10 Easy Ways To Bond With Stepkids

Bonding with stepkids is one of the most challenging things you will do in your marriage. With these 10 great tips, you will be bonding with stepchildren!

Bonding with stepkids is one of the most challenging things you will do in your marriage. With these 10 great tips, you will be bonding with stepchildren!

I remember meeting my stepdaughter for the first time. I actually met her before I met my husband. She was 4 at the time and took quite a liking to me… She talked to me about everything: her dad’s boat, how she would draw in the garage on her easel, and even about Princess Dolphin, her rabbit. We established a bond early on without even knowing that I would one day marry her dad!

Soon after meeting Ty’s daughter I met Ty and we decided that we might want to date each other to see where it could go. We casually dated for a couple of months with no intention of involving the kids in our relationship, I mean what if it didn’t work out? That would have been so hard on them!

After awhile Ty and I decided that we really liked each other and wanted to see where this would go, so we decided it was time to have each other meet the kids and see how it went. I remember the first time Ty met Colby, Colby decided to stare him down with the “evil death stare” as we call it in our house… It didn’t go well.

The second time they met was after they were all hyped up on Mountain Dew after the San Francisco Giants had just won a playoff game to make it to the World Series. Again, it did not go well! These encounters were not successful. We decided that it was time to really make some special attempts to see if the boys could bond with Ty because let’s be honest, if the kids didn’t like him or got along with him, then a marriage would never work out. The same went for my relationship with Ty’s daughter because if we could not bond then there would always be contention, lucky for me Ty’s daughter and I had already bonded a little bit before.

Bonding with stepchildren is not an easy process, in fact establishing a bond with stepkids is probably one of the most difficult things you will do in your marriage. If you don’t establish a bond with stepkids you can almost guarantee that your home with always be filled with some sort of contention.

So how do you bond with Stepchildren?

These 10 Tips will Help you Bond with Stepkids!

Move slowly.

Take your time. Don’t force a relationship immediately. Let your stepchild set the pace. You know how all this is new for you? Well, we have to remember that it is all new to them as well. We didn’t fall in love with our spouse overnight, so we can’t expect for our stepkids to fall in love with us overnight.

Discover what your stepchild is interested in.

Make the effort to find out what some of their favorite things are. Perhaps a sports team, a favorite movie, or food. Do you like these same things? If so, that can help start a relationship. If not, then use their favorite thing to talk to them. “So how did the Giants do last night?” “I love doughnuts too, what’s your favorite kind? Maybe on Saturday, we can go to the doughnut shop together.” “I haven’t seen that movie, what’s it about.” There may be ways to connect with them through these interests.

Treat Them Like Your Family.

I know this might sound odd, but it is true. If you stepkids only come every other weekend or for school breaks, it is easy to treat them like a guest in the home, but this doesn’t help establish a relationship. Make sure they feel just as a part of the family as every other family member.

Include Them.

If you see your stepchild sitting by themselves, invite them to join in what you are doing. Kids can tell when they are being left out, so make an effort to include them in all things, including chores and household responsibilities.

Be Real.

Kids know when you are being fake. They know when you like something or don’t like something. Don’t pretend to be something you are not just to try and establish a relationship. Wait to find something that you BOTH like and bond over that! I promise you will find something.

Put in the Time.

Bonding with stepkids doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. It takes energy. It takes effort. The question is Are you willing to put in the time? Once you establish a relationship it doesn’t end there, just like your marriage you need to continue to nurture the relationship for it to continue to grow.

Don’t Play Favorites.

It is easy to favor your new stepchild to make them like you, but this just only causes contention for everybody else. Don’t do it.  It hurts everybody in the long run. You don’t want to have your stepchild establish you as the “pushover step-parent”

Give them Time with their Real Parent.

You might be wondering how this could help establish a bond with the two of you, but it does! It lets your stepchild know that you care about their relationship with their parent and in turn strengthens yours. Make sure that they have special time together. This could be going out for ice cream, reading a book together, or even shooting baskets together.  

Ask Your Spouse for Advice.

If you are struggling with bonding with stepchildren, ask your spouse if they have any ideas of ways that you can try and bond with their child. I mean they do know their child best, so it’s the perfect person to seek guidance from!

Learn from Others.

Bonding with stepchildren is HARD, hands down. It can be frustrating. Find others who have gone through the blending process so you can talk to them about what works. This will be your greatest blessing in blending a family.

So there you have it!  With these 10 Simple, but effective strategies that will have you bonding with stepchildren in no time!

Did you think this was helpful? Pin it so other people can Bond with Stepkids too!

Bonding with stepkids is one of the most challenging things you will do in your marriage. With these 10 great tips, you will be bonding with stepchildren!

Bond with stepchildren with these Genius Ideas

 

Bonding with stepkids is one of the most challenging things you will do in your marriage. With these 10 great tips, you will be bonding with stepchildren!
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Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!

11 thoughts on “10 Easy Ways To Bond With Stepkids

  1. This is perfectly beautiful!! Our family is very blended as well and we have definitly had our share of struggles. Thankfully we followed the same timeline as you. I had an established relationship with my step-son and we waited awhile to get everyone together. When we did, we did fun stuff, like going to the circus and to feed the bears. There were many years of struggle as I tried to work out my new sons personality and what he needed. But we are a happy blended family now and I am so thankful that God brought them into my life!!!

    Thanks for linking up with #LiveLifeWell!!

    Blessings,

    Amy

  2. I could have used these tips about 15 years ago! Step-parenting is never easy! Thanks for sharing at the Blogger’s Pit Stop! Can’t wait to see what you link up next week! Roseann from This Autoimmune Life

  3. Great post Michele. I am also a stepmum and have had various struggles over the years with learning to love my stepchildren. They’re nearly all adults now, and I have a few posts ready in drafts just waiting to be published about our stepfamily history and things I found helpful, because it’s so so important to get encouragement from others in this tricky stepfamily journey.
    Bless you for sharing your tips!

  4. This was such a wonderful post to read! I am a step-mom myself, and your advice is very sound. I especially like that you suggest to treat your step-kids as any other member of the family because that is EXACTLY who they are! It’s frustrating and upsetting that my step-kids can’t be with us full-time, but whenever they are with us it’s like they never left. We are raising our kids and my step-kids as if they were full brothers and sister who just happen to have different moms.

    P.S. I pinned your post to my step-mom group board!

    #WanderingWednesday

  5. I wish anyone who takes on step parenting the best of luck. I struggled a lot and never loved them as I do my own which does not mean there was no love just that it was very different. Also I don’t think my husband helped as much as he could have. #WanderingWednesdays

    1. I think it is totally understandable to feel like you did. Husbands need to be a huge help and support to transition into a blended family situation. Thanks for stopping by Kate!

  6. This is such a sweet post. Bonding with kids can be hard as adults anyway so to add the extra layer of a relationship they’re not quite sure about must be really difficult. Great tips <3 Jamie

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