This week, stepparents share their best tips for bonding with your stepkids.
1. Take your cues from the kids.
“It’s important to remember that your stepchildren had their world rocked, and they didn’t sign up for any of this. They didn’t sign up for having divorced parents, two houses, two separate set of belongings and they certainly didn’t sign up for a stepparent. Whether you are nice-as-pie or an evil stepparent straight from the fairytales, they will tell you how involved they want you to be in their world. You just have to pay attention. Don’t push the relationship if they seem to be putting walls up. Let them come to you, but make sure they know that the door is always open.” — Jamie Scrimgeour
2. Talk about what the kids like to talk about.
“Kids are naturally self-centered, so they may seem uninterested in what you’re about, but they’ll love to talk about themselves. If they initiate a conversation with you, use that opportunity to engage with them. Ask them questions and then let them know how you experienced something similar and how you can relate to them. You can also ask them about their activities and hobbies. What do they love about it? What’s their favorite part? Least favorite part? Do they ever feel challenged? But pay attention to their cues. If they seem uncomfortable or aren’t engaging, let it go and try again another time. Forcing a conversation isn’t helpful to anyone.” — Jenna Korf. Read more.