How to Love Your Stepchildren: 6 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Spending time doing what your stepchild loves is an effective way to show your love.


When your trip down the aisle results in not just a new hubby but also taking on the title of stepmom, settling into your new life takes on a whole new dimension of complicated. Because your stepchildren will be an integral part of your married life, as you set up house you should work to forge your relationship and learn to love these likely lovable tikes. In doing so carefully and cautiously, you can improve your chances of effectively adopting these little birdies into your new nest.

Steps

  1. 1
    Give it time. You and your stepchild won’t become steadfast friends immediately, so don’t expect that you will. Instead, be patient with your stepchildren and empathetic of the fact that they have gone through a major change. If you try to push your stepchildren to have a relationship that is exceptionally loving before they are ready, you will likely only cause damage that you will later have to work to mend.
  2. 2
    Create a discipline plan with your spouse. Most of the damage to tenuous stepchild/stepparent relationships occurs when the stepparent disciplines. To reduce the likelihood that your attempts at behavioral correction result in steps backward in your relationship development, speak to your spouse about when and how you will reprimand your stepchildren. After crafting this plan, sit down as a couple and present it to the children in question to improve the chances that they accept your authority.
  3. 3
    Spend time with your stepchildren. Children crave attention. Feed this craving by spending time engaging in your stepchildren’s favorite pastimes. As Margaret Broersma, author of “Daily Reflections for Stepparents” reports, stepchildren who have strong relationships with their stepparents credit time spent together as the key component in building these bonds. To make your time spent with your stepchildren particularly advantageous, make it one-on-one, removing any distractions and ensuring that you are fully focused on each of your stepchildren.
  4. 4
    Let insults go. If one of your new stepchildren throws at you the old, “You’re not my mother,” it is bound to sting. Don’t, however, let this little barb harm the relationship you have been so carefully growing. Instead, as Jean and Don Elium of “Raising a Family” recommend, focus on the positive intent. Remember, this youngster is going through a change too and naturally feels compelled to defend his biological mom’s right to rule. If and when this does happen, simply hold firm with your request, replying with something supportive yet unwavering, such as, “You are right, I am not your mother. However, I care for you and want what’s best, so you need to follow my request.”
  5. 5
    Avoid saying anything negative about your spouse’s ex. Mean things you say about this individual are personally hurtful to your stepchildren as this ex is a person of importance to them. Never say anything disparaging, regardless of how much animosity you may feel.
  6. 6
    Voice your affection, even if it isn’t reciprocated. While you don’t want to throw out “I love you” the first night you step into the shoes of stepmom, you can do so as soon as you start to feel this affection. Even if your stepchildren don’t say it back right away, they will likely -- even if secretly -- appreciate these kind words.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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