Ten Commandments of Step Parenting

1. Provide neutral territory so that each family member can feel he/she has a special place that belongs to him/her.

2. Avoid trying to fit a preconceived role, but try to be kind, intelligent and a good sport.

3. Set limits and enforce them, work out the rules ahead of time, and support each other when the rules have to be enforced.

4. Allow an outlet for the children’s feelings for the natural parent. Children need to express these feelings.

5. Expect ambivalence, it’s normal.

6. Avoid mealtime misery.

7. Avoid expecting instant love; it takes time to establish bonds.

8. Avoid taking all the responsibility; the child has some too.

9. Be patient; it takes time to work through the problems.

10. Maintain the primacy of the marital relationship. Some stepparents spend too much time and energy trying to work out their stepparent roles and neglect their own relationships.


Turnbull and Turnbull

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