Bonding with a stepchild shouldn’t be that much different from bonding with a biological child. I think the main difference might be in how you are received by each of these children. You tend to be close to a biological child right from infancy, so he/she grows up knowing you. With a stepchild, you’ll have to ease your way into his/her life and earn trust slowly. Here are 7 ways to bond with your stepchildren that might help you out, whether you are new to parenting or old hat.
7. Share Fun Stories
Sharing is a great way to bond with your stepchildren. Kids love hearing stories about the past, especially funny ones. Swapping stories can be an excellent way to get them chatting to you about the past and all the interesting things you’ve missed out on in their young lives.
6. Take Notice of Their Likes and Dislikes
If you can find a common ground with your stepchildren, they might be more inclined to warm up to you faster. When kids feel you are truly interested in finding out what they enjoy doing, who their friends are, or what their favorite television show is, they usually offer even more insight to their little world. Be careful to take it easy with the information gathering process. You don’t want to seem like you are badgering them with questions.
5. Respond to Their Needs with Love and Kindness
Being responsible is another important way to bond with your stepchildren. You don’t want to feel like the wicked step parent, do you? I know I never did, so I try to be as loving to my step kids as I am to my biological kid. When kids know they can depend on you to help them out, they often start coming to you more and more. It might take some time, but show them love and they will appreciate your presence.
4. Show Them Respect
If you want respect, you have to give it. You might have to show respect to your step kids well before they ever decide they want to respect you or your authority. Of course, this also depends on the age of the child. For instance, a toddler or younger child might be a bit more respectful towards you than a grouchy teenager. However, I have met some kids who are completely opposite in this aspect too with the teens being more considerate of other’s feelings.
3. Go do Something Fun
Doing fun things is a wonderful way to bond with your stepchildren. Go see a movie, play a game of putt-putt, visit the ice cream parlor in town and get a double scoop, go to the park and hang out on the merry-go-round, or anywhere else that is fun for everyone. Bonding between a parent and a stepchild can be a much smoother adventure if you are both having fun!
2. Take a Trip Together
Road trips are the perfect place to get in some quality bonding time. What else are you going to do in close quarters other than swap stories and share information with one another? You might even find you both like similar musicians and can easily enjoy the same radio station on your trip. Be sure to visit some sights to make the trip truly memorable.
1. Treat Them like You do Your Biological Child
This is the best tip of all. This is mainly meant for parents who have both biological children and stepchildren. When you treat everyone the same, no one feels out of place and the bonding is much easier for the entire family to engage in.
Children are a gift, whether they are stepchildren or biological ones. I hope these 7 ways to bond with your stepchildren work for your situation or that you can pass them on to someone who is able to utilize them. What ways can you think of that could also be placed on this list?
Top Photo Credit: Kewlkid