Having a Stepmom or a Stepdad

It’s hard to accept a stepmom or a stepdad as a parent at first. But becoming a stepfamily can be a good thing. It can make you feel part of a family again.

Living With a Single-parent

After a death of one of your parents or after a divorce your relationship with the single-parent that you live with changes and you become very close with your single-parent. You comfort each other during this painful period. This creates a very strong and special bond between the two of you.

But when a stepparent comes along, you may not welcome him or her. You may feel that he or she is a threat to your special bond...


You are still loyal to your natural parent and you feel that your stepmom or stepdad is trying to take your mom’s or dad’s place. This makes you angry at your stepparent. You may even be angry at your natural parent for marrying so soon. You may feel that this parent is betraying your other natural parent. This is a very painful and confusing time for you.

Names also become an issue. Your stepmom might want you to call her “Mom” or your stepdad might want you to call him “Dad”. This can be confusing because you’re still loyal to your real parent. It’s very important to talk to your new family and to tell them your feelings about this. You may not want to call your stepparent “Mom” or “Dad”. This is entirely up to you.

If you’re only comfortable when calling your stepparent by his or her first name, then tell your natural parent and your stepparent. It’s also okay if you’re comfortable calling your stepparent “Dad” or “Mom”. It’s entirely up to you. It’s okay to have two dads or two moms.

It’s also the same with surnames. It’s entirely up to you. You don’t have to take your stepdad’s surname if you don’t want to. You have to tell your stepdad and your mom that you’re not comfortable with this. Surnames are not important. The important thing is that you feel like a family. Whatever works for you is fine.

"Our family sure hit some bumpy roads on this path of life. It took us a while to get where we are today...I'm sure glad we all took the effort to walk together." -- Christy Borgeld

Expecting Instant Love

Your stepparent may want you to love them as soon as he or she has married your natural parent. He or she may try to buy your love by buying you lots of gifts. Your stepmom or stepdad may tell you that they love you when they don’t really know you that well. You might feel that he or she expects you to say that you love them too. Remember, love is based on trust and respect. If you don’t love your stepparent yet, then don’t feel like you have to say you love him or her. Loves takes time. It will eventually come.


You stepparent may want to be a replacement for your natural parent. But this will never work. It’s a bad idea. Your natural father will always be your father. And your natural mother will always be your mother. It is better to think of your stepmom or stepdad as another parent. Your stepparent should also think this way.

Becoming a stepfamily can be a good and happy thing. It can make you feel part of a family again. You might get stepbrothers or stepsisters who may become your friends. All you have to do is to give it a chance.

To make for a happy stepfamily, the family needs good communication, cooperation and compromise. This means that you must talk about how you feel about each other. You must consider one another’s feelings and work together. It means that you must think about the other members of the family and not just about yourself.

Related Articles:

Return from Having a Stepmom or a Stepdad to Teen Relationships

Return from Having a Stepmom or a Stepdad to

Smart Teenagers