It is known that not all marriages are first-timers. There are a quarter of marriages which will eventually form stepfamilies. Blending two different families is actually quite challenging, and to develop a harmonious and happy relationship may come with some challenges. The first few early years can be particularly challenging because you have to get to know each other and to develop a good and nurturing relationship. So, what can you do to build a healthy relationship with your family?
Advice for stepparents that will help
1. Don’t try too hard
Many stepparents try too hard to earn their stepchildren’s heart and to create an instant bond. According to Christina Steinorth, an author of Cue Cards for Life: Gentle Reminders for Better Relationships, as stepparents, you should be realistic and be yourself. Do not try too hard because kids can see right through you. If you are being realistic, you’ll have a better chance of developing a close relationship that you longed for.
2. Have a family meeting
Hold a family meeting often. Let everyone have a chance to share and express how they feel, think, what they like and don’t like and ask them to share opinions. Ask them for suggestions on how to make things better.
3. Encourage your stepchild to spend time with his or her biological parent
When you support your stepchild to do so, you are telling and sending a message out that this isn’t a competition and battle between parent and stepparent and that you really want to see them happy.
4. Don’t overstep your boundaries
Over disciplining your stepchild to gain the respect you wanted is a big mistake. Step back and let their own parent discipline them. Maybe you can have a better chance of being listened to when you have earned their respect and love.
5. Laugh along
The antidote to a better relationship is to laugh and play along with your stepchildren. Be goofy and look for things to make them laugh and to keep it going. Let them win instead of you, and this will surely lessen the tension in the house.
6. Don’t take things personally
Be ready to hear them saying that you are not their real parent. And don’t keep them in your heart. Remember that they are also dealing with their own emotions and feelings.
After you have done your best, you will be thankful. Because that bond will then be unbreakable and you will have a harmonious and happy family with lots and lots of laughter and love in your life.
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