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How to make stepparenting successful

Divorce in New York, and everything that goes along with it, is never easy. For parents, new challenges come along when they remarry. Children often regard a stepparent as being evil or a road block to their parents getting back together. It can be a challenge navigating these new relationships, but if stepparents tread carefully and respectfully, the results can be successful for all involved.

According to healthychildren.org, kids may try and test a stepparent by keeping their distance emotionally or by acting out aggressively. The best thing a stepparent can do is to let the child express these feelings without overreacting to them. Stepparents who eventually gain the respect of the children are those who take a more supportive role and allow the parents to make important decisions and discipline the kids. 

It is also a good idea to hold regular meetings as a family to allow everyone to speak their mind and come up with solutions to problems. Eventually, stepparents may try and find common ground with each child by discovering similar interests and doing activities with them one-on-one.

Psychology Today admits that the first two years tend to be the hardest for blended families, but that after five years there is often more stability and happiness than in the first marriage, which benefits the children. The families that have the best outcome are those that communicate well, get along and respect the first family and the original parent roles. A healthy stepfamily can breed respect, diversity, equality and resilience.

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