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Top 10 Books to Help Stepfathers Be Successful


If you are a stepfather, or about to become one, you are embarking on one of the toughest challenges a father can face. Find out from those who have been there what it takes to succeed as a stepdad from these books for your home library.

1. Keys to Successful Stepfathering

Father and son relaxing in grass
Tom Merton/OJO Images/Getty Images
Psychologist Carl Pickhardt offers a very practical approach to success as a stepfather in this very focused book. It is an excellent resource for stepfathers in dealing with conflicting emotions, the differences in dealing with stepsons and stepdaughters, and similar issues important in blended families. I highly recommend this book as a great starting place for stepfathers.
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2. The Stepparent's Survival Guide: A Workbook for Creating a Happy Blended Family

The Stepparent's Survival Guide
Dr. Suzen Ziegahn, a psychologist and stepparent herself, has written a very helpful workbook for blended families. She leads the reader through a process for developing a personalized family plan to deal with issues like discipline, competitiveness and traditions.
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3. You're Not My Daddy: Guidelines To Becoming A Successful Stepfather

Author Jason Hendrickson is a musician and minister, and writes this book from his perspective in counseling with blended families. Having seen many single young women become pregnant and then later marry a man who was not the father of her child, Jason offers some excellent advice about finding your way as a stepfather who comes into a single parent household.
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4. Complete Idiots Guide to Stepparenting

Very helpful guide to everything stepparents need to know. Features I liked include getting to know your stepchildren, discipline issues, and stepsibling rivalry. An easy to read reference for stepdads and stepmoms alike.
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5. Winning the Heart of Your Stepchild

A very how-to focused book on learning to accept, and being accepted by, your stepchildren. Recognizing that stepchildren have a range of feelings and emotion, authors Robert and Bob Barnes deal with these issues one at a time and help stepfathers find solutions to everyday challenges in stepfathering.
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6. The Truth About Stepfamilies

While written from a stepmom’s perspective, this book can be really helpful for a new stepdad. Anne O’Connor interviewed many American stepfamilies to determine what really works in a blended family, and the pitfalls to avoid when trying to make such families successful.
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7. Stepchildren Speak

Ever wondered how stepchildren reflect on their blended family experiences when they are older and have a chance to look back? In this book, Susan Philips interviews ten such stepchildren who helped her learn what works and what doesn’t as children are raised in a blended family. And those insights are helpful to any stepfather.
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8. Stepcoupling

There are reasons why the failure rate of second marriages is significantly greater than that of first marriages. And in this book, authors Susan Wisdom and Jennifer Green help second marriage couples navigate these troubled waters. They offer help in dealing with issues like diverse parenting styles, relationship patterns, legal issues, and problem solving skills.
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9. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

This book is not specifically for stepfathers, but it has important implications in a blended family. In my view, this book is an important read for every parent, but is particularly relevant for dads trying to build a new relationship with children. It has meaningful and practical advice on communicating with children and putting yourself in their shoes. Every dad moving into an existing family should bring these important communications skills along with him.
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10. Step Wise A Guide To Family Mergers

A lighter read, StepWise offers practical and down to earth advice about the challenges of stepparenting. Author James Dale is a stepfather, and the book also features commentary along the way by his stepdaughter Alex. And as such, it is also a great book to share with and read along with your stepchildren.
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