A stepparent’s role is one of the most difficult roles to assume. It is important that both the stepparent and biological parent begin with an open discussion regarding the relationship with the children. Each should know what the other one expects regarding the stepparent’s role in disciplining and supervising the children. It is also extremely important that the stepparent be an active supporter of the biological parent’s disciplinary efforts. The biological and stepparents should discuss the rules of the house and consequences for breaking the rules. Proper respect and acknowledgement of the stepparent should be given. It is important that great care and patience be taken to help the stepparent adapt to the new situation.
A strong marriage is needed to sustain the pressures that come with stepparenting because the stress level of children increases when there is a stepparent involved in their life. When kids adapt well to the stepparent, their stress level decreases and, as a result, there is harmony and happiness in the home and marriage. This is why biological parents and the stepparent must work together as a team in order to ensure that the children are well-adapted to the situation and that they parent the kids successfully. Kids need to know what to expect from all parents to make bonding with the stepparent easier.
Stepparents should allow the kids to set the pace for their relationship with them. Stepparents should honor the kids no matter whether they are distant or are welcoming and affectionate. They have to understand that it takes times to build a close relationship with their stepchildren. They have to be patient and try to find ways to grow with the kids but, at the same time, do not expect too much of themselves. If the stepparent expect too much of themselves, it can cause them to become frustrated and disappointed.
Stepparents should find ways in which they can bond with the kids. They can take the kids for a walk in the park or out to eat. That way they can have that quality time to talk to the kids and get to know them. They can also plan family trips, such as a trip to Disney World or Sea World, or even do just simple activities with the kids to build a relationship, such as going clothing shopping or grocery shopping together. Another good idea is to reward the kids for good behavior, such as taking them out for ice cream or giving them a few dollars.
If stepparents don’t quickly build a relationship with their stepchildren, there will always be a distant relationship between them. By building a relationship, it enables the kids to gain trust in the stepparent and, ultimately, allow them to parent them the same as their biological parent. Also, it allows for a strong, positive, and healthy relationship with the stepchildren.