Disciplining as a stepparent

One problem that often comes with stepparenting is determining how to discipline children and who should do it. The most important thing you can do is to talk with your spouse. Make sure that you are communicating regularly and that you are discussing how to parent the children in the household. This will keep you on the same page and ensure that children are receiving the same important messages from the adults in their lives. Sit down with your spouse and consider the following:

Expectations for behavior, routines, bedtime, etc. Agree on the rules for your household ahead of time to avoid frustration later.

How to guide behaviors and provide discipline. You and your spouse may have very different views on child-rearing. It is important to agree on how you will approach problem behavior. By agreeing on how to do this, you will avoid arguments later.

How you will divide responsibilities. If one person is always the “go to” for the children, it can become exhausting. Sharing equally in taking care of the children can ensure that neither parent feels like they are doing all the work. This also gives the stepparent the opportunity to bond with the children.

Finally, discuss this with children that are old enough to understand. Let them know what the rules are in advance. Make sure that they understand that these are family rules and roles and that everyone plays a part in making sure that your home is peaceful and pleasant.