Being a stepparent is a huge challenge whether you are a “custodial” stepparent or a “noncustodial” stepparent. Each situation is different and each brings with it a different set of challenges that each family faces. In fact, there is a totally different set of challenges that stepmothers face than stepfathers face. There are many things that parents and stepparents can do to make the family unit function properly and provide a loving, non-stressful home for the child to live in.
It is important for the parent and stepparent to agree upon what the role of the stepparent will be in their home. This is vital to the success of the family unit as well as the ultimate success of the marriage. In some situations it may be agreed upon that the stepparent will only play the role as an adult authority in the home but will not step in and take any of the parental responsibilities such as making final decisions pertaining to discipline issues, education, or religion. However, in other situations the stepparent steps into the role of a parent in all aspects.
As a stepparent whether you will be completely involved in the parenting of the child or will be a helper to the parent, it is important to develop a loving relationship with your stepchild. The adults in a child’s life have a lot of influence over their lives, and therefore the relationships they establish with the adults in their lives will have lasting effects on them throughout their lives.
Sometimes you have tried everything to make the situation work and things are simply not pulling together well. It may be time to seek professional help in this situation. Marriage and Family counselors are trained to help families work through the difficulties that can arise when trying to build new family units. Seeking the advice and help of a professional may be just what your family needs to work through the issues that can arise in these circumstances.