Building A Relationship with Step Children

One of the reasons blending a family is so difficult is because couples who fall in love with each other now have the task of participating in raising someone else children. Children are often heard to say “your not my mom/dad” to step parents. They are challenging your position in their life. It’s often difficult for children, particularly teens who are considering their own sexuality to accept a new partner in their parents lives. Remember that they are doing their job as a teen and trying to assert their independence by challenging the authority figures in their life. Don’t take this as a personal attack or insult. Try agreeing with them because, you truly are not their mom/dad. Tell them instead: “you right, I’m not your biological parent. But I am your step parent so that means I signed up to participate in caring for you. Your parent and I will make decisions together and agree on boundaries and rewards”. A Let them know the hopes you have for your relationship with them for example, I hope to be a bonus parent for you, I hope we can establish a friendship, I hope I can be another person thats here if you need me or any other hopes and dreams you might have for the relationship. You might ask if they have any hopes for their relationship with you given the reality of the situation. Don’t be offended if they wish you just weren’t part of their parents lives. You being in a relationship with their parent solidifies even more the fact that mom and dad will never reconcile. Be sure you have this conversation when things are calm and you can both listen to each other.

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