In working with stepfamilies I find that there are often unrealistic expectations of a ‘Brady bunch’ blending and confusion about how to handle discipline with step children. My opinion is that the bio parent should be the one to handle discipline with their own children with the step parent backing them up. Too often the step parent feels the ambiguity of their role and wants to assert power by directly disciplining the step kids which can cause resentment and ongoing problems. foundation for respect and open communication. Understanding the children’s point of view is key. They’ll likely feel uncertain about the changes and how they will affect relationships with their natural parents. Acknowledging and respecting their conflicted feelings will lay a good foundation for respect and open communication. Most importantly expect this adjustment to take time!