Considering the inexorable rise of the ‘blended’ family, it’s surprising how few British websites there are dedicated to step-parenting. But seek and ye shall find, and we found these the most helpful.
Happy Steps, in partnership with marriage counsellors Relate, is a practical resource that recommends products and services, keeps up to date with the latest research and has an advice column run by expert (and stepmum) Dr Lisa Doodson. If you want a seminar for employees or family professionals, or a one-on-one session, this is your first stop.
Stepchildren deals in ‘no-nonsense, get-it-sorted advice’. There’s a ring of truth to such articles as ‘I hate my stepkids’ and ‘Dealing with manipulative stepchildren’. And Delilah’s Diary is a welcome and well-written corrective to some of the more soupy stuff you’ll find in this field.
Being a Step Parent takes a sterner line than most (‘The importance of allowing your partner to discipline your child’). Along with the usual case studies, advice columns and forums, it widens the net to include such subjects as dealing with the (incredibly dense) Child Support Agency and ‘Becoming a step-grandparent’.
One Up Magazine, which is aimed at single and step-parents, has been semi-dormant these last few years but has now been revived by its founder, Jenny Shelley. It’s a bit hit-and-miss – one senses it is edited from the perspective of a mother – but it still carries useful information on finance, the law and, um, dating.
Finally, there’s a handy page on the One Plus One site, which answers a lot of the questions folks like us want to ask. And the site has useful advice on avoiding divorce, too. After all, as the research continually finds, kids seldom want their real parents to split in the first place…