How to Help Stepchildren Feel Included: 5 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Your stepchild should feel welcome and loved in your home.

"Aww, I never get to do anything fun here." If you have stepkids, this might be a familiar refrain. Some days you feel like you're walking on eggshells to keep the peace and build a strong, loving relationship with your stepchildren. Sharing parenting with your partner’s ex or having your young stepchildren bounce between your house and their mom's challenges everyone. You know your stepkids will raise a stink if they feel left out of important events.What can you do to keep everyone in the loop and happy?


  1. 1
    Plan ahead, especially for important events such as birthdays and holidays. Coordinate schedules so everyone is clear about event dates. Decide early who gets the kids for holidays and birthdays. If necessary, it might take two birthday parties or two holiday celebrations if you can’t manage to get everyone to agree to plan a few events that include everyone.
  2. 2
    Ask your stepkids what kinds of activities they want to do. For example, you might ask Jennie what kind of birthday party she wants and who should attend. You might not be able to accommodate all her wishes, but plans that include a few of her suggestions demonstrate your desire to make her happy. If she wants something impossible, you can quietly explain that you will do what is possible.
  3. 3
    Take pictures of events your stepkids can’t attend and ensure that the pictures get delivered. You might include a note that says you wish they could have attended. Make plans for a do-over if it was a big event, such as a trip to an amusement park or a vacation. Include the kids in the planning stage and work with the other parent so everyone knows the event is coming and the kids can participate.
  4. 4
    Include spontaneous activities such as trips to the park or zoo, movie and popcorn nights and family game nights. Your stepkids should understand that family activities also include just doing things together at home. Eat together as a family and develop a bedtime routine that gets everyone together. For example, you might have family devotions or a story to ease the kids into sleep.
  5. 5
    Treat your stepkids in an equitable manner compared to your own kids, if you have them. Everyone should have private space in your home where privacy and private property are respected. Ensure there are no obvious imbalances, such as in the number of birthday presents or more exciting trips when the stepkids can’t make it. Obvious imbalances are sure to make someone feel left out or less loved.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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