Stepfamily relationships are often ambiguous, but there are several ways in which stepfathers can help in bonding with their stepkids. First and foremost, love your wife. All children (biological or not) need to see a strong commitment between the husband and wife. You both need to present a unified front to the stepkids that states “we are in this together.”
Also, keep your expectations in check. Unrealistic expectations will only feed your frustration. Instead, keep your focus on patience and open communication. Don’t expect “love at first sight” reactions from your stepchildren. If it is hard for you to discern your new place in a family, imagine what it is like for the children!
Finally, a gray area that stepparents face is the area of discipline. In the beginning, don’t. Your biggest challenge as a stepfather is forcing yourself to step back from the disciplinarian role and letting your wife, their biological mother, have control. As hard as that can be, it is important to a healthy relationship with your stepchildren. Keep your focus on building a friendship and mutual respect with them first. Here are 8 ways to build relationships with your stepchildren.
Huddle up with your stepchildren tonight and tell each one why you are proud of them.