Moving in with your partner or even getting married can be exciting but mixing families is never easy. When your partner has children, it can be confusing and hard to fit in. What seems like a great idea and a great way to start a family might end up in a constant fight. Sometimes the step children will make you feel hated and unloved.
If you want to be part of this family and the stepchildren are always on your back, there are things that you can do to try to get on their good side.
How to Deal with Stepchildren That Don’t Like You
If your stepchildren seem to not like you, here are some ways to change the situation:
Give Them Time
You cannot just come into a home with children and think that they are going to be all about you. You are not their parent, and you have to get to know them. This might be hard for both of you, and you might have a hard time adjusting, but by finding things that you both like to do, you can explore commonalities. Watch movies together, go shopping, go bowling or do something else that your stepchild likes to do.
Take time to get to know the children. This can take a lot of time but once the children see that you are good and that you love them, they will see that they can be your friend.
You cannot force children to like you or to know you right away and this takes work. Don’t be frustrated if they don’t take to you instantly. You need to show them that things can be good and let things be positive. Spending time with them consistently will show them that you are there for them and that you care for them.
Respect Both Parents
Make sure that you are respecting your stepchild’s mother and father. If you are dating or married to the child’s dad, respect his mom as well. The children will never be loyal to you if you are talking about their other parent.
Stay out of fights that the child’s parents are having with each other and make sure that you don’t talk bad about either of them.
Children that have to deal with a divorce are struggling. They wonder why the relationship between their parents ended and if they were at fault. They know that their family is broken, and it can leave them feeling hurt and alone. Some children even feel guilty like it is their own fault that the marriage ended.
You have to learn to have empathy for your stepchildren. You have to show them support and let them know that the divorce wasn’t their fault. No matter what is going on, you have to be understanding and you need to make sure that you are letting them tell you how they feel and about their struggles.
Don’t Force Them to Call You Mom or Dad
When people get with someone else, they sometimes want their children to call them mom or dad. This can feel disrespectful to the child because they have a mom and a dad. This needs to be a decision that is between the children and their biological parent and not you.
Your stepchild might want to call you mom or dad but that should be something that is talked about between the biological parents and then you should accept whatever decision is made.
Treat Them as Your Own
Step parents are often thrown into a situation with children, and they have to deal with everything from love to discipline. Discipline is best left to the biological parent, but it could fall on you if you are a parent that your child respects. You should enforce the rules of the home and you should expect your stepchild to always respect you.
If you have your own children that you are mixing in with other stepchildren, you should make sure that you include them when you buy things, when you play games and when you do things. You should always give them the same amount of attention as you do with your own kids.
Give Them Time with Their Biological Parent
When you are a step parent and you only have the child every other weekend, you should make sure that they get to spend time with their biological parent. Sometimes a child that has to deal with divorce will feel like their life is a mess and they will want to spend time with the parent they don’t see all the time.
Children might wonder if their parent that divorced the other parent still loves them. This is why them spending quality time with that parent is very important. Even if this is challenging, you need to have respect for them.
Even if they ask you to come along and spend time with them, try to give them space and let them spend time together bonding. This will allow you to ease into the relationship without being overbearing.
Have Peace and Love
Stepchildren often feel left out and unwanted once they go through a divorce. Since this is happening, when a new relationship starts, it can feel like a problem for the child. The child might want to be in control over things and they might be pushy in what they want. No matter what they do, stay peaceful and show love. Always be careful to not get too upset and even if you have to be stern, do it in a loving way.
If you only have the stepchildren a few days a week, on the days they aren’t there, spend quality time with your partner. Also, make sure that you are making the biological parent pick the children up from the ex and that you don’t have to deal with that kind of drama.
When a parent is awarded full custody, this might be harder to deal with because you won’t have a break from the child but still make the most of it. Take time for yourself and find things to do outside of the house so you can get a break.
Keep a good relationship with your partner so that you can keep the relationship working. If you are married to them, make sure that you don’t end up in the middle of your own divorce because of the stepchild. Stepchildren can put a strain on a relationship but as long as you are kind and loving and patient, you can work through things and be on the same page.
Why Do Stepchildren Hate New People?
Sometimes a stepchild will blame the new partner for the divorce, and it might make you feel like they hate you. It takes time for them to adjust, and they will see that they can love you and their biological parents.
What Happens with Grown Stepchildren?
There are some stepchildren that are grown that will hate the new partner. They will not want to spend time with you and that is okay. Allow them to spend time with their biological parent and stay neutral in things.
What Happens When Stepchildren are Disrespectful?
You should not have to deal with a child that is being disrespectful to you as a step parent. This needs to be the job of the biological parent. Make them handle this.
Other Tips of Being a Step Parent:
- When you want the child to spend time with you, find ways to be subtle about the time and see if they take to you.
- If you feel that the child hates you, show them that you aren’t an evil step parent and show them love and care.
- Don’t try to get in the way of their relationship with their other parent. You never want to try to force yourself on them.
- Avoid being their new mom or dad until things get normal and they get used to you.
- Do things that make them feel loved.
- Never force them to be part of the family until they are ready.
It can be hard to be a parent to a stepchild, especially if things happened fast. It is important that you be patient and that you be kind. As your partner gets to know you more, so will your children and this is how you can form a stronger bond with them.
Always make sure that you and your partner are speaking positively about each other, about the children and about the other parent. This can show the stepchildren that you are kind and that you don’t want to hurt their relationship.