Laure Redmond shared with us steps to make for running a successful stepfamily. They are:
- Outfit your home with everything your stepchildren will need or are accustomed to at their other household, so that transferring stuff back and forth between homes won’t become a nightmare of a battle.
- Make sure you share the stories of your own life with your stepchildren, while also educating them about your family tree.
- Get to know the people who are influential in your stepchildren’s lives, i.e., camp counselors, coaches, friends, doctors, etc.
- Don’t tolerate rudeness from your stepchildren. Allow your partner (their birth parent) to be the disciplinarian for the first 12 months of your relationship … but after that, your own disciplinary boundary-setting actions are imperative.
- Establish family rituals that remain consistent each time the stepchildren are home, i.e., Sunday supper, Saturday brunch, attending church together …
- Transition time is essential when coming back together as a family. Allow 24 hours to pass before opening Pandora’s Box.
- Do not waste time comparing yourself to the birth parent. You are who you are and they are who they are. You are both equally important to the child.
- Never, ever, ever speak poorly of the other side, even if you can’t stand each other and even if the child is expressing negative feelings about that particular parent.
For more information, visit her website.