Whether your stepchild is with you on a daily basis, or you see him or her every other weekend, there may be another entity in the wings who influences the stepchild in many of his or her actions.
Stepparents must assume parental roles before there is an emotional bond with the stepchild and are often required to make instant adjustments to a parental role.
Stepparents may face a similar situation, since stepparents, unless they legally adopt a stepchild, have no legal rights with regard to custody or visitation.
The term stepchild used to refer to orphans who lost their parents, and stepfather/stepmother used to refer to individuals who became parents to an orphan.
The role of the stepparent and status in the family is often unclear with regard to authority, level of involvement with the stepchild, and discipline.
Stepchild: A non-biological child brought into the family by marriage or cohabitation with the biological parent.
Relationship: The child must be the son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother or sister of the claimant.
Recognize, however, that your stepchild needs to be able to freely express her love for her other parent.
The relationship that you desire with your stepchild may take several months or even years.