How to Raise Children as a Step-Dad

List: Posted: 08/08/11

Getting married is a very exciting time in life.  However, when your new spouse already has children, it also means taking on a new role with more responsibilities. There are many techniques essential to comfortably taking on the new role.  Here are some tips to get you through the first few weeks.

 

Don't Blame the Kids For Their Father's Faults

 

One key is to separate how you view the children from how you view their father.  Whether you are friends or enemies, you need to know that the children have their own identities and it's important to love them for who they are.  If the children are wild and misbehave because they had a weak or permissive father, don't resent the children, but work on being a positive influence in their life that can improve their behavior.  This is the biggest thing you can do to help their mother.


Don't Try to Replace Their Father

 

As a step-dad, you are likely to feel the urge to step in and be the father.  Realize that if your children already have a father in their lives, you need to allow him to fill this role.  You can certainly be a guardian to them and establish boundaries, but you can’t expect to take away this role from another parent. 

 

Add New and Fun Activities to the Family

 

One great thing you can do for the kids is bring your own positive skills and hobbies into the family.  What can you introduce them to that is unique to you?  If you have a fun hobby such as model aircraft flying or parrot-keeping, get the kids involved.  If you know how to play badminton or soccer, offer to give the kids lessons. This will let you establish your own unique identity within the family, and will show that you can bring something of your own to the family table.

 

Keep Open Communication

 

Work hard to always communicate with other family members and do not disparage the parent who isn’t in the home in front of your children.  Being a step-dad means not speaking ill of the children's father in front of them or their mother, even when you disagree with him.  You never want to alter their perception of their biological father, or harm the comfort and stability they have.


Get Involved in Their Lives

 

Always strive to be an active part of the lives of your step-children.  A step-dad should be involved in the activities they're a part of, and work on creating a special bond.  You have the privilege of getting to help raise wonderful children, and ensuring that you are a part of all of the things that matter to them is a great part of being a step-dad.

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    The material in this article is for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Local.com. See Additional Information

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