra adult who cares, and a critical resource for a child as she grows and matures. As much as I adore my husband, a positive relationship with all family members is essential for a harmonious household. Here are my suggestions, from one stepparent to another, on how to connect with stepchildren as a parent and friend.
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