I’ve recently started reading a new leadership book; a different kind of leadership than what I’ve been studying and digesting over the past year and a half. It’s an important growth area, and I confess that I need a little bit of help.
You see, I’m about two years into what is possibly the hardest climb of my life: learning to be a dad and stepdad at the same time. And not just any dad or stepdad, but a darn good one. Not only that, but a better partner and spouse for my wife.
We all know the statistics – less than half of all marriages succeed; but did you know that more than 60% of second marriages fail? There are a lot of challenges with inheriting a family – marriage, parental roles, ex-spouses, discipline, expectations, comparisons, and lots of hurt feelings along the way.
While my marriage and home are not in danger, I am investing in ways to head off danger, lay down rumble strips, and be a better parent and partner.
So, in addition to seeking help from God, I am reading The Smart Stepdad: Steps to help You Succeed! by Ron L. Deal. I’m a couple of chapters deep so far, and it is already reaffirming all of the reasons to get some outside perspective.
It’s ironic that the book begins with the metaphor of climbing a mountain: you need some guidance, a well-planned route, plenty of supplies, determination, and even a guide who has navigated the summit. It’s a great comparison because, at times, it can feel like staring up at Everest.
If you are a stepparent, do you have any other tips, resources, or encouragement to share?