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How stepparents can coexist with kids

In the last 20 years, the blended family has become an integral part of American culture. At least one-third of American children will live in a household that includes a step-parent at one point in their lives. Because of that, more emphasis is being put on how blended families can co-exist.

While every family is different, a recent study conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University found that the relationship between step-parents and children can be strengthened by maintaining three principles. This post will describe them and how they contribute to a cohesive modern family.

Parents must keep arguments to a minimum - It might sound easy, but limiting conflict helps children understand how to be tolerant, flexible and open to change. Of course, disputes will occur. But having a healthy way to resolve conflicts (and limiting arguments) is important in building step-parent relationships.

Parents should encourage kids to share their frustrations - Getting used to a new authority figure is a process, and it is not without bumps in the road. Because of this, parents should be okay with their kids coming to them with gripes about their new step-parent. This can also open up a dialogue about boundaries and parenting styles that can ultimately lead to a happy home.

The step-parent and parent are on the same page - Parents may have differing parenting styles, but they must be in agreement on how to parent the children. Presenting a united front is the key to maintaining continuity. Also, children have a penchant for playing parents against each other in order to get their way.

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