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7 Tips for Connecting with Your Step-Child

Posted on in Adoption

Wheaton stepparent adoptionAs 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. 

Treat Stepchildren Like a Part of Your Family

Every family has its own traditions and dynamics. By entering this new family, you are adding your own little flair and flavor. Work to be mindful of the child’s old traditions, but do not be afraid to add in some of your own. Bake cookies together when they come to visit. Plan family vacations or visits with your own extended family. Welcome the child into your heart in the same way that you want them to welcome you into theirs. 

Work Your Way Into One-on-One Time

To truly develop a bond with a stepchild, you will need some one-on-one time. Most likely, you will have to work up to it, but once you do, strive to enjoy these moments. Depending on the situation, they may be far and few between—but even if they come frequently, remember that children grow quickly, and you only have a little while to bond. 

Be More of a Friend and Less of a Parent

As a stepparent, you have the unique opportunity to serve as more of a friend to the child than a parent. True, you need to back up the parent you married, especially if there is a serious situation at hand. However, you do not have to be an authoritative voice. Instead, you can be one of support and empathy, even when the child is required to live with the consequences of a poor decision. 

Act with Honesty, Kindness, and Integrity 

Children see everything, so be mindful when you are out and about with your stepchild. Focus on acting with honesty, kindness, and integrity in all that you do. 

Exchange Interests with Your Stepchild

Children love to share their interests, so return the gesture by sharing a few of your own. You can even combine interests to make them more fun and engaging for everyone. 

Considering Stepchild Adoption? Contact Our Wheaton Family Law Attorneys

Not all families have a complete set of biological parents. Some have passed away or cannot be in the life of the child. In such situations, the stepparent may wish to adopt. Get help with this rewarding but sometimes complex process. Contact the DuPage County family law attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC for a consultation. Call 630-580-6373 today.



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