Challenges of being a step-parent

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The challenges of being a step-parent can include coming into a new family where everybody else already knows each other. To start with, you might feel a bit left out.

Your stepchild might reject you, ignore you or just feel uncomfortable or shy around you. It can be hard to cope with this and find a way to relate to your stepchild that works for her and for you.

You might have to deal with negative reactions or criticism from your stepchild’s other parent. And if your stepchild’s other parent isn’t keen for you to be in your stepchild’s life, this could affect how your stepchild behaves towards you.

If you have a child or children of your own, you might feel biased towards your own child, or upset if you think your partner isn’t being fair to your child.

You and your partner might have different approaches to and expectations about parenting. You’ll need to work with your partner on any problems that come up because of these differences.

And there might be pressure to take on a particular role – for example, stepmothers might feel they’re expected to take on the main caring role, or stepfathers might feel they should take charge of rules and boundaries.


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