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Finding Your Feet As A Stepmother

By Kurt Cassidy

It’s nerve-wracking to start a new life with a new man, but when kids are involved it’s even harder. You probably have a thousand questions going through your mind.

Will his kids like me? Will they listen to me or rebel? And where do you draw the line? The children will do everything to let you know that you are not the parent. Though hard, being a step parent doesn’t have to be a lost cause.

Learning about the kids:

Developing a relationship takes time. It is no different for a romantic union or when building a connection with the kids. Rome wasn’t built in a day. There are things you can do to help the process along. Remember that children are people. They are coming into this situation with their own fears and frustrations. If they lost their mother to an accident or disease, they are most certainly still grieving the loss. They will likely feel very guilty with allowing you to take their mother’s place.

If the mother is still alive, there was probably a bad divorce involved. Divorce makes everyone hurt and frustrated. The children are always caught in the middle and are forced to take sides. Even if you had nothing to do with the split the kids may blame you for the crack in their family tree.

Let the kids adjust for a while. It won’t pay to walk in the door with the attitude that you are in control and they will obey. If you do that, you’re going to fail. Give them space and time, but be there if they want to talk. Let them have a say in the new living quarters, in the meals and how you spend time together as a family. When they need time to themselves, stand back and let them have their space. This isn’t a sign of your weakness. It is, however, the best way to control a situation. If you push the children, they will push back, and it will turn into war.

How to Control a Situation, When You Aren’t the Parent

There are times, when you will need to step in and take obvious control. An example would be if the ten year old boy wanted to roller skate off the roof to imitate a stunt. If you’re the only adult around, you must be a disciplinarian. Even a genius adult will not be able to handle every situation. The best advice is to use common sense and step in when necessary. This group of stranger will eventually mold into a happy family.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Cassidy, Kurt "Finding Your Feet As A Stepmother." Finding Your Feet As A Stepmother. 17 Aug. 2010. 1 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Cassidy, K (2010, August 17). Finding Your Feet As A Stepmother. Retrieved August 1, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Cassidy, Kurt "Finding Your Feet As A Stepmother"

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