Easing your way into your role as a step-parent

If you have recently gotten into a relationship with someone who has children from a previous relationship, you may have already started to think about your role as a step-parent. Building an effective and trustworthy relationship with a child who is not your own by blood can be challenging and even discouraging at times. At Fidelis Law, PLLC, we have helped many step-parents in Tennessee through the process of adopting their step-children.

According to Web MD, the way you approach your role as a step-parent has the ability to create a positive experience or a negative one. Understanding how to interact with your step-child and still allow him or her the space needed to acclimate to a new situation is easier done with some helpful tips. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Align parenting strategies: Work with your new spouse and even your step-child’s ex to align parenting strategies to provide the child with consistency.
  • Take your time: Remember that forming a healthy relationship will take time and it will undoubtedly have its difficult moments.
  • Make the most of your time: When you get time with your step-child, make the most of it by planning fun activities and doing things that allow you to interact on a personal level with him or her.
  • Keep a realistic expectation: If you have other children, remind yourself that your new-found relationship may vary from the relationships you have with your other children. Do not get discouraged if things feel different for a time.
  • Encourage time-sharing: Do not be selfish and act visibly annoyed when your step-child leaves to spend time with his or her biological parents. In fact, you should encourage this interaction.

When you have a realistic expectation that building this new relationship will require time, flexibility and compromise, you may find that a healthy and exciting new relationship will begin to form. For more information about adoption, visit our web page.