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Step Parenting Advice: Understanding Your Role in the Family


As a step parent, you may wonder about your role in your new family and need some step parenting advice. Because no two families are the same, no two step parents will have the same duties or need to behave the same way. A close evaluation of your new family and the possible roles you can fill is essential before stepping into your new roles.

A Step Parent's Job

A step parent's job is to parent, but in addition to and not in lieu of the parenting the child receives from his biological parents. This means that a step parent is a sort of "associate" or "back up" parent. You are responsible for guiding and directing, but only according to the rules set by the child's biological parents. Therefore, while you can guide and direct, you can determine which things require guidance and direction, but must instead follow the other parents' rules.

A Step Parent's Role

Your role as a step parent is to execute your job to the best of your ability. The means you choose to do so, however, depending on the child and relationship between the child's biological parents. This may mean that you need to be flexible in how you act.

Every step parent should realize that the child's health, safety and well-being are the most important things in any family relationship. This means that your role should be geared towards ensuring the child is safe, healthy and happy. If at any time you believe that the child is not being properly cared for, it is your duty as a parent to step in and voice your concerns. 

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