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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:48 pm
Along with the usual difficulties associated with raising children, stepparenting can present its own unique problems. If stepparents have children, they may find themselves siding with them against their stepchildren or even their new spouse. Resentment can manifest itself in stepchildren because they may come to see the stepparent as a culprit who has broken up their natural family structure. They may feel loyalty toward the natural parent, and be uncooperative and unwilling to adjust to the new members of the family. They may also feel that the stepparent is taking away some of the attention of the natural parent, resulting in jealousy and mistrust. Other problems can occur when there's a change in parenting behavior. Actions that were previously tolerated may no longer acceptable, and this can leave the child confused and angry. One way to help prevent this is by working as a family to establish boundaries that are acceptable to everyone. When doing this, it's important to maintain a sense of fairness and good channels of communication. Therapy and counseling can also be beneficial in assisting both parents and children to adjust to the demands of the new family. For more information, consult a health care professional in your area.

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