How To Bond With Step Children

Bonding with step children is one of the most challenging things you can try and do in your marriage. We give you simple tips to help you know how to bond with step children. With these 10 great tips, you will know how to connect with stepchildren!

 

10 Easy Ways to Bond with Step-Children

Blending a family and figuring how to connect with step children is no easy task. This is especially true because you are trying to navigate a new romantic relationship and co-parenting as well. So there are a lot of factors involved!

In my experience, bonding with step children takes extra effort but isn’t impossible. In fact, it’s pretty simple if you are truly wanting to connect with your stepkids! 

 

My Experience Bonding with Step Children

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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. We got along really well. 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. 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.

My memory of the first time Ty met Colby is very vivid. Colby decided to stare him down with the “evil death stare” as we call it in our house and it really didn’t go well at all.

The second time they met was after everyone was 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. And it was hard!

We decided that it was time to really make some special attempts to see if the boys could bond with Ty. If Ty and the kids weren’t able to get along and didn’t particularly like each other, then 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?

 

How to Bond with Step Children

 

Don’t Try to Force Bonding with Step Children

Take your time. Move slowly. Be intentional Don’t try and force a relationship immediately. Let your stepchild set the pace.

Recognize that this situation with getting to know one another isn’t just new for you. It’s new for your step children as well. We didn’t fall in love with our spouse overnight, so we can’t expect our stepkids to fall in love with us overnight.

 

Discover Your Stepkids Interests

Make the effort to find out what some of their favorite things are.

Do you both like the same sports teams? Are there topics you can relate with each other on? Maybe you both have the same favorite food or movie.

These little things are great starting points that can help start a relationship.

If you are struggling to find any thing you can relate on make some small talk on topic with things you already know they like.

“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.”

This is how you connect with step children, through simple interests.

 

Treat Your Step Children Like Your Family

I know this might sound odd to say to treat your stepkids like family, but it is so important to be intentional with this. If you stepkids only come every other weekend or for school breaks, it is easy to treat them like a guest in the home.

Don’t do this! Make them feel at home!

Make sure they feel just as a part of the family as every other family member. 

 

Include Your Stepkids

It seems like common sense to include your step children, but sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in your normal routine and step children can end up sitting by themselves.

Invite your stepkids to join in what you are doing, with everything. You may feel like it’s unspoken that they are invited, but they may be uncomfortable.

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 and Communicate Your Intentions with Bonding with Step Children

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. Be real. Wait to find something that you BOTH like and bond over that! I promise you will find something. It may just take a bit of extra time and effort.

Communication is the key! Sit down with your stepkid and let them know that you want to have a relationship with them. This really does open up a lot of barriers!

 

Put in the Time for Bonding with Step Children

Bonding with stepkids definitely does not happen overnight.

It takes time. It takes energy. It takes effort.

Are you willing to figure out how to bond with step children?

Once you establish the 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 try and get them to like you.

Don’t only give your stepkids special treatment. It causes resentment and it’s very contentious. 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”.

Treat everyone the same. Step children just want to be treated like one of your kids!

 

Give them Time with their Real Parent

You might be wondering how letting your stepchild spend time with their real parent helps with bonding with step children and 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. It’s doesn’t have to be a big deal, but it does need to be special time set aside specifically for this reason. 

 

Ask Your Spouse for Advice on How to Connect with Step Children

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 Other People’s Experience on How to Connect with Step Children

Bonding with stepchildren is HARD! 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! Share with us in the comments what has helped you know how to connect with stepchildren!

 

Check out these other blended family posts!

How to Create a Strong Blended Family

How to Not Overstep Your Boundaries with Your Stepkids

Coparenting Boundaries You Want to Set

 

Don’t forget to pin this on Pinterest so you can find these helpful tips on how to bond with step children again!

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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12 Comments

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    January 22, 2019 at 9:03 pm Reply
  • Jessica @ Overwhelmed to Fulfilled

    That bond between stepparent and stepchild is so important! I love that you approach it practically, positively, and so sweetly. Thank you for sharing with us at Live Life Well.

    March 29, 2018 at 6:18 am Reply
  • Amy @ The Quiet Homemaker

    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

    March 28, 2018 at 8:45 am Reply
  • Roseann Hampton

    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

    March 25, 2018 at 4:53 pm Reply
  • Sue

    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!

    March 24, 2018 at 1:05 am Reply
  • Lori

    You’ve got so many great solutions to such a hard situation! Great Post!

    March 21, 2018 at 3:12 pm Reply
  • Misadventures with Megan (@MisadvntrMegan)

    I can’t imagine how challenging it must be to navigate these family dynamics, but it sounds like you have a good foundation! These are some great tips!

    March 21, 2018 at 9:36 am Reply
  • alissandjoel

    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

    March 15, 2018 at 11:54 pm Reply
  • Kate on thin ice (@kateonthinice)

    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

    March 14, 2018 at 5:03 pm Reply
    • Michele

      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!

      March 14, 2018 at 9:15 pm Reply
  • jenniferwise4heritagemakers

    Great suggestions. 🙂

    March 14, 2018 at 10:26 am Reply
  • Jamie

    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

    March 14, 2018 at 8:35 am Reply
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