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The Ideal Stepparent?

We’re so over Jon and Kate. Aren’t you? 

But we must admit that we did click on the Facebook photos of Hailey Glassman, Jon’s alleged twenty-two-year-old girlfriend. And we watched as the blogosphere ignited to attack Hailey as a terrible role model and an unfit prospective step-mother. 

Sure, it’s obvious: twenty-two-year-old Hailey is not ready to be a role model for the eight Gosselin kids. And we’re not very interested in the conversation about a publicity-seeking separated dad dating a much younger woman. But here’s what does intrigue us:

We’ve been talking about the idea that “stepparents” today are being vetted as role models. We know many of have remarried. Or, maybe you’re a step-parent yourself? Perhaps, your own kids have a step-parent in their lives?

Not long ago, you rarely heard the word “step-parent” without hearing the word “wicked” in front of it. Or with the word “monster” in front it. These just sound wrong to us. So, when we heard Oprah refer to a step-parent as a “bonus parent,” it just felt right. (Although we have talked to some single parents who really despise that phrase, “bonus parent.”) We simply want to go on the record to end this hurtful name-calling. Which leave us wondering:
Should bonus parents really be role models—or is this just media hype?

For example, one single dad we talked to said: “In order for it to be a bonus, you have to be gaining something in addition to the bonus. What, exactly, are the children gaining?” 

So, what qualities does the ideal step-parent possess? In other words, is there an essential “non-negotiable” trait that every successful bonus parent should share?

Originally published on Single Mommy Hood

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