Do you feel like you’re not getting the appreciation you deserve? Do you think you aren’t part of the conversation sometimes?
Being a step parent is definitely hard, not only due to obvious reasons but also because there’s a struggle of power.
The step-parent has to join the biological parent in raising his or her child.
Parental authority is based on affection, emotions, and understanding.
This relationship with the stepkids is weak since there is a brief shared history between both.
Figuring out your role as a step-parent can be tricky and mind-boggling. There can be conflict, and with time, misunderstandings can build up to create problems within the family.
While there is no formula for becoming a good step-parent, there are some useful step-parenting tips that could guide you through the whole process. Let’s begin.
1. Try to know your stepchild
The first step parenting tip is to get to know your stepchild before you decide to become a part of the household.
You should make an effort to understand your stepchildren. It is better to act like an understanding friend rather than a dominating figure.
It might be difficult at the start, but it shows that you cherish the bond you have with the child. You can do daily activities together like walking the dog, going to a restaurant, or simply reading a book.
This will cause your relationship with your stepchild to develop over a period of time.
Don’t feel uncomfortable if they feel shy at the start. Remember, they’ve been through a lot and just want someone to understand how they feel.
You could help them with their homework, school projects, or household chores. Also, you could ask your partner about their likes and dislikes.
2. Patience is a virtue
Wondering how to be a good step-parent? You should give your stepchild some time, instead of being forceful.
Time is the best healer.
It shows that you are making an effort to understand their state of mind. They might be as confused as you are.
Researchers have concluded that compared to children and adolescents in non-divorced families, those in step-families are at increased risk of developing emotional and behavioral problems.
Furthermore, the results of a study support the importance of step-parents developing relationships with stepchildren before attempting to take on any type of parenting role.
Trying to accept a new person in your life that, too, as a parent or a role model, is surely not easy. Also, don’t expect to fall in love instantly with your stepchild.
You’re a human too, and it takes time.
If you become a part of their daily routine, then slowly they will start trusting you. This will give them a chance to know you more and accept you.
After they’ve become comfortable with you, which is bound to happen gradually, then you can take on the parenting role.
Remember this step-parenting tip, and do not get too stressed out when dealing with stepchildren as it might affect the relationship you’re trying to build with the child. Let the child set the pace.
3. Laughter is the best medicine
The challenges of step parenting can be overwhelming.
Sometimes, you might be giving it your best, but your attitude can put some people off, including children.
Everyone has a different nature, but children might find it hard to grasp that.
Don’t underestimate the power of laughter or a positive attitude. A study showed that laughter releases endorphins in the brain, which has a powerful feel-good effect.
Laughter and physical play should be the solution to any sort of tension.
Our next step-parenting tip is to avoid creating serious situations or making an issue out of a small problem. You can play household games like hide n seek, cricket or even tennis.
Be the goofy or funny person they can laugh with. You don’t want to have a reputation for being too strict.
4. Don’t try to replace the biological parent
Don’t try to impose to be called Mom or Dad, and all that comes with it. There are more kinds of affection, not just the one a child feels for the biological parent.
Your new child can love you within your specific role, and in a way that is genuine and unique for the two of you. So, don’t try to get into someone else’s place, but find your place instead.
5. Lead by example
The best way to be a leader worthy of being followed by your stepkids is to set a good example with your life.
As you consistently behave with integrity and reach out to them in thoughtful and loving ways, they will learn what kind of character you have.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.