Becoming a new husband is one thing. Taking on the additional responsibility of co-parenting your spouse's children is quite another. So, how do new step-fathers adjust to new parenting responsibilities?
"It's not an easy transition, no matter how well you got along with your step-children prior to the wedding," said Joe D'Eramo, step-father of two and author of the "25 Ways to go from Stepfather to StepDad."
The key, he says, is to develop your own unique relationship with your step-children.
Some of D'Eramo's suggestions include:
- Just being there - If your child is in the school play, has a ballgame or is playing the piano in a recital, you are there. There can be a significant amount of uncertainty in the lives of children of divorce or those who have lost their father. Being a constant at their functions and events builds a foundation and creates the structure they desire.
- Develop one thing with each step-child - It can be a secret handshake, a video game, a TV show, a bike ride, just about anything, but come up with one activity that you do solely with each step-child. Make it your time, your thing.
- Ease your family into the picture - Do not force your relatives on your step-children. Remember, the transition for the children is far more difficult than it is for you. Just having a new parent is enough. Give it time; it will happen.
Some final words of advice: "Be good to their mother and fair with them, and you're well on your way to making a splendid blended family."