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The value of building rapport with step-children

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2019 | Step-parent/ step-child relations

Finding a new partner after getting divorced can be challenging enough. But if the relationship buds into another marriage, they may have to meet their significant other’s kids at some point. These interactions can be uncomfortable for both parties. That’s because some kids could still be reeling from the emotional impact of the split.

Luckily, there are ways new partners can ease the relations between them and those they may be calling their step-children.

How to appropriately engage with step-children

Here is what potential step-parents should do to foster a stable and civil relationship:

  • Avoid coming on too strong: When it comes to divorce, a child’s age may impact how they react to new people entering their lives. Seeing one parent with a new partner could trigger a mix of emotions for them. Because of this, it’s important to acknowledge their discomfort and let them know the door to building a relationship is always open.
  • Find common interests to bond over: Once the discomfort starts to fade, it may be a wise idea to find shared activities. In some cases, the step-parent and step-children may be able to plan an outing based on those shared interests.
  • Treat this type of parenting like a business relationship: While it may not sound right at first, it can be beneficial. Step-parents should treat their relationship with their step-children with politeness, respect and neutrality. In many cases, the step-parent doesn’t often replace the bond and connection they have with the biological parent.

Step-parenting is often different from regular parenting

While this kind of relationship can feel emotional and awkward at first, being a step-parent can still be rewarding. That’s why it’s essential to approach the matter appropriately from the beginning.