12 Steps of Step-Parenting

  1. We admitted we are powerless to make our step-children like (love) us but not powerless to have them respect us.
  2. Came to believe that our sanity was of great importance to the health of the new family.
  3. Made a decision to discuss with our co-parent what would need to change in the family as best we understand.
  4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of what we can put up with and what we can’t.
  5. Admitted to ourselves how difficult the role of step-parent can be and how we may fail in our desire to rise above or ignore behavior we find intolerable.
  6. Committed to working on our own shortcomings and to be the adult in our interactions with our step children.
  7. Humbly ask that the relationship of the parents be placed first as the central commitment to the health of the new family.
  8. Willing and able to make amends for lack of sensitivity toward the parent of the child who needs time (and some trial and error) to learn new behavior that reflects the parenting sensibilities of both parents.
  9. When there is conflict with a former spouse keep your distance.
  10. What is good for your child is good for your step-child and what is bad for your child is bad for your step-child.
  11. Pray for the strength to cope with children that are not yours.
  12. Share with other step-parents the joys and challenges of creating  a new family.