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5 Tips for How to Have a Strong Relationship with Your Stepchild

 Posted on March 30, 2020 in Children of Divorce

Wheaton family law attorney stepchild

The United States is a nation in which a majority of families are divorced. However, many people find love again and choose to remarry. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 1,300 new stepfamilies are formed every day. Becoming a stepparent can be stressful and intimidating. However, with realistic expectations and a certain approach to building a relationship, a sustaining bond can be created. In some cases, a stepparent may even wish to legally adopt his or her stepchild. It is important to have an experienced family law attorney assist you throughout the legal process.

Blended Families 

A remarriage often involves more than just a couple. One or both parents may have children from their previous marriages or relationships. If you are getting remarried after a divorce, and you will have a stepchild, keep these tips in mind for a smoother transition for everyone involved:

  1. Avoid rushing, and let the child set the pace of the relationship. No stable and long-lasting relationship is built by rushing. Take your time in getting to know your stepchild. It is only natural for him or her to be apprehensive since you are the newest member of the family. Do not become frustrated with this fact, and allow him or her to get to know you and warm up to you. 
  2. Bond over hobbies and interests. Whether it is sports, painting, or a television show, it is important to show genuine interest in what your stepchild likes to do. Offer support, ask questions, and be persistent if the child fails to include you.
  3. Test out a solo activity. Once you feel you and your stepchild are properly acquainted and/or have known each other for some time, suggest an activity the two of you can do together. Choose an activity you both might enjoy such as making a craft, going bowling, or playing a sport. 
  4. Leave the disciplining to the biological parent. Until the stepchild knows and trusts you, you cannot expect him or her to listen to you. Allow the biological parent to discipline while you gain the child’s respect in the process. Once you believe you have earned his or her trust, try presenting the rules or consequences as a joint decision, so neither parent seems like the bad guy. 
  5. Treat him or her like family. Avoid treating the child like a special guest. Instead, include him or her in all that you can, whether it is helping with household chores, cooking dinner, or watching a movie together. Do not be afraid to show affection, just as you would with your own biological child. 

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney 

If you are worried about your future relationship with your stepchild, there are ways to help ease the transition of blending families. The accomplished law firm of A. Traub & Associates has handled thousands of family law cases, and we can help you address these issues ahead of time so that you can begin to build a strong and long-lasting relationship with your stepchild. Contact our knowledgeable and compassionate DuPage County adoption lawyers from our office today at 630-426-0196 to schedule an initial consultation. 


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