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Changing the Cultural Narrative Around Stepparents and Blended Families with Monique Honaman

Stepparents tend to get a bad rap. Odds are, your first encounter with the role was through the archetype of an evil stepmother in a fairy tale like Cinderella. The cultural narrative depicts stepparents as a negative force in the life of a child—either ignoring, taking advantage, or actively working against them!

Monique Honaman is on a mission to change the narrative. She has joined forces with her husband, Justin, to write BONUS Dad! BONUS Mom! A Child’s Guide to Understanding the Role of a Step-Parent. The picture book illustrates the positive role a bonus parent can play, not to replace either parent—but to be a ‘bonus’ trusted adult in the child’s life. Monique has also written two books for adults on the topic of divorce, The High Road Has Less Traffic and The High Road Has Less Traffic … and a Better View.

Today, Monique joins Katherine to share the inspiration for BONUS Dad! BONUS Mom! She explains the message of the book and what she has learned from reader feedback. Monique discusses her own experience, offering advice on how to include the kids as you build a strong blended family. Listen in and learn how to avoid competition between step- and biological parents and reframe the stepparent as an additional positive role model—a BONUS!


The impetus for BONUS Dad! BONUS Mom!

The messages behind BONUS Dad! BONUS Mom!

  • Bonus vs. replacement
  • No superheroes
  • Value words

How competition between biological and stepparents puts kids in an unfair place

Monique’s guidance for adults who feel threatened by stepparents

  • Empathize with children
  • Conversation with bonus parent
  • Set ground rules, expectations

The pros and cons of bonus parents who don’t have kids of their own

What Monique learned in writing BONUS Dad! BONUS Mom!

  • Applies to diverse situations beyond divorce

Why the ‘core parent’ should handle issues like discipline

How the bonus parent can serve as a trusted role model in a child’s life

Monique’s advice for putting together a strong blended family

The common thread among Monique’s High Road books and BONUS Dad! BONUS Mom!

Monique’s mission to change the narrative around what it means to be a stepparent


Monique’s Website

Bonus Dad and Bonus Mom Website


BONUS Dad! BONUS Mom! A Child’s Guide to Understanding the Role of a Step-Parent by Justin and Monique Honaman

The High Road Has Less Traffic: Honest Advice on the Path Through Love and Divorce by Monique A. Honaman

The High Road Has Less Traffic … and a Better View by Monique A. Honaman

Janis Abrahms Spring

National Stepfamily Resource Center


The Center for Understanding Conflict
Miller Law Group
Katherine on LinkedIn