How to build a relationship with stepchild

Advice for Stepparents: 7 Ways to Connect With Stepkids

how to build a relationship with stepchild

There is no such thing as instant love between a new stepparent and a stepchild. One of the most crucial things to learn about a stepfamily is. Stepping into the role of a stepparent is a delicate we're sharing a few tips to help you start on the right foot. Here are practical pointers for stepparents on building a positive relationship within a blended family.

Realize that love and caring takes time to develop, especially with pre-adolescent and adolescent children. Some research suggests that children under the age of five will bond with a stepparent within one to two years.

However, older children-teenagers in particular-may take as many years as they are old when the remarriage takes place. In other words, a ten-year-old may need ten years before they feel truly connected with you. Try to imagine your stepfamily in a crock-pot; it's slow cooking, so don't rush it.

Besides, crock-pots do gradually bring all the ingredients together so trust that the low heat will eventually do its work. Here are some "low-heat" crock-pot cooking recommendations: Do not expect that you or your stepchildren will magically cherish all your time together.

how to build a relationship with stepchild

Stepchildren often feel confused about new family relationships, feeling both welcoming and resentful of the changes new people bring to their life. Give children space and time to work through their emotions. Give yourself permission to not be completely accepted by them. Their acceptance of you is often more about wanting to remain in contact with their biological parents than it is an acceptance or rejection of you. This realization will help you to de-personalize their apparent rejections.

Give your stepchildren time away from you, preferably with their biological parent. The exclusive time stepchildren had with their biological parent before he or she married you come to a screeching halt after remarriage. Honoring your stepchildren by giving back this exclusive time will help them to respect you sooner. Children's loyalty to their biological parents may interfere with their acceptance of you.

Children are often emotionally torn when they enjoy a stepparent. The fear that liking you somehow hurts their non-custodial, biological, parent is common. The ensuing guilt they experience may lead to disobedient behavior and a closed heart. In order to help stepchildren deal with this struggle: Allow children to keep their loyalties and encourage contact with biological parents. Never criticize their biological parent, as it will sabotage the children's opinion of you.

Don't try to replace an uninvolved or deceased biological parent. Consider yourself an added parent figure in the child's life-be yourself. The cardinal rule for stepparent-stepchild relationships is this: Let the children set their pace for their relationship with you. If your stepchildren are open to you and seem to want physical affection from you, don't leave them disappointed. If, however, they remain aloof and cautious, don't force yourself on them. Respect their boundaries, for it often represents their confusion over the new relationship and their loss from the past.

how to build a relationship with stepchild

As time in the stepfamily crock-pot brings you together, slowly increase your personal involvement and affections.

Together you can forge a workable relationship that grows over time. Recently a gentleman told me that it took 30 years before he could tell his stepfather he loved him. Undoubtedly, his stepfather struggled through those years for his stepson's acceptance. But despite his godly attitude and leadership, his stepson simply couldn't allow himself to return that love.

Eventually, however, love won out and was able to express appreciation to his stepfather for being involved in his life. Trust that doing the right things in the name of Christ will eventually bring you and your stepchildren together. In the meantime, set realistic expectations that don't leave you feeling like a failure until that day arrives.

Relax and Build Relationship Relax.

8 Ways To Build A Positive Relationship With Your Stepkids

It's an interesting word to hear when you feel like you're not making any progress as a stepparent, yet that's exactly the word I continue to use in therapy with stepfamilies. The crock-pot will eventually bring you closer together with your stepchildren, but you can't force their affections.

So relax, accept the current level of relationship, and trust the crock-pot to increase your connection over time. In the mean time, use the following suggestions to help you to be intentional about slowly building your relationship. Early on, monitor 1 your stepchildren's activities. Know what they are doing at school, church, and in extracurricular activities, and make it your aim to be a part.

Take them to soccer practice, ask about the math test they studied for, and help them to learn their lines in the school play.

how to build a relationship with stepchild

Monitoring seeks to balance interest in the child without coming on too strong. A second suggestion also seeks to build relationship, but slowly. Throughout the first year of remarriage, stepparents should be involved with stepchildren when another family member can be present. This "group" family activity reduces the anxiety children feel with one-on-one time with a stepparent. Adults frequently assume that the way to get to know their stepchildren is to spend personal, exclusive time with them.

This may be true with some stepchildren; however, most stepchildren prefer to not be thrown into that kind of situation until they have had time to grow comfortable with the stepparent. Honor that feeling until the child makes it obvious that he or she is okay with one-on-one time.

Another suggestion for building relationship is to share your talents, skills, and interests with the child and to become curious about theirs. If you know how to play the guitar and a stepchild is interested, take time to show him how.

If the child is interested in a particular series of books or a video game, become interested and ask her to tell you about it. Rushing it may satisfy your own unmet needs to be liked but backfire. After all, you will most likely be seen as an outsider since your stepkids lived with their biological parent before you came on the scene.

Advice for Stepparents: 7 Ways to Connect With Stepkids

Make plans with your friends and graciously step out of their way. Just because things went well when you were dating your partner, doesn't ensure things will go smoothly once you're a committed couple. A marriage effectively ends any hope of their mother and father reunifying and can reignite feelings of loss for your stepchildren.

how to build a relationship with stepchild

Remember that your stepkids will be there for the duration whether a positive relationship unfolds with you, so step to the higher ground and be the adult role model they deserve.

Sharing interests from sports to the arts can only help you develop a bond. Be persistent if he or she fails to invite you to an event or activity. Keep in mind, you are the adult and need to be the mature one. First, it's a given that your stepchildren had a relationship with your spouse that existed before you came on the scene.

Stepfamilies are complicated and even if your stepchildren seem to like you well enough, they'll sometimes want time alone with their parent and prefer you weren't in the picture. As mentioned earlier, you have to earn your stepkids trust over time and so it's not a good idea to discipline him or her before you've earned their respect. Be sure to present the household rules as a joint decision but don't discipline your stepkids right away or you'll be seen as the scoundrel.

Even if you do not hit it off with your stepchildren, you can still develop a working relationship built on respect. If your stepchildren don't warm up to you right away that doesn't mean you have failed. Most of the talking will take place away from your stepkids but be sure to have cordial conversations and informal discussions about family rules, roles, chores, and routines with the kids.

how to build a relationship with stepchild

Presenting a united front with your spouse is very helpful to the formation of a healthy stepfamily. This action requires respect, caring and lots of love because it may not be easy to do if you do not agree with your spouse.

How to Build Maternal Love for Resistant Stepchildren

Caring and respect are especially important, cannot be rushed, and are "earned" or granted over time among all family members. Always do your best to support your partner's decisions about his or her biological children. This will help build trust between you and your stepchildren. Remember you are a "competitor" for their parents' attention, especially when a remarriage takes place within a few years after the breakup of your stepchild's family.

Be sure to encourage and listen to your stepchildren's input so they'll feel validated.