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  3. Introduction

The Everything® Guide to Stepparenting is a book to help you navigate the world as a stepparent. You will find that you have someone else to think about with every decision you make. This can feel rather overwhelming. This book is designed to help you feel less overwhelmed, teach you some tricks of the trade, educate you about your role as a stepparent, and provide a go-to resource for tough situations.

With over 50 percent of all marriages ending in divorce, stepparents are becoming the norm. Of this 50 percent, 75 percent will remarry, and often, someone in that remarriage becomes a stepparent. It is increasingly rare to see an intact original family. Most families have a stepsomeone, a half someone, or even multiples of both. Our families are ever changing, no longer the stable nuclear family of the past. Instead of grieving this, however, we need to celebrate the families we have created, and make the best out of any step situation.

Stepparents and stepchildren come in all shapes and sizes and bring many different attitudes, strengths, emotional traumas, and experiences to the table. Some stepparents may have no experience at all as parents, while some may be parents to their own biological children. So many people are taking on this role that it is becoming a huge part of our family culture. Wherever you fall in this stepparent spectrum, you will still be able to use this book to help you overcome certain obstacles and develop a positive relationship with your stepchild. This book addresses the stepparenting joys and difficulties of people who are taking on a spouse or significant other's child or children. You will learn how to face challenges that actually may become rewarding experiences with a little extra patience and self-reflection.

The role of a stepparent skates a fine line between parenting and mentoring. It is a role that needs to be taken on with extra care. As a stepparent, you are not taking the place of a parent, but you will share a part in parenting tasks such as general care for the child, discipline decisions, rule setting, and most likely monetary contributions. As a mentor, you must be prepared to role model appropriate adult behavior for the child (no matter how much you might dislike the other biological parent), be like Switzerland and not get involved in any drama that may erupt between biological parents, help the child find a way to get along with his parents, and be the adult that the child feels comfortable coming to with topics he is too nervous to talk about with his biological parents. It's quite a tricky role. This book will discuss the role and how to balance it while respecting the relationship your stepchild has with his biological parents.

Stepparenting involves a great deal of rewarding moments, but just as many stressful and uncomfortable ones. Dealing with the first meeting of your potential stepchild, getting along with the other biological parent, and living through the horrors of puberty with a child who isn't yours are all challenging. You will learn all the factors stepparenting entails and how to determine if you are ready to become a stepparent. You will learn how to look at situations from a variety of perspectives, which will make you not only a better stepparent, but also a better spouse and a trusted adult in the eyes of the other biological parent. Most importantly, this book aims to ease your fears about your new role and help you become a stepparent that your stepchild can trust and respect.

  1. Home
  2. Stepparenting
  3. Introduction
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