Saturday, October 21, 2006

Readers Speak Out on Step-Parenting

Thank you to everyone who left a comment regarding last week's question about step-parenting. Hopefully your collective experiences will prove helpful to others who are faced with the same challenges.

Several issues came through to me in your comments, including:
  • The importance of not showing favoritism towards your own children as opposed to your spouse's children.
  • Equally importantly, the need to not swing too far the other way, neglecting your own child while trying to build a relationship with the step-children.
  • Recognizing that children can blame themselves when their parents are no longer together, and help the kids understand it's not their fault.
Opinions were divided on the issue of disciplining step-children. Some said discipline should be delivered equally regardless of the step-status of the parent, while others said each parent should discipline only their own.

I found it almost impossible to pick a favorite among the comments -- how could I possibly consider one person's step-parenting experience as more valid or interesting than another's? Still, I did promise to pick one and a few of the things that Walker had to say resonated with me. He wrote: "I think what matters the most here is respect and trust by all those involved. If the relationship with your partner is a loving one it only filters down to the whole household and step kids." That sounds like good advice to me.

Thanks again, everyone!


  1. Step-parenting -- requires more than 12 steps. Wish we knew some of this about 12 years ago. No too late to learn, though.

  2. I read this post and the original post a couple of times in the last two days and have been trying to leave a comment but couldn’t decide on what to say.
    So I will leave you with this.
    My Ex’s son and daughter stopped by after 6 years to say hi and catch up.

    Thank you for the link Andrew.