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Twelve Secrets for Successful Stepparenting

  • Be honest
    Honesty is an important ingredient in any blended family. Many of you have been hurt in the past by a former partner's betrayal of trust. It's a painful wound that takes time to heal. But you can help the healing by insisting on honesty, not just between you and your new spouse, but by the children as well. You can not really begin to trust someone unless you know that what he or she says is true. It clears the air and opens the way to dialogue.

    Knowing that you can trust your mate's fidelity gives a sense of security and permanence to your marriage. When you trust your mate, you feel assured that your spouse is honest in business dealings and in money matters with you, his or her ES, and with others.

    Discuss the importance of honesty in your family meetings. Show the kids by example that honesty and a sense of trust are important values to you. That means not telling the kids to say you're not home when a solicitor calls. It means returning excess change to clerks when they make mistakes and being honest about the kids' ages when you fly, go to movies, or pay the age-appropriate price at attractions. It means teaching your kids to be truthful, even if it means they may get into trouble when they "fess up." You need to know that you can believe what members of your family circle tell you. Begin now to stress the importance of honesty and you'll be building your blended family on a foundation based on trust.



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    From Blending Families by Elaine Fantle Shimberg. Copyright © 1999. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

    If you'd like to buy this book, click here or on the book cover. Get a 15% discount with the coupon code FENPARENT.


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