When you think of Father’s day or Mother’s day, it can come with many warm and fulfilling thoughts if you are a parent. The thought of your children acknowledging your commitments and what you give them can be a strong gratification for you as well.
But, for others, it can be quite difficult to feel the love fromtheir families. It is understandable that situations and problems can occur within families, but when you, as a stepfather, attempt to heal that wound or hole, the rest of the family may not be so kind.
For many of you, this is a reality that can be an extremely difficult mountain to climb. On a day where fathers are meant to be cherished, you can feel very left out, as the children may not acknowledge your presence, since they may only acknowledge their biological father.
But, there are some steps that can be taken on both sides of the family. From the children’s side, and from yours as well.
Do not try to Overstep your Place
To start, there are plenty of things that you can do. From perceived expectations to realities, these steps can help stepfathers everywhere to integrate into the families.
The first thing to do is to not haveany large expectations that you will suddenly be a respected parent in the family. This includes things like:
- Being the Disciplinarian
- Being the role of the Bad Guy
- The Children will like everything the Stepfather Likes
To a child, you are just another friend or acquaintance that is now living with them. Their already standoffish attitude may be even more so when confronted with someone their other parent says is their new family member. Do not take this to heart.
Build new Bridges
Instead of trying to replace their dad, look to foster a friendship with your stepchildren. This can be from attempting to learn more about their hobbies and intereststofinding mutual activities that only you two share.
For instance, if their father goes with them to a hockey game each month, try to take them out to a movie or show instead. Many children can handle building a new relationship, but they cannot handle any that feel that they are beingdisloyal.
Strengthen the bonds
Try to let your stepchildren know that you love them in small, but meaningful ways. Talk with them, build up interest in their lives, and communicate with them. This also means that you should try to not letthem feel rejected by you.
This is due to how deep the bond is with your stepchildren. When you get upset at them, they may not feel the strong,loving connection that they get from their biological parents. Instead, they just see it as “someone” getting upset at them, which can be very crushing for them.
Instead, try to let them know that, even if you do get angry once in a while, you still love them. Show them that your connection with them will always be strong, no matter the circumstances. That way, they can slowly come to understand that you are not just a friend, but their ally and mentor as well.