We are no stranger to the evil stepmother or the ruthless stepfather trope that literature has portrayed over and over again. The same can be said about spoiled stepchildren that are often seen as nasty and never wanting their parent to find love. This is all myth because in reality, building a good relationship with your partner’s children requires what any healthy relationship does: communication, understanding, and compassion.
If you are still wary or anxious about forging a relationship with your partner’s kids, that is normal. Don’t worry, here are some ways that will help you succeed that may even impress your partner:
Be realistic about the future. Although stepchildren aren’t as scary as they are seen in media, making room for them isn’t a Hallmark movie all the time. Expect some challenges ahead, but as long as you treat every child with respect and compassion, they will warm up to your presence eventually.
Don’t rush it. Kids will need time to adjust for their parent’s new partner. Expecting them to openly accept you in a matter of days is unrealistic. Give the kids time to heal, the space they need, and grieve if they have lost a parent. The best thing to do is to be there for them when they need a nurturing and caring parent to turn to.
Just be yourself, there is no need to pretend to be someone else around the kids. It is more difficult to get along with children when they have been lied to. Get to know the kids, but never try to be someone you think want or need in their lives.
Everyone will adjust to having a new person in their life, both you and the kids will need some time to accept each other. Eventually, the blended family can come together as one unit of love, care, and respect.