Ways for Stepparents to Connect with Their Stepchildren

Ways for Stepparents to Connect with Their Stepchildren

Every time stepparents are mentioned, the evil stepmother from Cinderella probably pops into your head. Stepparents have become stereotyped as the bad parent, out to replace a child’s birth parent. It can difficult to fight the stigma in the eyes of a small child, but it can be done. With an average of 50% of American marriages ending in divorce, remarriage is a likely possibility. It is important to get along with your stepchildren if you want a truly healthy marriage. Here are tips on connecting with you stepchildren.

Allow Time for Adjustment

It can be a confusing time for a child to get used to their parent’s new spouse. They need time to grieve the end of their parents’ marriage before they can accept this new union. Give them time and space. By not forcing your company on your stepchildren, you show them that you respect their emotions and what they’re enduring. That does not mean you should not make an effort.

Plan a Quick First Meeting

It can be awkward when you and your stepchild first meet. You do not want to overwhelm them. By having a short first meet up, you both get a chance to assess one another without the obligation of a long drawn out dinner. Be open to forming a relationship naturally, rather than forcing one.

Treat Stepkids Like You Would Your Own Children

Whether you have children or not, treat your new stepkids like family. By being overly enthusiastic or unnaturally friendly, you may make children feel like guests rather than part of the household. Treat your spouse’s children with the same level of familiarity and with the same expectation you would your own kids.

Allow Stepchildren to Have Alone Time with Their Parents

As much as it might be tempting to want to participate in all activities with your new spouse and their kids, you should give them some alone time. By allowing your stepchildren one-on-one with their biological parent, you show them that you are not here to take over. Rather, your new family should naturally progress to wanting to spend time together.

Be Open and Honest

Children can sense when someone is not being genuine. By being honest, your stepchild will understand that they can trust what you say. This will help ground your relationship on a solid foundation.

Open Lines of Communication

You should make sure that your stepchild knows that they can come to you to talk. Be there for them if they need someone to listen to or offer advice. You can reach this level of friendship by sharing interests and participating in activities you both enjoy.

We hope these tips will help you as you connect with your new stepchildren. This can be an exciting and overwhelming time. Just remember that you are expanding your family and that can be great. If you need a family law attorney in San Bernardino, contact our Lawyer at Family Law Advocacy Group.


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