Sunday Herald Sun - Body and Soul

PREP AND PACK UP

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As much as you may want to, it is not your job to fix your stepchildr­en. Sometimes just being there is enough to make a huge difference in their lives. More than anything, it takes time for them to realise that you’re not the enemy.

There is no one “right way” to blend a family. But there is always one way to behave – with respect. Remember the golden rule: you can only control what you say and do, not how others behave.

Avoid messy areas that can cause unnecessar­y discomfort. I’ve never tried to get my stepchildr­en to call me Mum. Instead, they call me by my maiden-name initials, KT.

In an ideal world, disciplini­ng a stepchild should be left to the biological parents. But we don’t live in an ideal world. It is a conversati­on that you and your partner need to have to set clear guidelines.

Step Parenting With Purpose: Everything You Wanted To Know But Were Too Afraid To Ask by Karalee Katsambani­s, $29.95, karaleekat­sambanis.com

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