Read about disciplining stepchildren, how to discipline step children and step parent in disciplinary role.

Disciplining Stepchildren

All step families may have different needs and as effective stepparents you have to play an active role in earning the trust and respect of your children. First you have to focus on building a relationship with your children and then move on to a disciplinary role. To gain parental authority, you can advance from one step to other of these three steps to positive relationship and successful step parenting style - Role of Babysitter, Role of Uncle or Aunt and Role of Parent.

Role of Babysitter
Shortly after remarriage, biological parents and step parents must negotiate the rules and consequences for their children behind closed doors. In front of step children, biological parent passes of the authority to the step parent as he or she would to a baby-sitter, teacher, coach or any other adult in charge. Biological parent will state the rules and consequences to the children as if they are one to set them and the step parent will just enforce them when they are absent. Children should know that they have to treat the stepparent with honor and respect and if he takes some disciplinary actions or forbid them to do something, it is just as an extension of their own parent and using their parent�s authority.

They might report to their biological parent and the children will have to face their parent for the consequences. If children refuse to obey stepparents, this is an effective way to make them understand that they are not trying to replace their �own� parents but just trying to enforce what their parents think is best for them. In complex stepfamilies, where both parents have children to constitute a stepfamily, parents negotiate rules together and then, each take a lead to discipline their own children. Thus, they act as the primary parent to their children and the baby-sitter to their spouse�s children. Rules should be same for all the kids and parents should be consistent without playing favoritism.

Role of Uncle or Aunt
As children start accepting step parents into their lives and stepparents have earned some respect from children, they can move on the role of uncle or aunt, just like an extended family member. Children may look up to you as a member of their family through marriage to their mother or father and there may be some personal connection evolving too. Personal bonds deepen and love and affection for the step parent and children increases. It is the time for frequent one-on-one activities with children and lots of appreciation. Parents can be a little more authoritative at this stage and set clear limits in communication and can participate in family discussions regarding rules of the household.

Role of Parent
With time, you can move on to gain the status of a parent with your step children. Younger children may accept you as a parent much more quickly than an adolescent. However, if you never gain parental status in your child�s life due to the conditions beyond your control, you can still share a good relationship with your stepchildren.