How to develop a relationship with your stepchildren

After a night of debauchery in Las Vegas, a man wakes up in a daze to find a scantily clad woman next to him in bed. On the nightstand, he sees what appears to be a wedding photo from one of the strip’s wedding chapels. Hastily putting on his glasses, he covers his mouth in shock when she realizes he is the one in the photo.

Although the woman’s face is partially covered, he notices the cheap wedding ring on her finger. She sees an open bag. He rummages through her bag and finds her wallet. He looks at her driver’s license and sees that her first name is Christina; he already knows what her last name is.

And before closing her bag, she finds a wide-ruled piece of paper written in crayon that begins with Dear Mommy. The now sober man realizes that not only is he a new husband, but he is also a new stepfather.

How to do it

When a couple dates, they make a connection and fall in love before deciding to get married. Likewise, if there is a child involved and your relationship is headed down the aisle, you should start courting your future stepson. For the purpose of establishing a connection and developing a relationship before proposing.

Developing a relationship with a potential stepchild is much easier and less stressful for everyone involved when the partner is still considered the parents’ boyfriend or girlfriend than when they become a stepparent. If you already have children, your partner needs to understand and be able to accept the fact, you come as a package deal.

don’t be holy

A common mistake many prospective stepfathers make is showering their fiancée’s children with gifts in an attempt to buy their affection. The first problem is that children know when someone is trying to buy their love. They are smart enough not to fall for the bait.

The second problem is that the child may start expecting gifts from you all the time, and unless it’s Daddy Warbucks, this will eventually put a strain on your finances. Or worse, you contribute to the creation of a spoiled brat who expects to receive everything he wants.

In the end, you risk not achieving your desired results, and your future stepson might resent your attempt to bribe him for his love. Affection and trust from a stepchild comes from taking the time and effort to develop a real relationship with them, not trying to force them.

Take an interest in your child

One of the best ways to connect with a new stepchild is to take an interest in what they’re interested in. If a child isn’t open about what she likes, a conversation with the biological parent might provide a starting point. If a stepchild is interested in animals, a trip to the zoo could provide a good bonding opportunity.

Older children can be more difficult to pin down and there are fewer opportunities to bond with them. Offering to help with homework or taking an interest in his favorite video game might not be the best start to a relationship, but it is a start.

Involve the child in his interests

While taking an interest in your future stepson’s interests, you can also involve your stepson in your interests. A child already knows his biological parents and has had many opportunities to become involved with them and their interests. One of the easiest ways to let a new stepchild into the life of her new or potential stepfather is to let him get involved in her interests.

For example, if the soon-to-be stepmom is part of a bowling league, the kids might not mind going to the bowling alley and watching or even participating in the game. At the same time, it’s important to make sure the stepson spends time with her biological father. This is especially true for children in a joint custody situation.

In joint custody, your stepchildren will only have a limited amount of time to spend with each of their birth parents. You need to make sure your stepchild maintains a healthy relationship with his or her biological mother and father.

Take your time

The greatest gift you can give your new stepchild is time. Remember that her stepson is grieving the loss of his nuclear family. It will take time for them to get used to the fact that their biological parents no longer live in the same house.

It may take even longer for them to accept that one or both parents have found someone else to fall in love with. It will take at least a couple of years before a stepfather can build what could be considered a healthy relationship with her stepchildren. This can be made easier if the future stepparent begins to connect with the child before the wedding.

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