The following article is from Focus on the Family and authored by Natalie Nichols Gillespie.
“Statistics show that approximately 1300 new step families are formed every day in the US, and it’s predicted that by 2010 there will be more step families in the US than any other type of family.” Quote taken from Successful Stepfamilies.
A look at different types of step families can highlight the unique challenges each step family may encounter.
Portrait # 1: Husband with children marries never-married, no-kids wife.
Portrait # 2: Wife with children marries no-kids husband.
Portrait # 3: Divorced mom with kids marries divorced dad with kids.
Portrait # 4: Widow or widower with kids remarries.
Portrait # 5: Divorced or widowed parents of adult children marry.
Entering this marriage, Mom’s relief at having a new partner in life might result in her handing off too many responsibilities to her new husband. The kids, then, usually will rebel. They have a dad (or had one); they don’t think they need a new one.Tread lightly with any stepparent administering discipline. Biological parents are the ones who should handle rules and punishments, at least initially.This couple needs to bond and show solidarity to the children. The wife must be careful not to shut out her new husband in favor of her children. Avoid inside jokes with the kids and subtle put-downs that would cause the kids to disregard their new stepfather altogether.There is a fine line between handling the discipline and devaluing the husband’s position in the home. Require children to show the same respect for their step dad that they would any teacher, law enforcement officer, or other adult in authority. Don’t try to force love.”