A modern-day guide to step-parenting: tips and advice.
You’ve met ‘the one’ but they come with kids. What comes next can be an enriching experience for you all.
Welcome to the world of step-parenting and blended families. Try our top twelve step-parenting tips and don’t forget to use the support resources below if needed.
A guide to step-parenting: 12 tips
- Wherever possible, use humour.
- Be kind to yourself. Remember it will take some years for this new arrangement to settle.
- Make it clear to the children that you are not replacing their father/mother, but you will support them whenever they need you.
- Form the most positive relationship you can with the other parent.
- Accept assistance from friends, the other parent and grandparents when you need it.
- One of the most important step-parenting tips is to talk to your partner about house rules and agree to stick to them.
- Be a support, but leave the disciplining to your partner.
- Realise that these feelings are okay and will pass: frustration, jealousy, guilt, sadness, anger and powerlessness.
- Take time out for yourself and give the children and your partner time alone together.
- Know that divided loyalties and competition will arise, particularly during the festive season.
- Seek help from a therapist or support group if it all gets too much. Step-parenting books are another great resource when you’re struggling.
- Be loving. Give the kids your time, interest and effort – they are precious.
Resources on step-parenting and blended families
Step-parenting books and resources:
- Stepmother Love – Ten Inspiring Stories about the Toughest Gig in the World, by Sally Collins (Simon & Schuster, 2014).
- The Other Mother – A Tale of Love, Blending Families and Becoming a Wicked Stepmum, by Kelly Chandler (Affirm Press, 2017).
- Take Heart – A Story for Modern Stepfamilies, by Chloe Shorten (Melbourne University Publishing, 2107).
- Super Jack, by Susanne Gervay (Harper Collins, 2003) – Jack learns how to deal with his new extended family.
- Wicked! (Parts 1 to 6), by Paul Jennings and Morris Gleitzman – A tale of step-siblings Rory and Dawn who hate each other.
For support and information in Australia:
- Family Relationship Advice Line: 1800 050 321
- Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 or kidshelp.com.au