How To Be Good At Parenting Step Children? 7 Steps !
It’s a positive step to seek tips on parenting step children. It implies you care and cherish the relationship you can create with them to eventually be respected and loved by them. You should not be sure to be listened to at the beginning or to be authorized to discipline them. You’ll have to proceed step by step.
To sum up the progression of your relationship with your step children, you will start a little bit as a baby sitter, later will be perceived in some manner like an uncle or aunt and in the long run as a real relative, a very close member of the family. Do not forget you want to be their friend. Their mother and father are here for the discipline part, you are not. And yes, that is an advantage!
Parenting step children requires 7 steps:
1- Be straightforward in introducing who you are and what you want to become for them. Make sure that they are aware you do not want to steal the role of their mum or father. You must stay out of the discipline issue from the beginning. Tell them you will not give punishments but will simply apply what has been set with their mother and father by reporting wrong behaviors to them considering that they decide of the consequences. It is an agreement you have. You just want to know your step children more and to be friends if it seems ok for them. Discuss openly to help them talk about what they are thinking. You are an “intruder” for them, it’s completely natural.
2- Express some interest in your step children’s lives. They probably will find this odd and might not participate a lot but keep being interested in what they do, it will eventually be worth it. Always try to know what is going on in their lives, try to remember what they talk about, the name of their friends, important dates… It will eventually surprise them. Parenting step children is really about being there.
3- Be a team with your loved one. Speak with one voice or the step children may try to turn one against the other and benefit from your disagreements. If your partner legitimates your role in the family, it will be easier for you.
5- Spend time alone with them, do things they like. On your way back home, stop by a coffee shop to drink or eat something and talk a little. It will eventually help them to see another part of you and they will remember what you shared and how amusing and nice it was. Doing one-on-one activities can make parenting step children less difficult and will develop the relationship more quickly.
6- Be truthful with what you think. Tell them it is hard for you but that you truly would like to be friends with them. Ask them what they feel. By communicating freely, they will be far more willing to reveal their feelings toward you. Naturally it might hurt a little bit, but since they’ll be surprised you aren’t their enemy and understand them, they will feel compassion for you too!
7- Be funny! It’ll help the family look at things in perspective and will relieve some tensions. Humor will surely help you get closer to your step children.
It would be wrong to claim that parenting step children is extremely easy but with these 7 steps, I am confident you can create your own place in their hearts and become a full member of their family. You are going to be respected and loved. Be there for them, be consistent, entertaining and compassionate.
A final word for the step moms and dads of difficult children. You might be interested in the website I created with some parents where you can read reviews of a selection of parenting programs we tested. They can really help parenting step children that are really difficult to deal and communicate with. By the way, one of the authors of these methods is a step dad! The link is my bio if you’re interested. Complicated situations need to be acted upon, otherwise they just deteriorate or at least do not create anything.
I’m a mother of 2 (June & Jack), expert parenting writer.