Kelly's Got This Stepmom Thing Down

Kelly Clarkson is about to add two more jobs to her impressive résumé: wife and stepmom. We've rounded up a few tips on how she — and other brides to be who are in the same situation — can deal with the changes.

Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock

Kelly Clarkson has an incredibly successful career, but there's one thing she never thought she'd do: get married!

"I never really thought I'd get married, so it's kind of cool that I fell in love and I'm getting married," the 31-year-old told People earlier this year.

The singer will marry Reba McEntire's stepson, Brandon Blackstock, later this fall. The Nashville music manager will bring a couple of adorable accessories to the marriage, too: his two children from a previous relationship.

And how does Clarkson feel about it? She's thrilled!

"I have a 12-year-old and a 6-year-old now... after being single for six years," she told Ryan Seacrest on his radio show Tuesday. "We all live together and everything. It's so different, but it's perfect. They're awesome, and I actually really dig the mom thing."

Coming into a family — even in the happiest of circumstances — can be a bit daunting for any bride to be. While we know it's OK to put our marriage before the kids, it's also insanely scary to jump from the single life to having a ready-made family. We've rounded up a few tips from experts to help guide brand-new stepmoms along the way.

Dos

  • Find common ground. "My best advice for connecting with your stepchildren is to take it slow when trying to establish a relationship. Take small steps to show them that your love and support are sincere," stepmom Evelyne Del Billingslea told SheKnows.
  • Be a cheerleader. "Friend, parent, spiritual advisor, life coach, roadblock, critic... these are what a stepparent isn't. Go ahead and try each one and you'll see the same result: a frustrating relationship between you and your stepchild. So what's left? Cheerleader. As a stepparent, the best way to navigate is through the eyes of a cheerleader," added Ellen Kellner, author of The Pro-Child Way.

Don'ts

  • Don't badmouth the other parent. "Voicing your disdain for the other parent's actions will make the child feel as though she has to choose between you and her biological parent. Make it clear to the child that the relationship she has with her biological parent does not have to change just because you are present in her life," Del Billingslea added.
  • Don't try to be a replacement parent. "Don't try to replace your stepchild's biological parent. Be there as a support system, role model, mentor and caring ear," Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, author of How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce?, added to SheKnows.
  • Don't expect them to love you right away. "Don't expect [the stepkids] to love — or even like — you. They must treat you as kindly and respectfully as they would any other acquaintance or friend of the family. I figured I was going to be around for the rest of their lives, so they had plenty of time to get to know me. I could grow on them," added stepmom Melinda Mallari.

We don't expect this to be an issue for the former American Idol winner. She seems to have her parenting style down.

"I'm quick to go, 'I told you not to touch that!'" she joked to Seacrest. "We all work really well together, but I'm totally my mom. My mom was a hard mom. I'm probably that mom."

Tell us

How do you handle being a new wife and a new stepmom? Sound off below!

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Photo: Kelly Clarkson/Instagram

Tags: step-parenting

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