How To Deal with a Stepchild

By Subodh / January 1, 2014

No matter how loving and caring you are, it will always be difficult to deal with the stepchild. No matter how genuine a person you are it is a high possibility that your stepchild will not acknowledge it in the beginning. It will take you a lot of doing to make them understand your true motive, which is nothing other than true love and care. The stepchild will always feel that you have ulterior motives even when you are showering true love on them. But if you are really determined to win them over, you will be able to do it after some time. It will be the real test of your patience as well as character. If you are having a difficult time coping up with your stepchild, don’t give it up yet. Be patient, stay calm, keep loving them and someday you will have what you want. Here are some tips on dealing with your stepchild.

Stepchild

Be Understanding Of The Stepchild’s Situation

You could be a stepparent in one of the two scenarios. Either the biological parents have separated or one of them has passed away. Whichever is the case, it is always traumatic for the child. Especially for young kids it is far more devastating. They are used to seeing their biological parents together and when they don’t get what they want it is natural for them to behave inappropriately. Your first duty is to acknowledge their situation and understand that they are going through a difficult time. You have just been introduced to them and they are not able to accept you as their parent. Therefore, if they are acting inappropriately at certain times or misbehaving you may need to overlook it. You cannot expect them to be comfortable with you instantly. Compassion and love is what will be expected of you. You will need to win them over gradually.

Start With Accepting That You Will Never Be Like Their Biological Paren

Biological parents are irreplaceable. If you put yourself in the shoes of your stepchild, would you be able to accept your stepparent as your biological parent? The answer is no. You need to accept that the difference will always remain no matter how much love and care you give to them. It does not mean that hostility will always prevail between you and your stepchild. You may become best of the friends in the time to come, but somehow there will always be a clear line. Work towards building a healthy friendly relationship with your stepchild first. Do not start playing their guardian or real parent from day one. Once they realize that your true motive is their wellbeing they will start trusting you.

Talk It Out With Them

This could be the most important part of building relationship with them. When you are introduced you are new to them. They may have a sense of hostility towards you. So start with talking out with them. Be truthful and sincere. Do not fake things up or they will sense it. First tell them that you understand their situation. You can tell them that you are okay if they are not able to accept you and that you respect their decision. You can also tell them that you wish to be friends with them and you will be with them always. If you will talk things out with your stepchild regularly, you will have better chances of having a good relationship.

Overlook Some Of Their Mistakes But Draw A Line

Kids do make mistakes and parents are there to guide them at every step. With a stepchild this may get a little tricky. Even if you try to scold them as your own child, they will always assume that you are doing this because you are a stepparent. This could make things a little difficult for you. At least in the beginning you will have to overlook some of their mistakes. Even if you had pointed it out if they were your own kids, you will have to let it go with your stepchildren. You may have to figure out indirect ways to let them know that they made a mistake without hurting them. For instance you don’t like your stepchild leaving his plate on the dining table after the meal. You don’t necessarily have to point it out right after the meal. Instead, you can amicably tell him later that we must put the plates back in the kitchen after every meal. If there is something that you cannot overlook, talk it out in a friendly way with your stepchild.

Take Help From Your Spouse

When you see that you are not able to manage things on your own, you can take your spouse’s help. Your spouse is the biological parent of your stepchild and it is more likely that he will listen to your spouse. But your spouse will also have to be careful how he or she is putting things across with your kid. Your kid shouldn’t get the feeling that you have influenced your spouse. Ask your spouse not to be authoritative with your stepchild. Instead he or she should make your stepchild understand things with love.