Parenting a blended family isn't always an easy task. And so much of being a stepparent is your ability open up the lines of communication with your new stepchildren, Dr. Robin says. "If you really want to step up to the plate and you want to be a stepparent who really can be in the mix, it means that you tread with respect gently," she says.
Dr. Robin says it's important step out of the fantasy that your blended family is going to be the perfect melting pot. In all fairness to you and to the family you are trying to bring together, give yourself and everyone else a break, she says. Decide that you are not trying to recreate The Brady Bunch family and instead show up like a tender, mature grown-up. If you open your heart and receive the open hearts of the people you are living with, Dr. Robin says you can forget the notions of what "family" should be and let something create itself that is more beautiful and more magnificent than you could have ever imagined.
"Nurture yourself and nurture the people who are in your life," Dr. Robin says. "Step up to the plate as the stepparent you really want to be."
Printed from Oprah.com on Wednesday, December 4, 2013