I was asked recently by a friend who is getting married, how the 'step' relationship works. I asked my husband - the step-dad - to answer.
He said a few great things:
- always have time together with the kids, this way they learn about your trust and relationship and see that interaction is easy
- as the 'step' he is not responsible for discipline - that is my job. It is too much pressure for the start of a new type of relationship to be the disciplinarian too - it sends mixed messages. (Now that this relationship is in its 10th year, there have been some changes in this, but not much....discipline is deferred to me, although he always gets his say in the process)
- kids are smart! No matter what age, they realize that this is new and that there is insecurity and they may even try to pit you against each other. Take the moment and discuss the matter in private before handling it together with the child.