Like Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock is a woman who seemingly had it all before her marriage ended amid allegations that her husband cheated on her. (A lot.)
Like Aniston, Bullock handled the situation with as much grace as possible despite the near-obsessive public interest in her every move.
But unlike Aniston, whose split with Brad Pitt came before the two had any children, Bullock spent several years as a stepmom to ex-husband Jesse James’ three kids before adopting one of her own before their marriage ended.
Now that Aniston has been linked to father of two Chris Gartin, maybe it’s time for Aniston to get some pointers from the Oscar winner on the do’s and don’ts of good stepparenting.
* Do be involved in their lives. Bullock told Harper’s Bazaar last year that she treated her stepchildren like family, not like someone else’s children.
* But do not try to be their mom. Even when James’ ex Janine Lindemulder got in trouble with the law, Sandra never tried to take Lindemulder’s place for 6-year-old daughter Sunny. She never bad-mouthed Lindemulder during James’ custody battle, either.
* Do involve your stepchildren in your super-glam life. Bullock’s elder stepdaughter helped her pick out her Oscar gown — wouldn’t Cinderella be jealous.
* But don’t make life all about your celebrity. Bullock avoided the Hollywood party scene to stay home with her family, refusing to cart them around for paparazzi photo opps. (Cough, Kate Gosselin, cough.)
* Do show that you care about the kids even when you’re having problems in your relationship. Bullock continued to see her stepkids even when her marriage was falling apart.
* But don’t make the kids choose sides. Despite all James did to her, Bullock still insisted he was a wonderful parent. That’s classy.
So what do you think separates a good stepmom from a stepmonster?