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If being a parent isn't challenging enough, being
a step parent will certainly provide all the challenges you need.
It certainly has its rewards as well, but sometimes finding ways
to keep things running smoothly can be frustrating.
When your stepchildren visit your home, things can
be difficult for them too. They go from one home with one set of
rules to another home that has a different set of rules. There are
also going to be issues with parenting styles, so try to
understand these things and use this knowledge to help you find
One way to smooth the transition from one home to
the other is to make sure that stepchildren understand what is
expected of them. The rules should be made very clear, and the
kids should be treated the same way you treat your own kids.
In an effort to make friends, the new stepparent
is often tempted to bend the rules a bit for his or her
stepchildren when they visit. Not only does this slow down the
transition process, but it is also unfair to your own children.
It's a good idea to sit down and discuss the
rules, how they are enforced, and how things differ at home. If
your stepson stays up as late as he wants at home, it may be
difficult to enforce a bedtime when he visits. Make it clear that
in your home, every child has a bedtime. Explain that parents need
some adult time after children go to bed. You might want to come
up with a bit of a compromise, which allows Johnny to stay up a
little longer as long as he goes to his room when the other
children go to bed and only engages in quiet activities.
Then, explain to your own children that Johnny is
not being favored, it's just that his mom or dad does things
differently. You are trying to make Johnny feel comfortable in
As long as things are discussed openly, everyone
should be able to adjust with a little time and patience.