Being the new member of a family is hard, especially if you find yourself in the position of a step parent. From a young age children are taught that step parents aren’t a good thing. From stories like Cinderella, to other kids experiences that are shared with them at school, kids are almost conditioned to not like step parents. In many situations, the other parent can also be steering the child to not like their new step parent. This can cause major problems. No matter the situation, there are many things you can do to become a closer family with more trust and values.
1)Everyone Should Be on the Same Page
Whether you are the child’s parent, step parent, or grandparent, anyone who is in a position of authority in the child’s life should have the same goal. The child should be happy and not feel like they are being torn between parents. If you are the step parent, know when it’s time to take a step back and let the parents handle the problem. Communicate as much as you can with the parents so that you know what the child is used to as far as rewards, discipline, and schedules.
You may also want to ask your partner to sit down with you and the children and talk to them about your concerns. Let them know that you don’t want to replace their other parent, that you just want to be part of their lives as well. Give the children a chance to ask you questions about their own feelings.
2)Spend Time Together
Family outings can be really interesting and a lot of fun. They can make the entire family closer. Take time to take vacation as a family. Even when you don’t have time to vacation, take a night every week to do something together as a family. You can have dinner out somewhere fun or have a game night with your kids. Take occasional weekend trips with your family. Camping trips are a great idea for a family event where you can have a lot of fun together and bond as a family while learning basic survival skills.
As a step parent, you are going to have to be involved and have fun with the children. Take time to play video games and sports with boys. Play dress up or tea party with younger girls. Even though some of these things may not be your favorite thing to do, the kids will have a blast and bond with you more.
3)Listen, Build Trust, and Be a Role Model
Kids pay attention to everything that their adult influences do. You need to remember this and try to set and example for the children in the house. Take disagreements behind closed doors and talk out your problems if you and your spouse have any. If kids see this from a young age, they will be more prone to talk to you about the issues that they have.
When they come to you and want to talk, drop everything you are doing. If they have issues, nothing should be more important than hearing what they have to say. If your kids know from a early age that you will listen to them, then when more serious things happen as they get older, they will have less problems coming to you for help or advice. The more you listen to you kids, the easier things will be.
Show the kids that you are trust worthy. Keep the promises that you make to them and show them how dependable of a person you are. If they know that they can count on you, they will bond with you and trust you. Try not to force them into weird situations, listen to them, give them a little trust, and they will give you some back. Above everything, be positive and show them that you care.