Belfast Telegraph

How can I be a good stepmum?

Fiona Caine is here to help if you have a relationship, sexual, marriage or family problem

The man I am going to marry is wonderful, I love him so much.

However, I am concerned about my relationship with his children.

I like them very much, they are great kids, aged eight and 10, but I feel sure they must resent me.

Do you have any tips on how to be a good stepmother? RD

FIONA SAYS: YOU NEED TO SET GROUND RULES

There are no hard and fast rules on being a good stepparent any more than there are on being a good parent.

The children may live with you permanently, or just be occasional visitors. They may have already adjusted to their parents’ separation or they may not.

As they are individuals, they can both have completely different attitudes to you that range from total acceptance to anger and confusion.

You and your partner must agree some ground rules — if he doesn't back you then the children will soon learn to play one off against the other.

A useful guide is the Relate Guide To Step Families, written by fellow advice columnist Suzie Hayman, priced at £9.99.

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