It’s my strong belief that unless you as the stepparent are added to the family when the children are very young, it will most likely be very difficult for you to discipline your spouse’s children.
Every situation is different, but in most situations, disciplining your nonbiological children is fraught with danger, since it’s likely to create resentment on the part of your spouse. Again, this isn’t always the case, and if that’s not the circumstance in your family, that’s great, because it can give the biological parent an additional resource for handling discipline issues.
While I don’t believe it’s very likely a workable situation for a stepparent to be a direct disciplinarian, it’s extremely important that the stepparent be an active supporter of the biological parent’s disciplinary efforts.
Both biological parents and stepparents should discuss the rules of the house and negotiate an agreement for what standards the children will be held to. This element of family life should be subject to the same negotiation and joint ownership as any other family situation.
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