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5 positive step-parenting tips: Ways to avoid being the bad guy or girl

Positive step parenting
Positive step parenting
Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Being a parent is difficult enough, but being a step-parent adds its own set of additional challenges and obstacles. The concept of joining non-related families together affects not only the step parent but it also affects the biological parent who has to many times deal with the interrelationship issues between their kids and spouse, the step-parent.

I firmly believe that step-parenting takes lots of practice and to be truly successful at step-parenting, knowing that a multitude of mistakes will be made should be an acceptable part of the experience. The step-parent, as well as the biological parent, needs to be understanding, compassionate and willing to understand that kids are the innocent bystanders in a blended family situation.

Here you will find five positive step-parenting tips that can help to make interactions easier and more manageable for all individuals involved.

Be respectful of the other parent

Kids love their biological parents no matter what is said or done, so showing respect for the other biological parent may be a start in building a relationship of trust and understanding with the kids. Talking negatively or rudely about the other parent will only make the children turn against you and will definitely not build a positive atmosphere.

Allow your spouse to have alone time with his or her kids

Doing things together as a family is great but when there is a situation where a step-parent is added to the mix, it is so important as the step parent to allow and encourage your spouse to spend time alone with his or her kids. Children are so deeply affected in a multitude of ways when Mom or Dad is married to a non-biological parent and the kids more than ever need to have that alone time to sustain their relationship with their biological parent.

Be patient with your role as step-parent

Finding your way as a successful step-parent takes some time, so be sure to be patient with yourself as well as your spouse as this is a new situation for him or her as well. Patient is a virtue and it holds especially true when it comes to being a step parent.

Focus on your marriage

It is easy as a step parent and the biological parent when dealing with children in the mix to forget that you are in the situation because you chose to enter into marriage. Although children are always a top priority, the marriage you entered into is as important a priority as is dealing with the kids. Make sure to always take the time necessary to focus the energy on the marriage because without a successful marriage, being a successful step-parent just becomes that much more difficult.

Take time out for yourself

As a step-parent or parent, many times we forget to take that essential needed time out for ourselves. In order to be an excellent parent or step-parent, feeling good about ourselves both physically and mentally is of the utmost importance. When you get caught up in the daily life chores of raising kids, don't forget about yourself.