Beginning to Bond
Your biggest task in the first 30 days (and beyond) is to form a bond with your stepchild. You don’t have to be best friends, but you do have to find some common ground of mutual respect.
The key is to spend time with the child one-on-one, communicating and relating to him or her. Often, just going through the motions of everyday life will help you create a bond. Pick up your stepchild from soccer practice or take him or her to a friend’s house. For example, when Michael Saffron*, a 48-year-old office manager from New York, became a stepfather to two young children, he found that having time at home with his stepchildren helped him make a connection. “It helped to have regular, daily life without anyone else around,” he says. “It also helped to have good downtime, or dinners together at 6:00 p.m.”
Bonding with your stepchild takes time and effort and is rarely done overnight. Although your overtures may at first be rebuffed, you will, over time, build a relationship that is based on consistency and trust.