As a stepparent, you have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child you love. You are yet another source of support, love, and guidance. Still, the role of a stepparent can be difficult to navigate because you do not have the same authority as a biological parent. Thankfully, there are ways to bond and connect with your stepchild, without undermining either of the child’s biological parents. Learn more in the following sections.
Offer Patience and Mindfulness During the Transition
Entering a family with two active and involved biological parents can be difficult—for both you and the child. As such, it is best if you approach the process slowly, with patience and mindfulness. Avoid high expectations, expensive gifts, and drawn-out family meals or activities. Focus instead on making each interaction short but positive.
Recognize the Child May Need Time to Grieve
Divorce and separation can have a massive impact on the development of a child. Many experience a grieving period. Be mindful of this, and allow them the room to process the changes within their family before expecting much of a bond with them.