How to Make Your New Spouse the Best Stepparent for Your Kids


The best stepparents will leave the most memories in a child’s lifetime. It’s up to the parent and their new spouse to ensure they make the most memorable memories together.

Open communication lines must be established right from the start and those lines must be kept open throughout the lifespan of the kids in the marriage. Here are some tips on how to make sure your new spouse is the best step parent ever.

    • Talk to your new spouse and your kids about their expectations. How would they like to be treated by the other person?
    • Clarify upfront that there should be no disrespect from either of them.You don’t want to be caught in the middle of that.
    • Decide how you will handle misbehaviours. If you as the parent should step in and exercise a punishment on the child or if the stepparent will take the task upon themselves. Make sure you feel comfortable with them giving out punishment to your kids.
    • Do they know what they want to gain from the relationship with your kids? Explain this to your kids so they know what they will gain from the new marriage.
    • Tell your spouse what your parenting style is. Do you both agree with the same parenting style? If not, you can actually be the relaxed parent and your spouse can be more strict. as longs as their Strictness is exercised with love upon the child. Find the balance so your kids feel balanced about the new addition to their family.
    • Talk to your kids about the new spouse and what they feel their expectations are for the new person. Should it be more of a friendship role? Or would they be okay with a more parental approach from your spouse? Both these roles acquire love and attention.
    • Establish the boundaries and levels of respect. The child may not speak to the spouse disrespectfully and your new spouse must be aware that the kids are a part of you and deserve to be respected as well.
    • Tell the kids that the new spouse loves them. Remind your spouse to show them that they love them. Let them be friends first and foremost especially if your kids are in their teens.
    • When children are in their teens or older it becomes more difficult for them to accept another parent role in their lives then the role of the stepparent should be more of a friend or confidant.
    • Your child will be upset about the break up of their biological parents but talk to them so they understand that your previous marriage didn’t work out because mom and dad couldn’t work things out. Show them you love your new spouse now and that they make you happy. Make your kids feel your happiness by making them a part of it. They should not be made to feel like outsiders to your new perfect marriage.
    • Should an argument come about, do not choose sides. Your child and their new step-parent should learn to respectfully fix disagreements themselves.

Whatever you do, don’t compromise on respect then you’ll see what a blessing your new family can be.

What do you suggest as a top tip for new step-parents or share what you have experienced in your own family?

My name is Kashiefah Chetty and I’m a loving wife and doting mom of two kids. My knowledge comes from the first-hand experience with my own step-parents and how it has shaped my life. My quest in life is to make the world a better place for all children and their children.

(I wrote this article in 2015.)

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