You can't force love, but you can have a functional family: How to be a good stepparent

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Step-parenting can be hard. Here’s how to make it easier for everyone

Nearly half of Americans have a step relative, but it’s an issue that we don’t give nearly enough attention to.

I have had stepparents, but I have never thought in depth about what it takes to be a good stepparent. It’s such an overlooked but important job: beginning a new family while blending into an existing one and then keeping it intact. 

After a recent, emotional trip to Florida to see my father and half-siblings, I started thinking about the dynamics of blended families. Even as an adult, having a stepparent can really have an impact on family life. And even for stepparents with good intentions, the role is bound to be challenging.  

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