Worried Stepdad

As a stepdad I am really unsure of my role and what I am supposed to do and what I am allowed to do. How far do I go with disciplining my stepchildren? What am I allowed to do within my blended family?

~ Anonymous

I would suggest that you first talk to your partner and agree between you both what your role is. Discuss how comfortable you both feel about your boundaries as a stepdad.

Does your role include disciplining the stepchildren?

In my own experiences as a stepdad, I would advise leaving all the discipline to the biological parent. Just offer advice if asked and support your partner in their decisions. Try to discipline as a united front as this is very important in your blended family so the children know you are both together on making these decisions.

Grow into your stepdad role and build the trust with the stepchildren before exercising any of your authority. You don’t have to be a dad, just a role that suits the needs of your family. You might start off as a friend to your stepchildren and gradually grow to become a stepdad. Your role will inevitably involve day to day responsibilities such as making sure they are fed, clothed, safe and even loved.

Your role may not be what you assume it is and that’s okay. Take things slow and don’t force things to happen. Enjoy your family and let your stepdad role grow with time. Be patient and see where your new stepfamily journey takes you.

If you have a question you’d like Martin to help with email him submissions@stepparentmagazine.com

Martin Lock

Martin is a certified Stepparent Coach and a stepdad of over 20 years. His passion is using his experience to help and advise stepparents as they navigate the challenges of life as a blended family, including dealing with toxic exes, establishing boundaries and house rules, improving communication with partners and children, and the importance of self-care. He also runs the Facebook stepparent support group The Step Parent Family.