Re-marriage brings new challenges especially for the children, and moms feel extra pressure to build unity in the home. Speaker and author Laura Petherbridge has learned how to thrive—not just survive—as a stepmom and she shares dozens of practical insight and tips. From parenting, finances, holidays, and more, we get wise counsel and biblical encouragement to help your family blend. Listen for some of the 101 Tips for the Smart Stepmom: Expert Advice from One Stepmom to Another.

•  What it means to a stepparent.

•  Laura’s own journey of having, and eventually becoming, a stepmom.

•  How to handle divided loyalties of the children – Laura points out that children are “fiercely loyal to a biological parent” even at the expense of a relationship with a godly stepparent. If your children won’t have a relationship with you, let them go. Let them have an ongoing relationship with their dad and give them space to grow and keep loving them while maintaining boundaries.

•  How to work with a spouse who won’t discipline their children.

•  The best way to handle a stepchild’s wedding – Laura says, understand how incredibly complicated this day will be for them. Step back and don’t make it a “battleground” for sorting out emotional/relational issues.

•  Grappling with vacations as a blended family.

For Laura, a lightbulb moment came when she realized she was co-dependent. “I kept trying to rescue my husband .. I kept stepping in and that prevented him from … being that dad he needed to be. It’s not love, mercy, or grace” to try to rescue your family. Love your husband, pray for your children and stepchildren, and trust God to reconcile where reconciliation is needed.

Highlight – From a child’s perspective

Tips for smart stepmoms

Image: Flickr

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