Before you can communicate rules, however, you need to be clear on what they should be. This makes it essential to make time with your partner to work out what it is that's important to both of you. In that process you may find that you differ in your opinions. Should that be the case, now is a good time to work this out between you. You can only provide a united front (an essential component in step-parenting) if you've talked about, agreed, or at least compromised on these issues.
Points to remember about rules:
* Create order and predictability.
* Are extremely important as they provide your (step)children with structure and emotional safety.
* Prepare children (step-and bio) for the world beyond your front door.
* Need to be age-appropriate, achievable and be kept to a minimum.
* Should be explained kindly, simply and clearly.
As well as being in agreement on the rules that govern your home, you also need to agree about suitable consequences should these rules be broken.
* Need to be age-appropriate
* Should be as closely linked to the child's misdemeanor as possible
* Should be applied as immediately after the rule is broken as possible
* Should never be unreasonable or unduly harsh