Warnings and tips for stepparents

The biggest challenge to the majority of the stepparents I interviewed was the ambiguity about their role in terms of discipline.

Vicki Peet, stepmother of two, described a “feeling of uncertainty” in dealing with her stepdaughters, particularly in challenging situations.

The plight of stepmoms on Mother’s Day

Dave Larmore, a stepfather to two boys, noted that “trying to figure out where out where you fit in, in terms of discipline, is the hardest part.”

Matt Olmstead, stepfather of three, agreed that “the hardest part is discipline.” In his case, his stepchildren have a very active and devoted father, so he said, in terms of discipline, he “wants to be respectful of that other parent.”

Mark Haffenreffer, stepfather of two, also told me that the hardest part for him was, “learning to discipline in a way that was acceptable to everybody.”

Stepparents have “a lot of responsibility but none of the authority,” says Jenna Korf, a stepparenting coach and writer for the website, NoOnesTheBitch.com, which is devoted to stepparenting with the focus on the stepmom/ biological mom relationship.

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Categories: Family values

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