Eight ways to make step-parenting work.
Look out for the well-being and safety of the children.
Have fun with the children, and let them know how much you enjoy them.
Make sure there are times when the children are the center of your attention.
Be involved in the children’s lives and encourage them in their activities.
Teach the children new things and allow them some independence.
Agree that discipline will not be the “job” of the stepparent. Instead, it will be the job of the biological parent.
Be in charge when you are with the children and support the biological parent’s discipline (curfews, allowances, bedtimes, etc.) as well as your own house rules.
Expect respect from the children.
(See “Why Grandparents Are Important” for more about how stepparents and grandparents are alike.)
Writing Prompts and Discussion Topics
The following are based on the blog, “Stepparents Are Important.”
What is your favorite way that stepparents can make step parenting work? Why is that your favorite?
Add two more ways to the list in the blog and explain why you think they belong in the list.
Imagine you are in a time capsule. You have fast-forwarded 30 years and are now a stepparent. Which one of the ways listed would your stepchildren pick to describe the way you act with them? What makes you think that is what they would pick?
Teachers, you can use this blog in classrooms. Here are two ideas about how.
- For middle or high school parenting or child development courses:
- Use the blog for discussion topics
- Require students to research the topics and agree or disagree with what the blog is suggesting.
2. For all courses, especially English Language Arts:
- Use the blog for writing prompts for paragraphs, theme papers, journal entries, class starters, etc. Have students read the blog and respond to:
- Do you agree with what is being said about kids? Do kids really act, think or feel that way?
- Do you agree with what is being said about parents, grandparents, teachers and child caregivers? Do or should they act, think or feel that way?
- What would be your advice on this topic?
- What was left out of this article?
- If you were a parent, would you use any of this information? How?
Why can this blog be a useful teaching tool?
- Students that see connections between their coursework and their lives do better in school.
- Most students will either be parents one day or have children in their lives that they care about, so the topical information can help them build their knowledge about children and parenting and develop a positive image of the type of parenting they want to do.
- The new core literacy standards adopted by most states call for frequent writing in all courses.
- Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can think critically. These prompts help students practice critical thinking.
- Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can analyze what they read. These prompts help students practice analysis.