You’ve met the woman of your dreams. She has kids, but you love them and you want them to love you. You are also aware of how important a good male role model is in a child’s life. You don’t want to get in the way of their relationship with their father, should they have one. You don’t want to hear them say, “You’re not my father,” but you do want to be a positive force in their life and you want to build a healthy and positive relationship with your new wife’s children. So how can you be a good stepdad?
Oftentimes, children get ruffled when their stepfather tries to have too much control or interfere with how the family usually does things (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/11/stepfather-study_n_3064427.html). If you are entering into uncharted waters or want the children to feel most comfortable, learn to adapt to the family culture that is in place. See if you can even contribute to it in a positive way. The best way to get along well in this new dynamic is open and honest communication. You and your new wife should communicate and establish an agreement on how the parenting is going to work. The children should feel comfortable enough to communicate how they are feeling, and feel free to vent their frustrations. With these ideas in place, you will be a stellar stepfather. Those kids will love you.