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Does LeAnn Rimes Need Stepparenting 101?

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Guest blogger Kate Tuttle: I don't really follow LeAnn Rimes, though I remember when she first made her name as a super-young singer with a super-big voice. Apparently she caught herself a married man who has two sons from his first wife, and Rimes and her new husband share custody of the kids with the ex. They all landed on thegossip pagesrecently because the ex, Brandi Glanville, called LeAnn a "bad parent."


Glanville was ticked at Rimes for not informing her that son Mason, 7, had gone to the emergency room. According to Glanville, Rimes somehow found time to tweet about the event, however -- which is how she found out that her son had been injured.

One of my two children is from my first marriage, so I have an ex with whom I share custody. He has never remarried, so there's no stepmother in this case. But my husband is my daughter's stepparent, so I feel like I'm fairly well-versed in the whole situation of co-parenting, stepparenting and the various complex fallouts from divorce.

Here's what I've learned (Gisele, you can listen too!): As a divorced parent, your primary contact about anything involving the children is the kids' other parent -- i.e., your ex. Your primary contact is NOT the ex's new spouse, a person you naturally might have mixed feelings about (particularly if the marriage ended with infidelity, which I take is the case with Rimes).

As a stepparent, your job is to care for and nurture the children to the best of your ability. Love will come over time, as will your familiarity with who the children are as people. If something happens to the children while they're under your care, by all means, communicate with the kids' parents -- but see above. It's probably best to always let the parents work out issues themselves. No matter what, it's never OK to use Twitter to report on a child's accident or illness before you've informed the kid's parents -- both of them.

I'm not trying to take sides, but it's also probably not a good idea to say (as Rimes did in a gossip magazine), "I treat those boys like they are my own, because that's how I love" -- especially since that attitude is apparently how she ended up with stepchildren in the first place!

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