KATE’S STRAT­EGY FOR STEPMOTHERHOOD

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Al­ways en­sure that the chil­dren are in­volved in de­ci­sions re­gard­ing you and your part­ner. They mustn’t feel pushed into a cor­ner. Set bound­aries early. It’s eas­ier not to dis­ci­pline them, but they won’t re­spect you long-term. The kids have to do cer­tain chores; if they don’t, no pocket money. Have reg­u­lar one-on-one time. I lie down alone with each kid in bed most nights to get to know them as in­di­vid­u­als. They re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate not hav­ing to com­pete for at­ten­tion. Try not to get too caught up in the se­ri­ous­ness of your role. Some­times you can be con­sumed by the school run, su­per­vis­ing home­work, cook­ing din­ner. Re­mem­ber to have fun. Don’t for­get about your­self. If you can’t look after your­self you can’t look after any­one else. You need your own es­capes: at the be­gin­ning I was so caught up with Rio and the chil­dren that I for­got to see my own friends. And make time just for you and your part­ner, oth­er­wise what’s the point?

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