How to Deal with Young Stepchildren: 8 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Spending time with your stepchildren helps you develop a bond.


The excitement of the wedding is over and now you're settling into your new life as a stepparent. You may not have expected an instant family to come along with the vows, but the reality of the situation means you need to figure out the relationship with your young stepchildren quickly. Figuring out things like who should handle discipline and how the family structure will look are often major issues. You may not be "The Brady Bunch", but partnering with your new spouse to ease the transition is the key to success.

EditSteps

  1. 1
    Discuss your role with your new spouse so you're in agreement on how you'll interact with your stepchildren. Talk about how you'll handle discipline and child care duties, like school drop-off and bath time.
  2. 2
    Create an environment that makes your young stepchildren feel accepted, loved, safe and valued. Show your stepchildren patience and understanding. If you have children of your own, treat all the kids equally.
  3. 3
    Spend time with your new stepchildren when they stay with you and your new spouse. Let the kids take the lead. Be a supportive, consistent adult without pushing the children to bond too quickly.
  4. 4
    Enforce house rules equally for all children, both biological and stepchildren. Disciple your stepchildren if necessary based on the agreement with your spouse. In the beginning, you may find it easier if your spouse handles most of the discipline, with you providing support. Young children tend to accept a new stepparent easier than an older child, but trying to take on too much responsibility too early may cause them to resist.
  5. 5
    Leave disagreements about how to handle the kids to private conversations with your spouse. Avoid negative talk in front of the kids, whether it pertains to a disagreement between the two of you or something related to your spouse's ex. Negative talk may cause your stepchildren to resent you.
  6. 6
    Establish family routines and traditions with your stepchildren to make them feel included. For example, make Friday nights movie and pizza night or have a family date night on Valentine's Day.
  7. 7
    Talk to your spouse if you feel left out or disrespected by your stepchildren instead of bottling it up. Work together to resolve issues.
  8. 8
    Seek help from a family therapist if you can't settle into the new role as stepparent, especially if your stepchildren show anger or disrespect that you cannot control.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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