Actress Gabrielle Union is relieved she doesn't feel like an outsider as a stepmother.
The Bring It On star helps her basketball player husband Dwyane Wade raise his three sons, Zaire, 14, Zion, eight, and two-year-old Xavier, and while marrying into a family can be a difficult transition for some, Gabrielle has had no such problems.
"I recognize that I am lucky," she told Us Weekly. "Not everyone has the same situation."
While she isn't the boys' biological mother, the 43-year-old believes it's still important to take on a role in their lives and offered up some words of wisdom to fans who may find themselves in similar situations.
"My advice is just to be fair, reasonable and consistent," she said. "If you're going to be a pushover, be a pushover. If you're going to be a disciplinarian, be a disciplinarian. But be consistent so that (the kids) can get used to whoever it is that you are."
As for the boys themselves, Gabrielle gets so much joy out of watching them grow up.
"They are dope kids," she added. "I have a lot of proud moments where I'm, like, in tears. They are smart, they are kind and just all-around amazing kids, and I tell them that."
Gabrielle and Dwyane began dating in 2009, but split briefly in early 2013 before reconciling and becoming engaged in December of that year.
The couple tied the knot in Miami, Florida in August, 2014, and while the stars would like children of their own, Gabrielle has previously admitted it's been a struggle.
"So far, it has not happened for us," she confessed to Redbook in September (15). "A lot of my friends deal with this. There's a certain amount of shame that is placed on women who have perhaps chosen a career over starting a family younger. The penance for being a career woman is barrenness. You feel like you're wearing a scarlet letter."