Found this on the Huffington Post. Older article, but the information is still relevant. What do you think? I know each situation is different.
Parents and Step-Parents: Where Is the Boundary Line?
Being a step-parent may very well be the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life. Parenting is tough enough in and of itself, but at least with the children I birthed I know that I can make a major parenting mistake and they will laugh at me and forgive me for my shortcomings and then forget about it by the time they get home from school. It seems like no matter what we face, we begin each day with a clean slate.
It’s different with my step-children. I find myself worrying that I may at any moment make an irreversible mistake which could cause them to harbor resentment until my last breath is taken. I often dance around issues and walk on eggshells and probably coddle them more than is even necessary.
But the most challenging part about being a step-parent is not crossing the imaginary “boundary line” to which so many parents and step-parents refer. We are expected to love the children like our own… but not too much. We are expected to make decisions regarding our home… but not specifically regarding the step-kids. We are supposed to be interested in their lives… but not too interested in what they do at the other home. We are supposed to go to their sports activities and cheer them on… but not offer to assist with the activities. We are expected to treat them like our own… but not really.