Building a relationship with your stepchild(ren) can feel like one of the hardest things in the world to do. There are times I'm not sure if we are getting closer or if I'm being pushed further away. I'm telling you, things could be going really great and out of no where we are back to square one. It sometimes gets exhausting having to constantly fight to better the relationship you feel should just come natural.
I entered both of my step children's lives at a very young age, so it seemed easy to build a relationship with them. However, when they grew older I could sometimes sense the "you're not my mom" attitude. It wasn't often that they behaved that way, however when they did it felt like "World war 3"! Most times I would give them the "I know I'm not your mom but this is my house" attitude back, but there were times that look crushed me. The amount of love and time I put into the relationship I have with my stepchildren made me feel as if I was exempt from that type of behavior or attitude.
The struggle for me was looking pass that attitude and disciplining them in love regardless. If my biological son ever looked at me in that type of tone it wouldn't even effect me. I would still discipline him and love him. I had to learn to have that same mindset when it came to my stepchildren. For example; if my son was upset and acted as if he didn't want to live with me it wouldn't hurt my feelings, but if my step child acted that way I would be crushed. I had to get over that! Kids will be kids. They will test you.
There will be a lot of hard times when it comes to building a relationship. The important part is just like any other relationship, you must first build trust. If your stepchild feels they cannot trust you to love or care for them genuinely, they will form a wall. They may even come into the relationship with a wall up and it's your job as a parent to try and remove that wall brick by brick. This part of the relationship may not be easy but it is well worth it. No matter what happens in life I'm sure my stepchildren know that I will forever have their best interest. Even when I'm not present, they still know that they have a stepmom that is relentless when it comes to them. And that comes from building trust!
Some of the things that help me build very strong relationships with my stepchildren are:
1. One on one time.
I made sure the spend one on one time with my step children doing things they like to do. That created fun and open opportunities for them to be themselves around me.
2. Talking to them!
Ask them how they feel about building a relationship with you. Talk to them about daily actives. Show interest in their lives. Communication is key in ever relationship.
3. Creating a tradition.
Pick something that you two can do as often as you can, and make that your special thing. My stepdaughter and I would workout and do yoga together, that was our thing. It can be something simple.
A negative mindset leads to negative actions and a positive mindset leads to positive action!