Do’s & Don’ts – Dedicated To Successful Stepfamilies!

February 12th, 2013 posted by Susan Wilkins-Hubley

family on the beach


Be proactive, not reactive Give the kids as much time as they need (within reason) to adjust to the new stepfamily life. Communicate openly.and honestly. Honesty will never come back to haunt you. Have a weekly family “business” meeting. Make sure to discuss issues and discuss your family’s emotional needs, also decide as a family how they’ll be resolved and met. Try very hard to use “I” statements, such as: “I’m feeling a little…,” rather than: “You always see it …” As a stepmom, encourage and foster the relationship between father and child when possible. Make physical space for the children who may not live with you. Children need a sense of belonging and creating a room or part of a room for the child will encourage this feeling. Take care of your marriage too, it’s very important to have a strong marriage or your stepfamily will not succeed. Make some time for yourselves each week. Take care of your marriage too. Try to visualize the issues ahead of time and deal with them before they create mayhem in your family. Spend as much time as you can with your stepchildren. They DO remember!


Panic when problems arise. Normal stepfamilies experience conflict, especially in the early years. Don’t feel it is your ultimate responsibility as a stepmom to keep the family together. Share in the responsibilities. Figure it’s going to be smooth sailing within your stepfamily, just because as a couple, you really love each other, that doesn’t mean it will be easy and “everything will work out”. Assume to know what other people are thinking about you or your stepfamily and marriage. Criticize the non-custodial parents in front of the family! Ask the children what things are going on in their other home. Hesitate to ask for professional help, many successful stepfamilies still require professional intervention from time to time. Don’t allow the child to make decisions with regards to access to the non-custodial parent. Don’t put the child in the position of having to choose between parents. (C) Susan Wilkins-Hubley – 1999

about the author Susan Wilkins-Hubley is a 29 year old Canadian stepmom to two young children and biological mother to two more. Her family is complete with “his”, “her” and “our” children, however all family members find themselves in the “ours” category. Susan has been a stepmom for over four years and has experienced the trials and tribulations that most other stepmoms face day to day.

Susan tries to keep her family at peace by mothering all of her children consistently and wearing ear plugs a lot of the time 🙂 Visit Susan’s website The Second Wives Club

Susan Wilkins-Hubley (10 Posts)

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