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How To Successfully Parent Someone Else's Child

Being a step-parent is an extremely trick role to play, especially at first, but there are some key dos and don'ts should you ever become a step-mom or step-dad.

It is estimated that around half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. That's a pretty staggering statistic. It's also a statistic that means a lot of things. If you are going through a divorce, you are definitely not alone. Many people get married multiple times during their life. And also, that many of us are children of divorce.

A combination of all of the above often leads to people becoming stepparents and stepchildren. The role of step-mom or step-dad is an incredibly tricky one to master. In the eyes of your new stepchildren, you are waltzing into their lives to replace one of their parents and steal things from them. Their dad, their mom, even their home.

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If you're rich and have more money than you know what to do with, you can actually hire a "stepmom coach." That's what Dakota Johnson is currently doing to help her better build a relationship with her new partner Chris Martin's daughter Apple, reports The Guardian. For those of us without $400 an hour to spend on such an extravagance, we just have to tread lightly and think about everything we do and say.

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According to Helping Children Cope With Divorce, it takes roughly two years before a child will accept a stepparent's authority. Once you do have that authority, you need to be careful you don't show any favoritism, especially if you have brought children of your own into the family. The easiest way to avoid doing this is by making sure you take it in turns when letting your children and stepchildren get their own way.

You might think that stepparent advice only applies to those who are trying to raise children that aren't biologically theirs. Those of you who have experienced it will know that adult stepparents can be just as difficult. After seeing their mom or dad with one person their entire lives, it can be hard for them to see their parent with another person. Trouble is, our authority tips won't work in that scenario.

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