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Seven Rules for Keeping Your Kids on the Straight & Narrow

Being a parent can be a tough job – even tougher as a stepparent. When you’re new to it, it can be downright intimidating. It takes love, understanding and a tremendous amount of patience. However, there are some rules that can guide you and help you keep your kids on the straight and narrow when times get tough.

These seven tips from Clark & Clark LLC  will help you finely tune your children’s morale compass.

Set Ground Rules 

Talk to your spouse about ground rules. You need a plan if you want the child to behave according to a certain set of guidelines all the time.

Forging a united front is one of the cornerstones of effective parenting.

You can’t have different rules than your spouse, so make sure you’re both on the same page. If you’re not, it could create tension between you and your child as well as the missus. 

Address Parental Issues Quickly 

Let your stepchild know you’re aware you aren’t their mom or dad. A simple conversation can let them know you don’t want to replace their parent, but you do need them to follow the rules when you’re in charge.  This simple tip will go along ways to building trust and respect.

Let Biology Play A Role

Have the biological parent dole out discipline whenever possible. You don’t want to ‘tattle’ on a child, but you do want consequences to come from a biological parent, at least at the beginning of the parenting relationship. This is especially important with older children.

Make Time For Kids 

Spend one on one time with your child doing things that are fun!

If you want to be able to discipline a child so they stay on the straight and narrow you need to form a bond.

Establishing a solid relationship with your stepchild is paramount in engendering trust and respect. Play a sport, eat an ice cream cone – what you do doesn’t matter, but the bond you build does.

Divide Affection Fairly 

Divide attention fairly between biological children and stepchildren. Unfortunately, this is something many blended families neglect and it can quickly place a wedge in the family,  A stepchild can act out if they feel unloved or like they aren’t as important as others in the house. 

Always Stay Positive 

Keep a positive attitude with your children. The example you set for your children will have an ever-lasting effect. Each day you’ll need to reevaluate how you feel and make sure you’re being positive. If you’re not, kids can feel it and may act out to get attention. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed at any given time, simply walk away and regroup.

Plan Family Meetings Regularly 

Have family meetings including everyone to discuss problems and activities. It’s essential to have everyone contribute, regardless of age.  Having one larger family unit is the goal and will keep kids grounded and less likely to get in trouble.

Having a stepchild can be a very difficult process, especially if you’re integrating two different family units. However, it is possible to keep your step child on the path to a successful life.

These seven tips should be your basic outline for how to do it, though you’ll need to apply logic and basic rules of parenting as well.

About The Author

Chaleigh Glass is a writer and photographer from NYC. When she isn’t busy in her apartment writing, Chaleigh loves to travel. Her escapades and interactions with people from a broad spectrum of backgrounds has given her a vast amount of different experiences and pieces of knowledge she loves to share in her writings. Chaleigh is a frequent contributor to Support for Stepdads be sure to read some of her previous articles, “Six Tips To Inspire Your Stepchild To Attend College” and “Troubled Teen? Four Things To Remember


Strong values are at the cornerstone of a solid foundation to successfully go through life. Learn four keys to helping your child develop strong values.

Being a parent can be a tough job – even tougher as a stepparent. When you’re new to it, it can be downright intimidating. It takes love, understanding and a tremendous amount of patience. However, there are some rules that can guide you and help you keep your kids on the straight and narrow when …

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