Probably one of the more notable challenges of raising kids is adjusting to the various lifestyles and attitudes each member of the parenting team (a married couple, a divorced couple, stepparents) bring to the table. My stepkids were old enough, when their biological mother left, to remember some differences between her style (everything from clothing to discipline to attitude) and mine, and their father had been a single dad for almost two years and was very independent about everything. The kids had been, from my perspective, somewhat coddled in the inevitable guilt that follows divorce.

While our differences were probably what made our relationship and marriage so much more successful than the first marriages we each had ended, it also challenged (and continues to challenge us occasionally) us to some degree – particularly with how to handle child-rearing issues. What is funny is that some of the frustrations I had with my stepkids when they were young Dave now has with our kids as they go through the same phases. (Yes, that makes me laugh a little).

We make every effort to stay consistent with discipline, not only because there is less commotion, over-reaction, and overall frustration (hence less household tension) but also because we want to become architects at keeping the focus on the issues.

This is an excerpt from Shadra’ s book, Stories From a StepMom, available on Amazon Kindle. Read more or request a review copy.