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Choosing the Role of Step-Parent Part II

Put boundaries around your financial contributions. Some couples just throw it all together and some keep it separate and well–defined.  At least in California, the courts do not consider a step-parent’s income as part of the biological parent’s income.  Keeping separate accounts, and having clarity of the step-parent’s contribution to the costs of the house, food etc. allows for the step-parent to gift the family as able, and prevents conflicts about money, expenses, or who is paying for what.  It is good for a step-parent to feel that financial contributions are voluntary rather than obligatory. Be mindful, respectful and sensitive to physical and emotional boundaries of step-children.  They are not the same as your biological children.  The attachments differ significantly depending on the age the children were when you entered their … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting advice, parenting tips, Relationships

Choosing the Role of Step-Parent Part 1

I have been a step-parent of children on and off for the last 32 years.   It is an awesome, rewarding, and sometimes thankless privilege for which I am continually grateful.  My relationship with each of my six step-children has brought me opportunities for inner and outer growth.  I am a fervent believer in karma, so I know I was meant to be in their lives, and they, in mine.  Here are some of the collective lessons I have learned, and joys I continue to cherish. If you are going to be committed to a relationship with someone who already has children, know that the children will be in your life.  That is not a choice.  If you truly love your partner, you must fully accept their children, or step back before … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenting advice, parenting help, parenting tips